An Ethnographic Study on the Adaptation Process of Mathematics Teachers to Distance Education
Keywords:Mathematics teachers during the pandemic, distance education, ethnographic study
In this study, distance education practices of mathematics teachers during the COVID-19 epidemic period are examined with an ethnographic approach. The first-hand data were obtained and interpreted without affecting the natural environment about what mathematics teachers did and thought during the distance education applications. The study was initiated with 6 graduate students who took the MTE5100 Research in Mathematics Education course in the Fall Semester 2020-2021. A total of 19 mathematics teachers from 5 different provinces together with these six graduate students who are also the authors of this study constitute the social group of this ethnographic study. Since these six graduate students are also teachers, they conducted the fieldwork as natural members of the social group whose culture, experiences, perceptions and evaluations will be examined. Due to the nature of the ethnographic study, data were collected by six participant-observer graduate students over 12 weeks through interviews, observations, field notes and documents. Content analysis method was used in the analysis of the data. As a result of the content analysis, the data were interpreted under 5 main themes as teacher, student, technology, parent, assessment and evaluation. Teachers mostly addressed the issue of students' participation in the lesson as a problem in the virtual environment. In addition, it has been revealed that teachers have limitations in enriching the virtual environment in terms of teaching and learning mathematics using appropriate technologies and pedagogies. Many teachers also expressed their concerns about parent support and assessment and evaluation. Considering that distance education as an effective alternative method in the changing world, not only during epidemic periods, but also in other possible situations that may occur in the future, in this regard, the importance of educating teachers emerges in both theoretically and practically. In this respect, this study presents a detailed information of the process and puts light on the future course of distance education.