This article provides a vignette to exemplify how the training of teachers in primary schools in England was adapted in one context during the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the key challenges HEIs and Schools faced was how to continue to assess the practicum of trainee teachers whilst trying to maintain the integrity of classroom ’bubbles’. A fast change in practice occurred with recommendation from the Department for Education (DfE, 2020) that observations could be made face-to-face if risk assessed and COVID-19 safety measures were in place. Observations could be remote using a digital platform or other suitable technology to capture practicum at a distance. Alternatively, practicum could be ‘unseen’ with pre- and post- observation discussions with mentors from HEIs. The latter option left the school-based mentors picking up most of the observational workload in schools. Given the global crisis that unfolded from early 2019 the workload was unmanageable for most schools. This article concludes that the use of video provides a rich observation opportunity that does not degrade the quality of observation of trainee teachers. It is proposed that policy and practice beyond the pandemic considers maintaining live video observation as an example of good practice, and offers practical steps on how this methodology for observation can be deployed in other teacher training settings across the World.
Dockerty, K. (2022). Training teachers during the COVID-19 pandemic: using live video for observation of practicum. Research on Education and Media, 14(2), 15-21. https://doi.org/10.2478/rem-2022-0017