Title: A Professional Development Program for Teachers Dealing With a Variety of Students in Times of Crisis
Stream: Learning Experiences, Student Learning & Learner Diversity
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation
Noa Shapira, Kinneret Academic College, Israel
Meital Amzalag, Holon Institute of Technology, Israel
The COVID-19 crisis challenged schoolteachers across the world (Bonal & González, 2020). The impacts of school closures on learning were immense on many levels and pertained to the lack of home computers and internet access, students at risk or with health problems, and students’ well-being in general (Bonal & González, 2020; Müller & Goldenberg, 2020). This study examines how an online teachers’ professional development program (TPD) we developed can help teachers handle students with various needs and difficulties regularly and in such times particularly. We conducted our research as part of an online TPD program carried out from October until March (2020–2021). Preliminary findings from 64 participants’ reflections indicate that the tools the teachers acquired enabled them to address the heterogeneous levels of the learners and teach differentially. “Even weak students who did not cooperate with the teachers … in distance learning stood out the most.” The students also began to cooperate during the online lessons. “The … technology intrigues … groups of students who do not have enough abilities … [but] now have the opportunity to participate and surprise us [the teachers].” This research includes practical implications for teaching students with various needs and difficulties in online learning even in times of crisis.
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