Discoveries through Challenges: Collective Autoethnographic Study of Teacher Educators in the COVID‘19 Situation [PDF]

Eglė Pranckūnienė, Rūta Girdzijauskienė, Remigijus Bubnys, Liudmila Rupšienė
Klaipėda University, Lithuania

Abstract: After the World Health Organization announced the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, education systems were forced to move instruction to the virtual world. It drastically changed the interplay between teachers and learners, educational content, and the learning environment. When scrutinising the experience of teacher educators, we realised that it was important to focus on their discoveries. Collective reflection and collaborative autoethnography of four teacher educators developed into a reflective process of creating collective knowledge about their lived experience of coping with the new reality of teaching. The research was carried out in four steps: collective reflection on the context of education and individual lived experiences, collective analyses of transcribed first-person narratives, collective interpretation of the first-person narratives, co-creation of insights, and implications for the future of teacher training. The paper discusses the discoveries of four teacher educators made during the pandemic period: the benefits of communication technology, new interpersonal relations, the dynamics of self-learning, and a new concept of multiple educational spaces. The research results showed that the online teaching and technological breakthrough encouraged teacher educators to use various online platforms and technological tools, to develop new teaching strategies, to find effective ways of communication, to focus more on the organisation of teaching and learning, the usage of multiple learning spaces, and teaching multimodality. At the end of this paper, we provide some insights for teacher education: teacher education programmes should create conditions for student transformative learning preparing prospective teachers to live and work in a rapidly changing and challenging world, to create space and time to develop important qualities of student teachers such as flexibility, the ability to adapt to changing circumstances and resistance to physical and emotional disturbances.
Keywords: collaborative autoethnography, collective reflection, COVID-19 pandemic, teacher educators, the new reality.

In: Human, Technologies and Quality of Education, 2021 = Cilvēks, tehnoloģijas un izglītības kvalitāte, 2021
Rīga, University of Latvia, 2021. 1148 p. Ed. L. Daniela
ISBN 978-9934-18-735-3