‘I miss the physical presence of the students’: Swedish teachers’ experiences of online teaching and learning during the COVID-19 pandemic

Eva Alerby, Niclas Ekberg, Megan Johansson, Education in the North

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The demographic and economic conditions for education in the Nordic countries—especially in remote areas of this region—has led to an increasingly intensive use of information and communication technologies. The authorities’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic has, however, entailed a radical acceleration of the already ongoing change towards digitisation. In the wake of the current pandemic regulations, the purpose of this study was to illuminate and discuss Swedish secondary school teachers’ experiences of online teaching and learning—with a particular focus on the teaching dimension—based on synchronous teaching and learning modes. A specific research question was posed: What opportunities and challenges do online teaching and learning offer when it comes to forming a sense of belonging, authenticity, and presence? Theoretically, this study was based on a phenomenological lifeworld approach. The empirical data, collected from March 2020 to March 2021, consisted of written reflections from ninety-three teachers in a remote school district. Three themes showed how online teaching and learning redefines the bodily, temporal, and spatial conditions for teachers’ experiences of belonging, authenticity, and presence in education. The study also indicates how digitisation might serve as a disruption that not only reminds us of the pedagogical assignment at hand but also lets another possible pedagogical world announce itself.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100-120
Number of pages22
JournalEducation in the North
Volume28
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021

Keywords

  • lifeworld phenomenology
  • belonging
  • authenticity
  • presence
  • teachers’ experiences
  • online teaching and learning

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