The lockdown forced us to switch from a face-to-face to a distance education, prompting us to rethink the learning and teaching processes. The digital inequality (Hargittai, Hsieh, 2013) exacerbated the disadvantages of students who were already vulnerable, as students with disabilities or difficulties also due to educational poverty. Moreover, this emergency highlighted some critical issues that have long been afflicting the learning support at school, as the precariousness of educational networks. For this reason, we designed an explorative qualitative project (Lumbelli, 1984) involving both students and teachers and educators, based on the theoretical framework of Social Justice Education according to Cochran Smith (2004), who suggests a theory of justice for Teacher Education connecting the distributive justice with the political struggles against disparities and inequities. Support teachers and educators involved, who work from Primary to Secondary School in a wide area around Milan and Monza-Brianza, are also students who are attending at the University of Milano-Bicocca; so, we availed ourselves of a Student Voice approach (Grion, Cook-Sather, 2013) with a twofold significance, aimed at both students and student-workers, which guaranteed the right to express themselves and participate in redesigning and evaluate learning and teaching processes. Interviews were conducted and videorecorded, with consents, on digital platforms following two non directive semi-structured trials, validated by the research team. 13 student-workers were interviewed by researchers, to explore their representations about some key concepts (fragility and inclusion) and their reflections on distance teaching and their professional role. Student-workers in turn interviewed their pupils (13 in all, with Italian or non-Italian citizenship, with learning disabilities, behavioral and emotional disorders, language problems, family discomfort), to collect their memories before the lockdown and their ideas and emotions about the distance learning. These interviews were conceived as in-depth relationships (Tusini, 2006) capable of triggering a process of self-reflection especially in student-workers, who thus experienced research as training path and internship practice. It configured itself as a Service Research with methodological contaminations between research and training (Asquini, 2018; Bove, 2015), which refers to the frame of field experiences in Teacher Education as proposed by Zeichner (2010) through the Third Space Theory, which explores the spaces in-between two or more educational contexts or experiences (both offline and online). So educational third spaces are hybrid spaces that configure themselves as zones of continual negotiation and transformation, with a reciprocal approach between “knowledge creator” and “knowledge receiver” (Hallman, 2012). Preliminary results show a re-designing of the learning environment, bringing out categories such as issues related to a bad wi-fi connection, the self-consciousness of own learning processes, the ease of access to lessons, a rethinking of the autonomy and the role of playing in learning. The school emerges as a place of life: according to the practitioners’ testimonies, the distance denied the role of the body and authentic relationships. In particular, this first analysis highlights a fragility not only of people, but also of educational contexts, projecting us towards an ecological perspective.

Zecca, L., Cotza, V. (2020). From Distance Education to fragile contexts: a student voice research in the third space. In A.L.M. L. Gómez Chova (a cura di), ICERI2020 Proceedings (pp. 3201-3211). IATED Academy [10.21125/iceri.2020].

From Distance Education to fragile contexts: a student voice research in the third space

Zecca, L
;
Cotza, V
2020

Abstract

The lockdown forced us to switch from a face-to-face to a distance education, prompting us to rethink the learning and teaching processes. The digital inequality (Hargittai, Hsieh, 2013) exacerbated the disadvantages of students who were already vulnerable, as students with disabilities or difficulties also due to educational poverty. Moreover, this emergency highlighted some critical issues that have long been afflicting the learning support at school, as the precariousness of educational networks. For this reason, we designed an explorative qualitative project (Lumbelli, 1984) involving both students and teachers and educators, based on the theoretical framework of Social Justice Education according to Cochran Smith (2004), who suggests a theory of justice for Teacher Education connecting the distributive justice with the political struggles against disparities and inequities. Support teachers and educators involved, who work from Primary to Secondary School in a wide area around Milan and Monza-Brianza, are also students who are attending at the University of Milano-Bicocca; so, we availed ourselves of a Student Voice approach (Grion, Cook-Sather, 2013) with a twofold significance, aimed at both students and student-workers, which guaranteed the right to express themselves and participate in redesigning and evaluate learning and teaching processes. Interviews were conducted and videorecorded, with consents, on digital platforms following two non directive semi-structured trials, validated by the research team. 13 student-workers were interviewed by researchers, to explore their representations about some key concepts (fragility and inclusion) and their reflections on distance teaching and their professional role. Student-workers in turn interviewed their pupils (13 in all, with Italian or non-Italian citizenship, with learning disabilities, behavioral and emotional disorders, language problems, family discomfort), to collect their memories before the lockdown and their ideas and emotions about the distance learning. These interviews were conceived as in-depth relationships (Tusini, 2006) capable of triggering a process of self-reflection especially in student-workers, who thus experienced research as training path and internship practice. It configured itself as a Service Research with methodological contaminations between research and training (Asquini, 2018; Bove, 2015), which refers to the frame of field experiences in Teacher Education as proposed by Zeichner (2010) through the Third Space Theory, which explores the spaces in-between two or more educational contexts or experiences (both offline and online). So educational third spaces are hybrid spaces that configure themselves as zones of continual negotiation and transformation, with a reciprocal approach between “knowledge creator” and “knowledge receiver” (Hallman, 2012). Preliminary results show a re-designing of the learning environment, bringing out categories such as issues related to a bad wi-fi connection, the self-consciousness of own learning processes, the ease of access to lessons, a rethinking of the autonomy and the role of playing in learning. The school emerges as a place of life: according to the practitioners’ testimonies, the distance denied the role of the body and authentic relationships. In particular, this first analysis highlights a fragility not only of people, but also of educational contexts, projecting us towards an ecological perspective.
Capitolo o saggio
Qualitative research, distance learning, fragility, Student Voice, Teacher Education.
English
ICERI2020 Proceedings
978-84-09-24232-0
Zecca, L., Cotza, V. (2020). From Distance Education to fragile contexts: a student voice research in the third space. In A.L.M. L. Gómez Chova (a cura di), ICERI2020 Proceedings (pp. 3201-3211). IATED Academy [10.21125/iceri.2020].
Zecca, L; Cotza, V
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10281/298910
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