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Distance Learning-Related Experience and Perceptions of Secondary Special Education Teachers Working at a Special School for Students with Intellectual Disabilities during the COVID-19 Pandemic

  • Journal of Special Education: Theory and Practice
  • Abbr : JSPED
  • 2021, 22(3), pp.119-150
  • DOI : 10.19049/JSPED.2021.22.3.06
  • Publisher : Research Institute of the Korea Special Education
  • Research Area : Social Science > Education
  • Received : August 11, 2021
  • Accepted : September 1, 2021
  • Published : September 30, 2021

Kwon, Hey-young 1 Ok Min Wook 2

1대구대학교 교육대학원
2대구대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

[Purpose] The purpose of this study was to investigate the overall experience and perceptions of distance learning among secondary special education teachers working at a special school for students with intellectual disabilities and identify the support needs to improve the quality of distance learning in the future. [Method] Individual in-depth interviews were conducted with eight secondary special education teachers who had taught remote classes for more than one semester at a special school for students with intellectual disabilities in Seoul. The interview data were analyzed using continuous comparative analysis. [Results] First, it was found that the teachers had no experience related to distance learning before the COVID-19 pandemic and experienced considerable pressure when using the unfamiliar teaching methods in the early stage. With the support of the school’s TF team to improve distance learning, they took various actions, such as reorganizing the curriculum, utilizing class materials, and organizing class activities, considering their students’characteristics. For most distance learning, they used digital content for students to accomplish the tasks given. Second, the teachers reported the positive aspects of distance learning, such as enhanced teacher competency related to the use and production of digital content for distance learning and the students' experience of using new technology. However, most teachers perceived the existing distance learning environment to be inappropriate for students with intellectual disabilities. Moreover, the teachers believed that for successful distance learning, it was necessary to provide training on designing distance learning course, devleop a distance learning platform, produce educational content for students with disabilities, enhance collaboration, and adopt a community approach among teachers, reinforce teachers’ digital literacy competency, and support parents experiencing a significant burden. [Conclusion] In preparation for the post-COVID-19 era, an in-depth discussion of support plans for successful distance learning for students with disabilities is needed. Also, more specific policies and standards related to distance learning are required at the Ministry of Education and school levels. The results of this study can be used as foundation data for this purpose.

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