Research Digest: Disruptive Innovation–A Virtual School Created for Teacher Education — from

Article Review (book chapter)
Drawn on Kress’s (1995) multimodal theory and the multiliteracies theory (e.g., New London Group, 1996), Faulkner & Latham present a case study on the development of a virtual primary school as a digital tool to disrupt norms of teaching and learning in teacher education programs. The School of Education at RMIT Unviersity, Australia, created a virtual school called Lathner Primary to have preservice teachers experience pre-programmed simulations in an interactive virtual space and seek reflective ideas around what schools and teachers need to respond to new learning challenges. The virtual school also serves as teachers’ affinity space to exchange innovative ideas and concepts of teaching.

This case is significant in enlightening reformers and scholars to consider a potential (blended) model for new development in teacher education, and in contributing ideas to teacher education in distance learning. It narrates in detail the development of a virtual project and student teachers’ experiences. Instead of the conventional model of sending student teachers to various physical sites, the virtual space not only serves as a student teaching placement site but also creates a space for all student teachers to share and discuss their teaching practices collectively.