Educational Simulated Interaction Models (eduSIMs) are designed and clinically tested simulations for future teachers and school leaders. The simulations identify strengths and misconceptions in school professionals’ understanding of content and pedagogy, increase instructional capacity, and advance student achievement.

This project is a partnership between:

  • Benjamin Dotger, Syracuse University School of Education (Department of Teaching and Leadership)
  • John Settlage, University of Connecticut Avery Point
  • Helen J. Rader, James P. Rader, and David R. Riel – Asbury University School of Education
  • Elizabeth Self and Britnie Kane, Vanderbilt University Peabody College

All students in our undergraduate and graduate teacher preparation programs have an opportunity to participate and gain valuable feedback from the eduSIMS project.

Standardized patients are a key part of the pedagogy of most medical education programs, where healthy individuals who are carefully trained to present the same medical symptoms, verbalizations, and evidence in a standard, consistent manner. Students practice their diagnostic and professional interaction skills in a simulated environment. In 2007, Benjamin Dotger began adapting this practice to the context of teacher and school leader education as eduSIMS. Clinical simulations are demanding, intense opportunities of situated practice, where the teacher or school leader participant is challenged to enact their professional skills, knowledge, and decision-making capabilities to address a complex problem-of-practice.

Partnership with SUNY Upstate Medical University provides faculty and students with the facilities to take part in and record these simulations, allowing them for structured and data-informed reflection of their actions.

In 2017, the partnership expanded to the Institute for Veterans and Military Families, where the VET-SIM project focuses on real-life challenges experienced on campus by student veterans to help veterans navigate and overcome barriers to collegiate success.

Dotger’s work with simulated interactions has been generously supported by the Spencer Foundation, the Ewing Marian Kauffman Foundation, and the Institute for Education Sciences, and has been published by such journals as the Journal of Moral Education, Teacher Education and Special Education, Teaching Education, Educational Leadership, Planning & Changing, and the New Educator.

View associated Research and Publications

Core Faculty

Benjamin Dotger, Professor; Chair of Teaching & Leadership|315.443.1937
Benjamin Dotger