Due to closed schools, a loss of 74 days of learning per student has been estimated worldwide (Save the Children, 2021) translated into a failure to develop cognitive skills that could reduce students' future labour income by 3% and a country's GDP by 1.5% for the rest of the century (UNESCO, UNICEF & World Bank, 2020). The measures to fight and contain the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic adopted in Italy during the first pandemic wave were the first in Europe to force the entire national population to be confined to their homes (lockdown) for about 60 days. According to this, any schools have been closed until the end of the school year. In particular, an emergency switch from a traditional face-to-face learning (FFL) mode to a distance learning (DL) mode, without previously explored and tested emergency paths and procedures, was asked to the Italian educational system. In parallel, it is being observed both how learning losses are more concentrated among less educated and low-income families (Engzell et al., 2021; Save the Children, 2021) and how the school closures and then distance learning (DL) exposes students who already tend to fall behind in schooling to greater risk; therefore, DL is further exacerbating the gap caused by socio-economic and ethnic status in learning outcomes (Parolin and Lee, 2021). Besides this position, there is also those who optimistically seek to interpret the impact of Covid-19 as an opportunity to rethink schools in terms of “bastions of social mobility”, provided that educational equity comes through an evidence-based rethinking of approaches to pedagogy, curriculum and assessment (Chapman and Bell, 2020). According to this critical scenario, the present work, whose first national-level results have been published (Lucisano, 2020), arises from the efforts activated by SIRD - the Italian scientific society of educational research - during the first lockdown period caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, to analyse the professional experience of teachers of all school levels, suddenly forced to adapt their teaching from a traditional mode to a DL mode. The aim guiding the present observational study was to investigate the role played by difficulties (with DL, colleagues/supervisor, and parents) and collaboration (with organisational and management structure, parents, and class teachers colleagues) factors on teachers' perceptions of “missing students” (students who have not attended/ have not been able to attend DL and students who have attended them intermittently) during the first lockdown in different school grades (kindergarten, primary school, middle school, high school). A target of about 16,000 Italian school teachers was reached by a data collection that took place from April to June 2020 through an online questionnaire disseminated with the cooperation of the teachers' associations and their representatives. Results show that critical and protective factors perceived by teachers affect differently the perception of “missing students”. In particular, it can be observed that in kindergarten it is difficulties with the parents that predict “missing students” perception, while in the other grades it is mainly affected by difficulties related to the DL. On the other hand, the collaboration with parents represents a protective factor in kindergarten and primary school teachers, while in secondary school this protection role is played by collaboration with school organisation and management structure.

WHERE ARE MY STUDENTS? DISTANCE LEARNING AND DROP-OUT DURING THE FIRST ITALIAN LOCKDOWN DUE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

Aurora Ricci;Andrea Ciani
2022

Abstract

Due to closed schools, a loss of 74 days of learning per student has been estimated worldwide (Save the Children, 2021) translated into a failure to develop cognitive skills that could reduce students' future labour income by 3% and a country's GDP by 1.5% for the rest of the century (UNESCO, UNICEF & World Bank, 2020). The measures to fight and contain the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic adopted in Italy during the first pandemic wave were the first in Europe to force the entire national population to be confined to their homes (lockdown) for about 60 days. According to this, any schools have been closed until the end of the school year. In particular, an emergency switch from a traditional face-to-face learning (FFL) mode to a distance learning (DL) mode, without previously explored and tested emergency paths and procedures, was asked to the Italian educational system. In parallel, it is being observed both how learning losses are more concentrated among less educated and low-income families (Engzell et al., 2021; Save the Children, 2021) and how the school closures and then distance learning (DL) exposes students who already tend to fall behind in schooling to greater risk; therefore, DL is further exacerbating the gap caused by socio-economic and ethnic status in learning outcomes (Parolin and Lee, 2021). Besides this position, there is also those who optimistically seek to interpret the impact of Covid-19 as an opportunity to rethink schools in terms of “bastions of social mobility”, provided that educational equity comes through an evidence-based rethinking of approaches to pedagogy, curriculum and assessment (Chapman and Bell, 2020). According to this critical scenario, the present work, whose first national-level results have been published (Lucisano, 2020), arises from the efforts activated by SIRD - the Italian scientific society of educational research - during the first lockdown period caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, to analyse the professional experience of teachers of all school levels, suddenly forced to adapt their teaching from a traditional mode to a DL mode. The aim guiding the present observational study was to investigate the role played by difficulties (with DL, colleagues/supervisor, and parents) and collaboration (with organisational and management structure, parents, and class teachers colleagues) factors on teachers' perceptions of “missing students” (students who have not attended/ have not been able to attend DL and students who have attended them intermittently) during the first lockdown in different school grades (kindergarten, primary school, middle school, high school). A target of about 16,000 Italian school teachers was reached by a data collection that took place from April to June 2020 through an online questionnaire disseminated with the cooperation of the teachers' associations and their representatives. Results show that critical and protective factors perceived by teachers affect differently the perception of “missing students”. In particular, it can be observed that in kindergarten it is difficulties with the parents that predict “missing students” perception, while in the other grades it is mainly affected by difficulties related to the DL. On the other hand, the collaboration with parents represents a protective factor in kindergarten and primary school teachers, while in secondary school this protection role is played by collaboration with school organisation and management structure.
EDULEARN22 Proceedings
9591
9595
Aurora Ricci; Andrea Ciani
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/893047
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