Source: Teacher Education and Special Education, Volume 32 Number I, (February 2009). P. 64-82.
In this study, the authors investigate whether an advanced online technology can be used to give teacher trainees real-time feedback on their use of research-based classroom practices.
Participants include 15 teachers (2 men and 13 women) enrolled in a field-based graduate special education teacher preparation program. The majority of the participants were Caucasian (11) and 4 were African American. 11 participants had B.A. degree in education; 2 had M.A. degree in education and 2 had B.A. degree in non-education field.
The majority of the participants (12) had certification in elementary education, one participant had certification in both elementary and special education and two participants were uncertified. The number of years of professional experience varied among teachers with a mean of 5.4 years and a range of 1 to 20 years. The teachers taught in 12 different schools in six school districts across five counties in the southeastern United States. The school districts varied in type and size: five were rural, three were midsize central city, three were on the urban fringe of a midsize city, and one was on the urban fringe of a large city.
Data include video-recorded teacher observations and written reflections by teachers about their experiences. Quantitative results indicate that the advanced online bug-in-ear technology is a practical and efficient way to provide immediate feedback to increase teachers' rate of praise statements and their use of proven effective instructional practices. Furthermore, these improvements are accompanied by increases in students' on-task behavior. Overall, trainees view the advanced online technology as a powerful tool for improving the teaching and learning process but report the need for patience and perseverance in both the teachers and the supervisor, as well as teachers' need for constant reassurance.