The Edustories project was supported by the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic (TAČR) within the SIGMA call for applied research and innovation. A team of technology and education experts from the Faculty of Education is working on the project. “The aim is to support teachers in training and early in their careers in their efforts to manage challenging behaviour in the classroom. The first step of the support is a web-based platform with written case studies where users can search for solutions to different types of challenging behaviour and find similar cases through AI algorithms. The second level of support is to simulate challenging situations in the classroom using virtual reality technology,” explained team leader Jan Nehyba from the Department of Education.
When a teacher deals with classroom disruptions
The project responds to the societal problem of challenging pupil behaviour in the classroom. Both beginning and experienced teachers often perceive their professional skills as insufficiently developed to deal with disciplinary situations. This is often the reason for their professional dissatisfaction. In practice, the Edustories web platform acts as a search engine for specific problem behaviour situations, for example when teachers have to deal with disruptions in the classroom.
“It is not our intention to replace case studies with systematic expert solutions to, for example, various behavioural disorders. Our focus is on developing the professional skills of future and current teachers. We want to support them in acquiring the skills to manage disciplinary problems in the classroom in a constructive and respectful way, but also to develop reflection on teaching practice. The proposed way of developing the competences of Edustories users brings new insights and solutions in the field of social sciences and humanities, especially in the field of classroom management,” says team member Lucie Škarková.
A systematic approach to professional development and the use of tools on an interactive platform, together with virtual reality lessons, can strengthen a positive classroom climate. “The project focuses on how to respond to situations of challenging behaviour in school in a meaningful and respectful way from a teacher’s perspective. In addition to the web platform, different scenarios of challenging behaviour will be made available through an immersive virtual reality environment. These will serve as an additional tool for developing the necessary skills,” says David Košatka, an expert in virtual reality and education.