This paper focuses on the use of embedded tools and support materials within a web-based simulated classroom environment. The developed simulation prototype allows the user to adopt the role of a Kindergarten teacher where they have to “teach” a typical literacy episode that we have called “days of the week”. During this episode the user is asked to make decisions about the organisation of the classroom, management of the classroom, and the teaching and learning experiences to be offered.
A key component of this on-line simulation is the incorporation of an embedded tool, referred to as a thinking space, at decisive points. Support materials have also been incorporated throughout the simulation to encourage the user to look at the theory and wider knowledge base around the issues they encounter. These components of the simulation have been developed to encourage users to think more deeply about their role as a classroom teacher. As users make decisions throughout the running time of the simulated classroom episode, they are supported with embedded thinking spaces and regular student updates organised according to the NSW pedagogy model (DET, 2003).
We report on the data that we have collected about use of the embedded tools and support materials by a cohort of pre-service teachers.