Presentation Title

Professional Experience in Times of COVID-19

Abstract

This study examined the preparedness and capabilities of teacher education students (TESs) in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic when many schools were teaching online. As such, the university curriculum was adapted to enable TESs to explore suitable pedagogies to not only teach remotely but to engage their students using contemporary technology-based learning materials. The school in this study was in a low socio-economic area with diverse students, many with a language background other than English. As such, this study was positioned at the intersection of what is known as trauma-informed education, professional learning and the resilience of both practicing teachers and TESs. Trauma-informed education recognises and deals with the influence and impact on students of factors such as poverty, racism, violence and in this case a pandemic. The study utilised case study methodology with data collected from online surveys and group interviews on Zoom. The participants were TESs from the University and staff, including supervising teachers, from the school. The data from both the surveys and the group interviews were analysed thematically, guided by the lens of the theoretical framework.

Resilience in coping with the unusual classroom context was enhanced by the smaller number of students in class; the greater range of life experiences of the more mature TESs; and the skills and experience of the school’s teachers to support and mentor the TESs. The guidance provided by the University in conjunction with the experience of the school’s teachers enhanced the TESs ability to manage trauma affected students. The greatest source of trauma was when students who were learning remotely returned to school as they struggled to catch up on work missed and the mental health issues that resulted. TESs stated that as a result of the combination of the adapted University course work and the learning during professional experience their preparedness was significantly enhanced.

Theme

blended learning

Presenter Bio

Dr Lauren Stephenson

Dr Lauren Stephenson is a Professor of Learning, Teaching and Educational Leadership. Lauren has over 30 years of experience in a range of educational leadership roles and is an experienced educator with a combined 30 years in English as an additional language/dialect (EAL/D), teacher education, educational leadership, research methods, second language acquisition and service learning. She has an extensive record of scholarly activities at national and international levels and has quality publications in the areas of ELT, EAL/D, educational leadership, teacher education and professional learning, work integrated learning, adult learning, action research, autoethnography and narrative inquiry.

Dr Kevin Watson

Dr Kevin Watson is a Professor of Science Education and currently Acting Deputy Head of the School of Education. Previously Kevin was the Director of Research for six years. Kevin has completed a number of research projects for Sydney Catholic Schools and two OLT grants in partnership with Nulungu Research Institute and Macquarie University.

Dr Boris Handal

Dr Boris Handal is a Professor of Digital Learning Technologies at the School of Education of the University of Notre Dame Australia. His academic background is rich in diversity with a breadth of experience accrued through involvement in academic development, curriculum development, lecturing, research and project management at various educational institutions. He is presently Higher Degree Research coordinator at the School of Education and chair of the School Research Committee.

Rachelle Glynn

Rachelle Glynn began her career in primary teaching in 2000 and has spent time teaching in London as well as in the public and private system in NSW. During her 18 years of teaching in primary schools, Rachelle has held many roles including classroom teacher, stage co-ordinator and assistant principal. Rachelle’s main research interests are in equity issues in mathematics education learning outcomes and transition to the classroom.

Presentation Type

Presentation

Location

Zoom session commences 10am AWST/12 noon AEST

Start Date

29-9-2021 11:30 AM

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Sep 29th, 11:30 AM

Professional Experience in Times of COVID-19

Zoom session commences 10am AWST/12 noon AEST

This study examined the preparedness and capabilities of teacher education students (TESs) in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic when many schools were teaching online. As such, the university curriculum was adapted to enable TESs to explore suitable pedagogies to not only teach remotely but to engage their students using contemporary technology-based learning materials. The school in this study was in a low socio-economic area with diverse students, many with a language background other than English. As such, this study was positioned at the intersection of what is known as trauma-informed education, professional learning and the resilience of both practicing teachers and TESs. Trauma-informed education recognises and deals with the influence and impact on students of factors such as poverty, racism, violence and in this case a pandemic. The study utilised case study methodology with data collected from online surveys and group interviews on Zoom. The participants were TESs from the University and staff, including supervising teachers, from the school. The data from both the surveys and the group interviews were analysed thematically, guided by the lens of the theoretical framework.

Resilience in coping with the unusual classroom context was enhanced by the smaller number of students in class; the greater range of life experiences of the more mature TESs; and the skills and experience of the school’s teachers to support and mentor the TESs. The guidance provided by the University in conjunction with the experience of the school’s teachers enhanced the TESs ability to manage trauma affected students. The greatest source of trauma was when students who were learning remotely returned to school as they struggled to catch up on work missed and the mental health issues that resulted. TESs stated that as a result of the combination of the adapted University course work and the learning during professional experience their preparedness was significantly enhanced.