Heutagogy in action: Unveiling the transformative power of virtual “air campus” experiences of mathematics trainee teachers
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Department of Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education, Walter Sisulu University, Mthatha, SOUTH AFRICA
Publication date: 2024-03-03
EURASIA J. Math., Sci Tech. Ed 2024;20(3):em2416
The fourth industrial revolution has brought about significant changes in various fields including the education sector. It is increasingly essential for individuals, particularly student teachers, to embrace lifelong learning and acquire the know-how and skills required to grow into autonomous and critical thinkers. In this paper, we examine the virtual “air campus” experiences of 39 first-year student teachers of mathematics at a rural university in South Africa’s Eastern Cape Province. The heutagogical approach served as a lens for trainee teachers’ virtual “air campus” explorations. An exploratory qualitative case study design was employed to provide answers to two main questions that guided the inquiry. Findings of the study show that trainee teachers had varied experiences regarding what they learned from their virtual “air campus” visits. These include what constitutes effective teaching and how students learn as well as correction of common misconceptions regarding specific concepts in school mathematics. Through virtual lesson observations on the “air campus” of their choice, trainee teachers were also able to create their professional identities in terms of their future goals, ideal teacher traits, and desired teaching and learning environments. These findings demonstrate that integrating virtual learning environments into teacher education curricula and assessment has practical implications for enhancing trainee teachers’ self-directed learning, critical thinking, and professional identity development.
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