COVID-19 capacities and Goldilocks planning: teaching and Learning convergently with the tensions and dilemmas of COVID times

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


This presentation cuts a path through Visual Art educators’ responses to the Teaching and Learning in Covid Times survey. It explores their tensions and anxieties as well as their significant flexibility and creativity as they report on their art teaching/learning experiences as they flex, pivot and plan their teaching/learning across face-to-face and online/remote learning. The presentation explores the impact of quick-change-around scheduling; relentless work hours; the need to adapt quickly to new technologies, the impact of no shared art materials and the advent of designing ‘art at home’ activities where equal access to materials and digital programs needed consideration. At the same time art teacher’s increased capacities are explored across instructional dialogue, computer skills, management of time and management of anxiety, while developing creative options for visual art experiences within a pedagogy of care.
In combination, the presentation calls on autoethnographic accounts of the presenter’s own experiences of lecturing in the visual arts during the same time period. The presentation becomes a conversation between the survey data and the presenter’s lived experience of teaching in COVID times.

As such, concepts born out of the loss of normality, the un, loss, lack that art educators feel through teaching in Covid times are explored as ‘openings’ that ‘displace meaning’ and ‘allow for slippages’ that create a newly felt ‘presence through absence’ (Springgay, Irwin and Kind, 2005, p.898). Through the hazy effect of teaching art during the lockdown, pandemic, uncertainty, the unknown path; many questions are presented for our consideration:

•What is essential to art education and what is our shared responsibility?
•How can we call on radical relatedness (Bickel, 2011) in sync with the haze of our times to prepare pre-service/art teachers for the field?
•Can “(w)e”-who-are-not-one-and the-same-but-are-in-this convergence-together” (Braidotti 2020, p.469) act collectively as art-educators?

This presentation is part of the Symposium: Surveying and resonating with Australian early childhood, inclusion, arts and higher education teacher concerns during COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic jolted teachers to the front line of complex, under-resourced negotiation of quality distance learning, whilst also being key communicators with students and families about how to be COVID safe. Media reports debated preschool and school closures and child safety, but scarcely considered teachers. Motivated by the silencing of teachers and extraordinary changes to education, a group of nine educational researchers located in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and U.S.A gathered to create a qualitative survey platform (to enable widespread access during COVID-19 restrictions) for teachers to share
their lived experiences of the impact of COVID-19 for the Teaching & Learning in COVID-19Times study. Drawing from a long tradition of narrative-based methods being employed to understand teachers’ lived experiences, we sought to create a platform to hear teacher voices and stories about their work and their lives (Elbaz-Luwisch, 2007). Our survey asked 6 demographic questions and 16 open-ended story-prompt questions. Created on Qualtrics, the survey link was distributed through education networks in early childhood education, schooling, higher education, inclusive education, literacy education and arts education that the research
team members had association with. The survey was open from the 4th May 2020 to the 30th November 2020 capturing different phases of lockdowns and school closures across nations. 624 teachers in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and the USA told their stories of their lived experiences of negotiating education in a pandemic. This symposium presents and discusses data from the Australian teacher respondents, led by the Australian team of the project.

Presentations focus on the impact on teaching across five sectors: early childhood education, inclusive education, performing arts education, visual arts education and higher education. Each paper brings different theoretical thinking to the crisis and catalyst for change whilst interweaving their lived realities of negotiating life as an educator in a pandemic.

Louise Phillips discusses the impact on early childhood teachers with attention to matters of concern as proposed by Latour (2004) and looks forward through Derrida’s pedagogy of uncertainty.

Melissa Cain and Louise Phillips discuss the impact on teachers attending to inclusion as poetic inquiry.

Susan Davis discusses the impact on performing arts teachers with a focus on the
Vygotskian concept of ‘perezhivanie’.

Geraldine Burke discusses the impact on visual arts teachers through exploration of ‘presence through absence’.

Chris Campbell, Melissa Cain and Kathryn Coleman discuss the impact on HE educators attending to technologies and relationships.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2021
EventInternational Conference of the Australian Association for Research in Education 2016 - Melbourne Cricket Ground Function Centre, Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 27 Nov 20161 Dec 2016


ConferenceInternational Conference of the Australian Association for Research in Education 2016
Abbreviated titleAARE 2016


  • art educators
  • COVID 19
  • materials
  • teaching and learning
  • making do
  • pedagogy of kindness

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