Assessing the Impacts of COVID-19 on K-12 Public School Educators and Administrators on their Practices and Autonomy in East Gainesville

Authors

  • Shruti Kolli University of Florida
  • Eliza Morton
  • Abdullah Afridi
  • Keer Zhang
  • Erin Kim

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.32473/ufjur.24.130776

Keywords:

K-12 Education, COVID-19 Pandemic, Virtual Learning, HyFlex, Classroom

Abstract

The impacts of the pandemic have rippled through every aspect of daily life; for students and teachers, this manifests predominantly in education. This qualitative case study aimed to evaluate educator opinions on the current state of public education. Data collection consisted of interviewing seven K-12 educators from East Gainesville, a low-income and historically segregated region in Florida, about their experiences teaching during the pandemic. Seven questions captured the largest challenges for educators and students amidst the pandemic. 13 common major themes (nodes) and minor themes (nodes) were identified from these responses. It was found that COVID-19 has had generally negative impacts on the quality of student education and educator morale. Both are partially rooted in the switch from traditional to virtual/HyFlex classrooms, in which educators need to expend much more effort to achieve the same or sometimes worse results. Conversely, there were some benefits of this new education format, including increased versatility, collaboration, and accessibility. Other drawbacks include feelings of isolation for students and inequity for students with less access to technology. Still, educators reported feelings of support from administration and the community and expectations that addressing these challenges would lead to positive changes for education in the future. Ultimately, this study will elucidate the challenges educators face when integrating curricula into virtual platforms, an increasingly popular phenomenon. These findings may serve as guidance for future implementations to promote higher quality, more versatile, and virtual-friendly learning environments.

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Published

2022-12-01

Issue

Section

Social & Behavioral Sciences, Business, Education