Elementary Science Teachers Adapt Their Practice During a Pandemic

Tammy Dutton Lee, Mark Newton and Bonnie Glass, East Carolina University



The COVID-19 global pandemic created new challenges for teachers and school systems as teachers were forced to rapidly transition to remote learning using new digital tools and resources. Teaching elementary science in “normal times” is challenging due to issues involving teacher preparation, limited access to materials and lack of administrative support due to emphasis on tested subjects, among others.  Using reform-based, inquiry practices is challenging when teaching science face-to-face and even more so in an online environment. Compounded with issues of access and equity, teachers faced many problems with moving elementary science instruction online due to COVID-19. This study reports on the experiences of 10 early career teachers who were graduates of a specialized elementary science concentration. Teachers reflect on the challenges faced, how they adapted, and how they designed new learning contexts to teach science. Teachers report on resources they found beneficial, assess needs for the future, and explain how they worked to maintain a sense of community for their students during this unprecedented critical time.


Science, Teacher Innovation, Pandemic

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Elementary Science Teachers Adapt Their Practice During a Pandemic


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