Over the last 2 years, Florida 4 has been piloting a program with physical education (PE) preservice teachers who are assigned to a VSFE for 7 weeks, while they assist in teaching high school students required PE health and fitness courses.
The following themes were identified: a positive outlook toward VSFE (pro-VSFE), a lack of knowledge/ a need for additional information, the survey as impetus for change, the notion that online learning equals online teaching, certification/policy/curriculum alignment, and a more positive view of face-to-face field experiences.
Although some were not completely in agreement that a VSFE was necessary for their program now, it was mentioned often that "it [K-12 online learning] is the wave of the future and will eventually need to become a significant part of the teacher education experience.
The teacher education programs that believe a VSFE is important for their program understand the changing needs of their candidates, who must be prepared to meaningfully approach new learning environments for today's K-12 students.
After the methodology is discussed, the "Results" section describes an overview of the models of VSFEs that exist, followed by the discussion and implications directed at teacher education programs and K-12 online programs.
In addition to ISU, the University of Central Florida (UCF) and the University of Florida (UF) began offering their preservice teachers VSFEs in spring 2009.
These data were used to create a narrative depiction of teacher education programs that are currently offering VSFEs.