Shifting the delivery but keeping the focus: A reflection on ensuring quality teacher preparation during a pandemic
There is a strong focus to connect theory with practice in initial teacher education (ITE). This discussion paper explores how we shifted teaching modes and assessment tasks in light of the Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19) when digital technologies were unexpectedly catapulted to the main delivery mode for the preparation of future teachers. During this time, connecting theory to authentic practice became a complicated issue. Globally, teacher educators were faced with the challenge of providing authentic learning opportunities for ITE without the ability to be physically present in school and classroom environments. Tertiary institutions were swiftly and unprecedently required to re-think and re-imagine their pedagogical practices. This change affected the self-efficacy and confidence of many academics who were underprepared for this major shift in teaching as they created, transitioned and implemented online material for their students under strict timelines. Our reflections in this paper present a guide and example for others to follow.
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