Centre for Research in Education Inclusion and Diversity (CREID)

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Impacts of COVID-19 on teaching practice and opportunities for virtual internships

This project aims to explore how teachers work collaboratively with others and use technology to support students during the crisis of COVID-19 and identify essential skills, resources, and support that can enable teachers to act as agents of change in difficult times.

Background

The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced unprecedented disruptions to teaching and posed urgent questions regarding its impact on learners in all levels of education. The proposed study seeks to explore how teachers work collaboratively with others and use technology to support students during the crisis, so as to identify essential skills, resources, and support that can enable teachers to act as agents of change in difficult times.

Both trainee and in-service teachers will be invited to participate in activities involving reflective logs, interviews, and workshops. The lessons learnt will provide insights valuable to enhance institutional strategy and policy, as well as inform the design of a virtual internship for trainee teachers who continue to face great uncertainty regarding the availability of school placements which offer important experiential learning.

Research aims

This small scale research project is focused on the school student activism in Scotland during the summer of 2020. It aims to examine how the outcome of this system of calculating exam results influenced some young people’s civic activism and how they mobilised and responded to the downgrading of their projected exam grades. It will address the following questions:

  1. Why did young people take part in the 2020 SQA exam protests? How did they explain their level of engagement? 
  2. What or who assisted or constrained their participation in this civic activism?
  3. To what extent did young people’s civic activism help develop their political and critical consciousness, including their knowledge of and attitudes towards social justice?
  4. Did teachers facilitate pupil’s civic activism in any way? What do teachers think are the limits or opportunities relating to education for citizenship in schools today?

Who can take part?

  • Young people who are over 16 years of age and took part in the 2020 SQA exam protests. 
  • Secondary teachers who had some direct involvement with these young activist while at school and/or that have an interest in citizenship education and the impact the protests may have on it.

Research approach

This research project will involve individual on line interviews with young people who took any part in the 2020 SQA results protests, as well as secondary teachers who had some direct involvement with these young people while at school or that have an interest in citizenship education and promoting civic activism. This research has received ethical approval from the University of Edinburgh and will adhere to the ethical guidelines set out by British Educational Research Association (BERA).

Why this research is important?

Education for citizenship (EfC) is a key priority in the Scottish education system which aims to encourage young people’s thoughtful and responsible participation in civic and political life, to influence  change and to work towards social justice. This research aims to produce knowledge to help improve citizenship education. This will support the more effective development of young people's political literacy and their propensity for activism to work towards social justice. In so doing we hope this research will make a contribution to promoting and sustaining a vibrant democratic culture in Scotland.

Project Summary on UoE blog

Funder

British Academy

Start date 1 Oct 2020
End date 31 Jan 2022

Research Team

Dr Yi-Shan Tsai (Project lead, Principal Investigator)

Lecturer in the the Centre for Learning Analytics at Monash (CoLAM), Faculty of Information Technology, Monash University

Dr Nataša Pantić (Co-Investigator)
Director of CREID and Senior Lecturer, Moray House School of Education and Sport, University of Edinburgh
Dr Michael Phillips (Co-investigator)

Associate Professor of Digital Transformation, Faculty of Education, Monash University

Prof Dragan Gašević (Co-investigator)

Professor of Learning Analytics, Faculty of Information Technology and Director of the Centre for Learning Analytics, Monash University

Ana Hibert (Research Associate)

PhD student, Moray House School of Education, University of Edinburgh

Project website