COVID-19 lockdowns forced universities to deliver classes wholly online, resulting in various impacts on higher teacher education institutions (TEIs) that were differently prepared for such a change. However, few studies have explored the impact of the pandemic on the shift of early childhood teacher education programs to online delivery, especially from a cross-national comparative perspective. To address this gap, this study compared how early childhood teacher educators (ECTEs) in one Australian and one Chinese TEI viewed and coped with the challenges caused by online teaching during the lockdowns. A total of 14 ECTEs participated in this triangulated qualitative study: six from the Australian TEI and eight from the Chinese TEI. Thematic analysis was used to analyze the research data. The results indicated that the Australian ECTEs were better prepared for online education than their Chinese counterparts regarding proficiency and advance in using online teaching platforms, trying different kinds of teaching styles, and their online teaching skills, literacy, and competence. However, the coded data showed that the participant Australian and Chinese ECTEs shared similar views on the negative impact of the change, such as producing ineffective interaction, broken social-emotional connections, heavier workloads, and drained staff. The findings suggest that TEIs from Australia and China need to develop contextually appropriate strategies and innovative solutions to cope with the lockdown challenges. Copyright © 2022 by the authors.
CitationKan, L., Degotardi, S., & Li, H. (2022). Similar impact, different readiness: A comparative study of the impact of COVID-19 on ECTE practice. Sustainability, 14(21), Article 14078. https://doi.org/10.3390/su142114078
- Online teaching preparation
- Country-comparative study
- COVID-19 impact
- Early childhood teacher education practice