Learning in a Multicultural Reality – Distance Learning in Corona Crisis

Conference: The Barcelona Conference on Education (BCE2022)
Title: Learning in a Multicultural Reality – Distance Learning in Corona Crisis
Stream: Teaching Experiences, Pedagogy, Practice & Praxis
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation
Dolly Eliyahu-Levi, Levinsky Collage of Education, Israel
Rivka Hillel Lavian, Levinsky College of Education, Israel


The corona crisis, the social distance and distance learning posed new challenges for higher education, which were required to address the academic, social, and emotional needs of students. Researchers agree that integrating the principles of social emotional learning (SEL) may contribute to fostering intercultural competence, empathy, and the ability to cope with situations of conflict, ambiguity, and uncertainty. To achieve this goal, five researchers, who in five different courses at a college of Education have developed a comprehensive curriculum on socio-emotional learning.
The aim is to examine how students experience distance learning in courses based on SEL principles in multicultural contexts. The research approach is qualitative-interpretive, looking at social reality as a product of interpretive processes, influenced by personal structures. Participants are 130 students from undergraduate and Master's programs. Research tool is a collaborative blog that allows participants to be exposed to perceptions, thoughts, and beliefs, share knowledge, and respond to other participants. Findings revealed four spaces of learning experience: Space that looks inward; Supporting space; Space for self-management; Space for teaching insights. The four spaces revealed a process of developing abilities such as awareness of strengths and weaknesses, understanding social situations, ability to understand different and unfamiliar attitudes, stress management, self-discipline and problem solving. It was also found that the lectures were characterized by flexibility, gave way to autonomy, to choose between alternatives, to broaden the multicultural point of view and to look in and out while examining the individual, professional and group process.

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