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ERIC Number: EJ1381347
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2023-Jan
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
EISSN: EISSN-1925-7147
Necessity Is the Mother of Invention: How the Need for Online Schooling Impacted Mathematics Teaching Practices and Student Engagement
Horn-Olivito, Heidi; Martinovic, Dragana; Winney, Kelly
Canadian Journal of Action Research, v23 n1 p21-42 Jan 2023
In this paper, we document elementary school teachers' attitudinal and pedagogical changes during the rapid move from brick-and-mortar to virtual schooling initiated by the COVID-19 pandemic. We administered four online surveys (in September and October 2020, and in March and June 2021) to determine teachers' perceived challenges and successes in using online technology, as well as applied mixed-methods action research to identify their approaches to teaching mathematics online. The initial challenges included gaining skills, resources, and know-hows for teaching online, and supporting students and their families in the swift transition, while also maintaining instructional goals and overcoming stress. The later challenges included dealing with workload and engaging students in learning. As their comfort with technology increased, teachers started realizing that many old pedagogies were either impossible or inadequate in the online environment, and they began to innovate with virtual classrooms that encompassed students' homes, parents, and the outdoors. Mathematics manipulatives were found in the kitchen and measurements were done in the home or during walks outside. Mathematics concepts became more real-life centered, and learning became more playful and problem-oriented. Technology helped to create and sustain learning communities, and exposed student thinking at their comfort level. For some students, this approach worked better than brick-and-mortar schools; for most teachers, it created opportunities to provide and receive feedback differently, collaborate widely, reinvent their practice, and contribute to changing norms. We conclude by providing suggestions for moving forward.
Canadian Association for Action Research in Education. 260 Dalhousie Street Suite 204, Ottawa, ON KIN 7E4, Canada. Tel: 705-474-3450; Fax: 705-474-1947; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A