A researcher from the University of Aberdeen has been awarded funding to investigate the impact that the sudden shift to remote teaching during lockdown has had on new teachers.
The grant of almost four thousand pounds was awarded from the British Educational Research Association to look at how their teacher training had prepared them for the sudden move to remote teaching.
Specifically, the project will find out what was helpful to new teachers in Scotland in their Initial Teacher Education programmes to enable them to handle the unexpected changes in teaching and learning and what professional learning needs are now highlighted.
Preliminary findings so far indicate that new teachers largely felt able to respond to the challenges of teaching during a pandemic. Initial responses from new teachers suggest that teachers feel more able to respond to emergency remote teaching than many other aspects of teaching..
Dr Rachel Shanks who is leading the project in the School of Education at the University explains: “Our research is new, and we believe unique. We will find out how new teachers draw on their experiences from initial teacher education to meet unexpected and unforeseeable challenges.
“We will be able to inform those involved in teacher education curriculum planning. Our work will also show how teachers see themselves as assuming broader roles within society and their local communities. To be effective initial teacher education needs to be adaptable to rapid change and uncertain futures and this research demonstrates the current situation in Scotland.”
Dr Mark Carver, co-investigator at the University of Strathclyde, adds: “Teachers are telling us that they responded really well to the challenges of Covid-19, even though there was little time to prepare for the sudden changes. This gives us a rare opportunity to look at how teachers draw upon their previous professional learning when they meet new challenges and what makes them resilient to unexpected challenges.”