The continued growth of online education, together with the fact that it is becoming an increasingly mainstream option for students, necessitates that teachers know how to teach in an online learning environment. Consequently, teacher education programs should prepare them to do so (Kennedy & Archambault, 2012).
However, research has indicated that very few teacher education programs address K-12 online learning through a practical hands-on field experience component (Kennedy & Archambault, 2012). In 2010, a systematic review of teacher education programs in the United States found that only 1.3% of those responding demonstrated evidence of any type of field experience in an online or blended setting.
The purpose of a new MVLRI report, Examining Teacher Education Programs and Field Experiences in K-12 Online Learning Environments, is to examine how programs have evolved over the past six years and whether or not the implementation of an online field experience within teacher education has grown as a function of the expansion of online offerings for K-12 students.
Teacher education programs have continued to struggle with preparing candidates for 21st century teaching and learning environments (Kennedy & Archambault, 2012). What is clear from revisiting the issue six years later is that while pockets of progress have been made, significant work still remains. In future iterations of this study, the instrument should provide background on the growth of online learning in primary and secondary settings to provide greater context for the survey itself. This might reduce the number of responses that had to be excluded.
Download the complete report »