Teaching K–8 Science Through Distance Learning: Specific Challenges and Successes During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated existing inequitable access to quality science education as teachers taught dramatically less science after school closures, particularly science that strongly fulfills the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). In particular, teachers struggled to implement key features of the NGSS related to investigations and experiments.
This brief describes challenges teachers experienced teaching K–8 science through distance learning and explains how teaching conditions during the pandemic affected the specific types of instruction that are consistent with the intent of the NGSS. The brief also presents a variety of successes by teachers and districts, and it concludes with recommendations and reasons for districts to support science, even during a pandemic.
A companion brief, Teaching K–8 Science Through Distance Learning: Overall Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic, details the study’s research methodology and outlines findings that relate to the impact of pandemic closures on key aspects of high-quality science instruction.
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