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Developing Initial Teacher Education students’ pedagogical practice in the classroom through the use of Virtual Reality


   School of Media, Culture & Society

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  Dr E Edgerton, Dr S Day, Dr J McKechnie  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

This studentship is part of UWS Immersive, a multi-disciplinary university wide project that explores the potential of virtual, augmented and mixed reality technologies and experiences to transform the way UWS teaches, conducts research and engages with society.

Initial Teacher Education (ITE) students often struggle to cope with the complex interactions within the classroom during teaching practice. This often manifests itself in difficulty managing things such as transitioning between phases of lessons and motivating pupils who have disengaged within lessons. In addition, recent investment in the school Estate in Scotland combined with implementation of the Curriculum for Excellence have necessitated changes in both pedagogical practice and the design of learning spaces.

The use of videotaped class lessons as case studies, are increasingly commonplace within Initial teacher Education programmes, usually to develop one specific area of competence. Whilst this approach suggests that pre-service teachers may employ different attentional strategies that vary in their effectiveness, it fails to recreate the three-dimensional complexity of classroom interactions. However, Virtual Reality (VR) technology may allow for enhanced simulation-based learning that could be useful within ITE. Evaluating this approach in the context of teacher education would also facilitate the development of a more nuanced understanding of the attention strategies adopted by experienced and non-experienced teachers in classroom settings.

The studentship will explore a number of issues (both theoretical and applied) around the use of VR within ITE; these include evaluating the attention strategies adopted by teachers (trainee and experienced) in a range of classroom environments using eye-tracking technology, developing a suitable pedagogy for use with ITE students to support their preparation for teaching placement, and evaluating the type of learning gained by ITE students viewing VR Films.

As part of the UWS online application, candidates will be asked to submit a proposal, please submit a personal statement in place of the proposal.

Funding Notes

UWS is an inspiring, vibrant place to study with a growing research community; an important aspect of which is its outstanding and committed research students. The studentship offers an annual stipend of £14,553 per annum for three years and payment of tuition fees. Funding will be considered as part of a competitive round. Studentships are open to Home/EU candidates with a first degree in a relevant discipline. Non-EU students can apply, but will not receive the stipend and will be required to pay fees. Candidates must be available to commence their studies from 1st October 2018.
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