Volume 10 Issue 4 (2021)

Preservice Teacher Perceptions of Virtual Reading Fieldwork During the COVID-19 Pandemic

pp. 7-19  |  Published Online: December 2021  |  DOI: 10.22521/edupij.2021.104.1

Latasha Holt

Abstract

Background/purpose – The COVID-19 pandemic created barriers for teacher preparation programs. Preservice teachers are typically assigned a host school and mentor where on-site, face-to-face classroom observation and teaching opportunities earn credit needed for graduation and to meet certain institutional accreditation requirements. Due to the potential for community spread of the COVID-19 virus, limited visitor numbers have been allowed into schools, and preservice teachers have largely been denied access.

Materials/methods – During the COVID-19 pandemic, the pressures to master in-class teaching assessments have been unprecedented. Using an exploratory model, preservice teacher perceptions of virtual reading assessments were collected during this unusual time in order to explore gaps in the literature. The study’s participants were from the southern United States, and were seeking a degree in Elementary Education during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. The researcher created a survey which was shared across course sections. The collected data were then analyzed and sorted according to thematic findings.

Results – The findings revealed that unique challenges were faced by preservice teachers during participation in a semester long virtual fieldwork requirement as part of a course in “reading assessment.”

Conclusion – Building upon international research, the study shares challenges faced during virtual reading fieldwork unique to teacher preparation during a pandemic. A need was identified for a more streamlined process addressing technology pedagogy to prepare preservice teachers during times when face-to-face, in-person K-12 classroom meetings are restricted or unavailable.

Keywords: COVID-19, preservice teachers, reading, assessment, virtual fieldwork.

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