An investigation of emergency virtual observation (EVO) in initial teacher education, in Australia and Ireland during the COVID-19 pandemic
Ó Grádaigh, Seán
Mac Mahon, Brendan
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Ó Grádaigh, Seán, Connolly, Cornelia, Mac Mahon, Brendan, Agnew, Annie, & Poole, Warren. (2021). An investigation of emergency virtual observation (EVO) in initial teacher education, in Australia and Ireland during the COVID-19 pandemic. Irish Educational Studies, doi:10.1080/03323315.2021.1916561
When the World Health Organisation declared the novel Coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic, a change occurred across all levels of the educational landscape. It posed specific challenges in the context of initial teacher education (ITE) and inhibited teacher educators from physically observing pre-service teachers’ lessons on school placement. However, developments in virtual live-streaming technology facilitate student teachers’ lessons being observed by teacher educators in real-time without the need to visit schools. This paper reports on a study conducted in Ireland and Australia in the context of COVID-19 to evaluate emergency virtual observation (EVO) during school placement. Contextualised within teacher education in two University settings, the experience of EVO for a cohort of pre-service teachers and school placement tutors is explored. Findings present affordances and challenges, offering direction for initial teacher education school placement observation in a post-COVID era.