Education in crises times: Lessons from an online practicum from the experiences of preservice early childhood teachers
Nada Zal AlWadaani
Prince Sattam bin Abdulaziz University, AlKharj, Saudi Arabia.
Keywords: Creativity, Crises, Engaging learning, Isolation, Online practicum, Preservice early childhood teachers, Social practice.
The world is witnessing increased crises affecting education worldwide, such as health and natural crises. Recently, the world was challenged by the appearance of the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused national and international closure. Thus, learning and teaching shifted quickly to online teaching and assessment. The impact of this sudden shift on preservice Early Childhood (EC) teachers' practicums still needs to be discovered, especially with the insufficient preparation for online learning. This study aimed to explore the experiences and listen to the voices of preservice EC teachers about online practicum. There is little known about how preservice teachers experienced online practicums. How did they feel about them? What are the advantages and disadvantages? Were there any challenges faced? Thus, the study objectives focused mainly on shedding light on preservice EC teachers' experiences and bringing their voices to the forefront. This qualitative research study focuses on three preservice EC teachers who were suddenly forced into online practicum. The results showed that, despite the advantages of online practicums, participants experienced a mix of negative feelings. A primary recommendation was made to draw the attention of education policymakers that teaching is a social practice and emphasized the importance of providing an interactive and engaging online learning environment.