Fostering prospective teachers’ explaining skills during university education - Evaluation of a training module

Seifried, Jürgen ; Findeisen, Stefanie ; Deutscher, Viola

Document Type: Conference presentation
Year of publication: 2019
Conference title: World Education Research Association 2019: Focal Meeting in Tokyo
Location of the conference venue: Tokyo, Japan
Date of the conference: 05.-08.08.2019
Publication language: English
Institution: Business School > Wirtschaftspädagogik, Berufliches Lehren und Lernen (Seifried 2012-)
Subject: 370 Education
Abstract: Providing instructional explanations is a core component of effective instruction and an important teaching skill. Teaching skills are generally regarded as learnable, and teacher education programs aim to improve teachers’ professional competencies. In this study we analyze to what extent explaining skills can be fostered during teacher education at the university level by means of a specific training module. We designed a training (university module) for prospective economics teachers at vocational schools (candidates in a Master’s teaching program in Germany). By means of video-taped simulated interactions at two measurement points, we analyze the development of teacher candidates’ explaining skills. Teacher candidates were asked to explain the neoclassical demand and supply model (treatment group: n = 48; control group: n = 30) to an actor playing the role of school student. The quality of the explanations was operationalized in respect of the five aspects of successful explanations derived from a literature review: (1) Content, (2) Student-teacher interaction, (3) Process structure, (4) Representation, and (5) Language. By deconstructing the explanation process, different quality aspects can be analyzed. The results show that there was a treatment effect on the development of the aspect Process structure, while Student-teacher interaction appeared to develop “naturally” through experience, regardless of participation in the training. The quality aspects Content, Representation, and Language appeared stable over time, showing improvement in neither the treatment nor the control groups.

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