Overview of the research project
This group of researchers are all involved in educating teachers or educational psychologists at the School of Education and Social Work in the University of Dundee in Scotland. We interviewed sixty primary school Teachers and Head Teachers in depth, staring from the second week of lockdown until the end of the scholastic year (March-June 2020). The interviews aimed to gain an understanding of the impact of the experience of lockdown on teachers’ and Head Teachers’ identity. These educators were asked to comment about the impact of this experience on their ideas of teaching, learning and curriculum, and on their role as educators. Practical questions were also asked about teachers’ planning and implementation of teaching tasks, the structure of the day, their intentions of supporting pupils emotionally by providing structure, and their own concerns about their own digital fluency. We were, and still are, ‘curious’ about what they make of their experiences of work and the contribution of this to their thinking about what is valued in their work as a teacher or Head Teacher as they support children and families during the lockdown.
Following ethical approval from the University of Dundee, an invitation for voluntary participation in the project was put on social media – teachers and Head Teachers who responded were interviewed online. We clarified that we are after individual thoughts about this new way of teaching and learning and not after teachers’ and Head Teachers’ their opinion about the Local Authority response to the pandemic, nor of any Local Authority strategies towards preparation for school closure. It was also possible for educators to respond to an online questionnaire if this was deemed easier for them, given their individual circumstances. Sixty interviews were carried out. The data is being analysed and the following are outputs based on the data.
Dr. Daniela Mercieca is a practising educational psychologist in a Local Authority in Scotland and a lecturer in the School of Education and Social Work at the University of Dundee. Her research interest is in critically problematising the assumptions that underpin educational practice with children and deconstructing situations in which decisions are made concerning children in schools. ORCID id: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6609-1302
Dr. Duncan P. Mercieca is a senior lecturer in the School of Education and Social Work at the University of Dundee. His research draws upon French post-structuralist philosophers to think through educational issues, in particular those related to diversity and otherness; inclusion and disability and critiquing education research and its methods. ORCID id: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4071-9522