The Effects of the Covid-19 Pandemic on Italian Learning Ecosystems: the School Teachers’ Perspective at the steady state

Carlo Giovannella, Marcello Passarelli, Donatella Persico

pp. 264 - 286, download

 

 

Abstract

  

This study is one of the first investigations conducted within the Italian school system to capture teachers’ perspective, experiences and perceptions about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on school education. It was performed two months after the beginning of lockdown, when online teaching and learning processes were fully in place and had reached a steady state. The paper reports a descriptive analysis together with a network analysis, and the search for causal relationships among the variables that have been investigated. Generally, respondents reported that the reactions of educational institutions and individual teachers were satisfactory, preventing the collapse of the education system in spite of loss of contact with 6-10% of the student population and a significant teacher workload increase that posed individual time management challenges. Although teachers tended to adopt teaching strategies that reproduced standard classroom dynamics, the possibility of operating in this comfort zone generated a positive feeling about using technologies, a perception of increased digital skills mastery and a change in mindset about educational processes. In turn, this led to an increase in the perceived sustainability of online education, with about a third of the teachers expressing the wish to adopt a blended configuration for future teaching activities. Almost all participants recognized the significance of a digital pedagogy and the need to include it in the training curricula to prepare future teachers.

 

 

Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic, online learning, emergency remote education (ERE), educational ecosystem reactivity, school teachers, educational innovation, descriptive analysis, causal discovery


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