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Teaching in a Third Space during COVID-19 Lockdowns

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Researchers from the University of Aberdeen will discuss their study on teaching during COVID-19 lockdowns as part of the Hibernia College Research Webinar Series. Dr Rachel Shanks, Aloyise Mulligan, Katrina Foy and Dr David Johnston will present the findings of their recent study, which addressed the evolving space of social dynamics in education made manifest through the COVID-19 pandemic. The webinar will take place on 28 September.

COVID-19 Lockdowns and Teaching

COVID-19 lockdowns changed not just teachers’ pedagogy but also when, where, and by whom learning was delivered. Bhabha’s ‘third space’ (1994) gives a way of re-imagining these new spaces (both physical and virtual). The study points to the importance of two-way communication between home and school, and how third spaces using online technologies could bring home and school funds of knowledge closer together.

Technology and Teaching

The researchers discuss their recent study with nine educators in Scotland, conducted via email and semi-structured interviews. Technology played a key role in how this third space was mediated. The research findings show participants’ emotional highs and lows of working within this new space. They also show teachers’ changing perceptions of children and families and how power relations evolved over the lockdown periods. Technology facilitated the emergency response, but questions remain as to what the legacy of this forced shift will be.

Research Group

The four researchers Dr Rachel Shanks, Aloyise Mulligan, Katrina Foy and Dr David Johnston are colleagues in the School of Education at the University of Aberdeen. Rachel is a registered member of the Scottish Standards Council for Community Learning and Development, and Aloyise, Katrina and David are all registered members of the General Teaching Council of Scotland. Their research interests have intersected in this study as it covers digital technologies, power relations, third space and pedagogy.

This presentation is part of a series of research-focused webinars hosted by Dr Kevin Myers for Hibernia College students and faculty who are exploring research in the field of education, particularly the importance of research in the contemporary classroom. Read more about the previous Research Webinar Series presentation.

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