Virtual School Meanderings

March 7, 2013

AJDE Issues and Frameworks for K–12 Online Distance Education – Preservice Teachers’ Experience in a Virtual School

As I mentioned earlier this week, the American Journal of Distance Education – Special Issue: Issues and Frameworks for K–12 Online Distance Education has been published. Today I want to post the abstract from the fifth of the articles from this special issue.


Kennedy, K., Cavanaugh, C., & Dawson, K. (2013). Preservice teachers’ experience in a virtual school. American Journal of Distance Education, 27(1), 56-67.

Preservice Teachers’ Experience in a Virtual School

Abstract: Situated in the theoretical perspective of phenomenology, the purpose of this study was to understand the experiences of three preservice teachers who voluntarily participated in a field placement in a virtual school in the southeastern United States. The preservice teachers were paired with online teachers for four weeks. Their experiences were documented via four phenomenological interviews. Using phenomenological analysis, the interview data were analyzed, resulting in the essence of the virtual school field placement. The essence of the virtual school field placement was made up of six shared horizons, consisting of (1) communication with supervising teacher, (2) information systems at the virtual school, (3) modification of course content, (4) exposure to new technologies, (5) balancing act, and (6) unmet expectations. The results have implications for preservice teachers, teacher education programs, virtual schools, education policymakers, and teacher certification organizations. Suggestions for future research are provided.

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