EXPERIENCES AND PERCEPTIONS OF PORTUGUESE TEACHERS IN THE EARLY MONTHS OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC: REINTERPRETING THE PROFESSION
Faculty of Education and Psychology, Universidade Católica Portuguesa / Research Centre for Human Development (CEDH) (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Conference name: 15th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 7-9 November, 2022
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:With the spread of COVID-19, countries implemented emergency plans to slow down and limit the spread of the virus, such as the closure of schools either national-wider, regionally, or in a targeted way (OECD, 2020; UNESCO, 2020) All over the world schools interrupted their activities, becoming an unprecedented incident in history. The ‘emergency remote teaching’ (Whittle, 2020) has emerged as an alternative approach to keep providing students access to teaching and learning during the pandemic period. Plus, also put the teachers exposed to new jargon and different ways to teach. In other words, learning how to teach in an online environment created opportunities for training, professional development, and collaboration among teachers (Coolican, 2020; Kim & Asbury, 2020; Nuland, et al., 2020). As mentioned by Prata-Linhares et al. “teachers became a community of learners” (2020, p.3).
This paper aims to investigate Portuguese teachers’ experiences and perceptions in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. An exploratory study was carried out in which a total of twenty written narratives were collected, mostly from basic and secondary school teachers. The analysis instigated a reinterpretation of the teaching profession, based on the challenges and implications due the reconfiguration of the schools to a digital learning environment called ‘emergency remote teaching’. Additionally, the participants identified opportunities in terms of collaborative work among teachers, focusing on activities related to planning, monitoring, supporting, and learning with each other. Finally, positive perceptions were also mentioned, mainly the awareness of the importance of human relationships in the teaching profession.
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Keywords: COVID-19, Emergency Remote Teaching, Teaching Profession, Digital Learning.