Designing and Using Clinical Simulations to Prepare Teachers for Culturally Responsive Teaching
Self, Elizabeth Anne
Clinical simulations are a promising approach to preparing preservice teachers for culturally responsive teaching. These simulations use actors to portray the role of students, parents, and coworkers in common problems of practice, but with a focus on issues of culture in such interactions. In this dissertation, I provide six design principles derived from both literature in medical education on standardized patient encounters for cultural competence as well as sociological literature on the relational work of doctors and teachers to guide the design and use of clinical simulations for culturally responsive teaching. I then use thematic analysis to examine what teachers learned from a clinical simulation of a student-teacher interaction that focused on issues of race and classroom discipline. Within this analysis, I conceptualize culturally responsive teaching as comprised of cultural consciousness, cultural competence, and critical reflection and look at how teachers’ starting points with respect to their own cultural identity development affected what they learned from the simulation. Finally, I provide a description of three trajectories of learning as focal cases in cross-comparative case analysis by looking at how three preservice teachers framed the problem in the simulation over time. In doing so, I look at when and how teachers were “pulled up short” by the experience such that it might serve as a critical incident in their professional development. Findings contribute to research on how preservice teachers learn to be culturally responsive and how to design and use clinical simulations for that purpose, and to broader conversations about how to adapt and refine instructional approaches from other professions.