5 ways that Covid has affected your teaching
How has Covid made it more harder for students to learn science? We asked some experienced teachers to reflect and here are their top 5 obstacles:
#1 It's reduced the amount of feedback we give students
"We can't give personalised help or check up on student understanding by listening and responding to what students are discussing"
Without enough feedback, students are more likely to develop inaccurate ideas, and never quite get to grips with the skills they need to master.
#2 It's reduced - or removed - experimentation and hands-on learning
"This makes things quite frustrating as so much of the possible investigation is being removed. We don't even have the facility to demonstrate experiments."
If students miss out on experiencing phenomena, it's doubtful they will be building up meaningful understanding of the concepts. Superficial knowledge prevents students applying what they know.
#3 It's made teaching more didactic and transmissive
"Everything has gone very didactic and this is hard for students and teachers who are used to meaningful interaction"
In such extreme conditions, the ideal of 'guided instruction', where we lead students towards understanding, can easily revert to the less effective approach of 'telling students stuff'.
#4 It's stopped students learning from each other
"Group work is not being actively encouraged. We are not meant to move round the room and this makes checking on groups more difficult."
Without talking students have limited opportunities to formulate their ideas, and build new ideas by listening to and comparing your thinking with others'.
#5 It's made some students lose confidence and learning habits
"Some have lost the more consistent approach to answering analysis questions. Some have also lost confidence in their knowledge."
It's no surprise students they have forgotten some of their learning strategies. And having negative beliefs can be as harmful to learning as any lack of ability.
What about your experiences? Please share your thoughts, especially what you've been doing to overcome these obstacles.