The pandemic around the world changed the way people have been living, including educational settings. The surprising impetus of change on teaching and learning in schools, as well as in the academia was new. It entailed an uncertain and unstable reality for students and teachers, based significantly on social distancing. Moreover, students, teachers, and educators, with no time to adjust and without proper planning, adapted themselves to a variety of digital tools for the purpose of maintaining as much as possible the routine in virtual spaces. We, at the Faculty of Education, at Levinsky College, a well-known and established teacher education college in Israel, felt the need for documenting this transformation focusing mainly on challenges and obstacles in pre-service teacher training during the crisis. We assumed that it may effectively contribute to the newest corpus of knowledge and evidence about teacher education in a time of pandemic. In this respect, we invited lecturers and pedagogical instructors to share their experiences, thoughts, challenges and successes for a book called “Teacher Education in a Reality of a World Crisis – The Narrative of a Faculty of Education in a Teacher Education College”. Learning through sharing was one of this books’ significant priorities. The book assimilates an organizational auto-ethnographic methodology (Boyle and Parry, 2007). This method allows us to understand the options, as well as the unresolved challenges that the pandemic has brought into the faculty as a whole organization. The empirical and reflective chapters illustrate the effects the lockdowns and the shift to online teaching and learning had on students, teachers, principals, pre-service teachers, and teacher educators. Thus, classic as well as new terms, are presented in an authentic way. For example: hybrid learning spaces, blended learning, synchronous and asynchronous courses, social-emotional learning models, parent-teacher relationships and issues of social justice and social status of school subjects. In this respect, the book demonstrates that shifting to online training have been implemented very quickly. Nevertheless, it has been very challenging for all the partners and stakeholders. on the one hand, the Faculty of Education staff responded in a reactive manner. On the other hand, they presented bottom-up aspirations, proactive solutions, and creative initiatives for coping with the challenges that they faced. The stressful and hectic phase of the crisis has swiftly turned into a survival mode and, from there, to a consolidated creative educational and pedagogical settings. In the conference we will demonstrate representative example of teacher educator who serves also as pedagogical mentor. The narrative exposes perceptions, values and considerations that have directed her throughout the crisis: agility, containment, optimism, and concern for the mental well-being of her students. It displays that human inspiration, initiatives, and personal relationships are needed to generate great changes in education systems. To be a teacher implies expressing empathy and care under any condition and situation. This humanistic irreplaceable essence of the teaching profession was clearly manifested by the faculty’s book.

Authors: Orit Broza, Michaela Kadury-Slezak, Liat Biberman-Shalev, Dorit Patkin

Published in: Ireland International Conference on Education (IICE-2022)

  • Date of Conference: 26-28 April 2022
  • DOI: 10.20533/IICE.2022.0019
  • ISBN: 978-1-913572-46-4
  • Conference Location: Virtual (Dún Laoghaire, Ireland)