So this is a French language report that was brought to our attention due to an article with the title “Online education is harmful, according to FPEP-CSQ study.” Now before we provide the information about the study in question, let’s examine what the study was based on.
1. After the COVID-19 pandemic, distance education should never be favored because it has a huge impact on children and teachers.
So the study wasn’t actually looking at distance education or online learning – it was looking at the emergency remote learning and remote learning that occurred over the past 14 months. Basically, what they are saying is that the type of learning described below should not be favoured – and we would agree.
In contrast to experiences that are planned from the beginning and designed to be online, emergency remote teaching is a temporary shift of instructional delivery to an alternate delivery mode due to crisis circumstances. It involves the use of fully remote teaching solutions for instruction or education that would otherwise be delivered primarily face-to-face and that will return to that format once the crisis or emergency has abated. The primary objective in these circumstances is not to re-create a robust educational ecosystem but rather to provide temporary access to instruction and instructional supports in a manner that is quick to set up and is reliably available during an emergency or crisis. When we understand emergency remote teaching in this manner, we can start to divorce it from “online learning.” (Barbour et al., 2020, p. 6)
Of course something that is temporary, only due to the crisis circumstances, and will be abandoned as soon as the crisis or emergency has abated that isn’t designed to re-create a robust educational ecosystem but rather to provide temporary access to instruction and instructional supports in a manner that is quick to set up and is reliably available during an emergency or crisis should not be favoured. Any one who argues otherwise is sadly misinformed! The fact that these authors needed to conduct a study, and someone provided financial support for that study, is the only real amazing part of this whole issue.
2. This is the conclusion of a study by the Federation of Private Education Personnel (FPEP), affiliated with the Centrale des unions du Québec (CSQ).
We have said this before – many times, but it continues to be the most misunderstood aspect of the whole education discussion. The purpose of a union is to protect the interest of its members. Teachers were not trained as a part of their university preparation to teach at a distance. The vast majority of teachers have not and were not provided professional development with how to teach at a distance. While many school board have equipped schools, teachers and students with technology; that technology was not focused on equipping classrooms for distance or hybrid delivery or on the tools teachers would need to teach at a distance. In this case teachers are the members of this union. Of course the union is going to be against a method of educational delivery that their members were not provided adequate training or resources to undertake. The pilots’ union would be against an airline introducing a new plane into their fleet that none of their existing pilots new how to fly, which was significantly different to operate than all of the planes in their existing fleet. Again, any one who understands the purpose of a union would understand this. Unfortunately, this nuance it generally lost on the media – and politicians too for that matter.
3. The FPEP study was carried out with 17 affiliated unions in a format of interviews with members of the teaching and support staff.
Do we need to say it again? Teachers were not trained as a part of their university preparation to teach at a distance. The vast majority of teachers have not and were not provided professional development with how to teach at a distance. While many school board have equipped schools, teachers and students with technology; that technology was not focused on equipping classrooms for distance or hybrid delivery or on the tools teachers would need to teach at a distance. Of course they’d be against it. When you were a teenager you practiced for your driver’s test on your family car. You’d have a negative opinion of the test and the testers if they made you take your driver test on an 18-wheel transport truck in a densely populated urban context! Any one should understand this point.
So what you have is a study that asks a bunch of people who weren’t prepared to do something, how they felt that something compared to what they normally do, when they were forced to do that something against their will – and here is what that study found…
May 30, 2021
The screen disconnects us …
The FPEP-CSQ launches a media offensive against distance education
Montreal, May 30, 2021. – On the theme “The screen disconnects us, distance education has consequences”, the Federation of Private Education Personnel (FPEP-CSQ) is launching an offensive against the Minister of ‘Education, Jean-François Roberge, and the Federation of Private Educational Institutions (FEEP) so that they agree to mark out and limit the use of this practice.
The vice-president of the FPEP-CSQ, Marie-Josée Dallaire, specifies that her union federation wishes to quickly meet the Minister of Education as well as the management of the FEEP in order to inform them of the conclusions of the investigation into the distance education and measures that it is hoped will be adopted to regulate distance education.
“The health crisis plunged us overnight into distance education, without our having been able to think about ways of doing things and the possible impacts on both students and staff. Now is the time to learn lessons from this forced shift towards distance education before some institutions make the mistake of standardizing an approach that was supposed to be exceptional, ”explains Marie-Josée Dallaire.
A remedy that must remain exceptional
The FPEP-CSQ therefore intends to ask the Minister of Education to define and limit the use of distance education and to resist the multiple pretexts encouraging him to use it. “Our survey clearly shows that distance education has multiple consequences for students and education personnel. In this context, it should only be allowed in the case of exceptional circumstances, such as a pandemic. Otherwise, the Minister must stipulate that priority must be given at all times to traditional classroom education in the interests of student success and to guarantee fair, reasonable and humane working conditions for education personnel ”, to say the vice-president of the FPEP-CSQ.
Guidelines required from the Minister of Education
The FPEP-CSQ will therefore urge Minister Jean-François Roberge to take a position on this issue so that he sets out clear guidelines for the next school year.
“We do not exclude all use of technologies in education, far from it. But the experience of the last year has shown us that we should not take the path of distance education for just any reason or to please everyone’s demands, because it leads us to a dead end. As paradoxical as it may seem, distance education has the effect of disconnecting teachers and students and breaking a precious bond that promotes learning, ”argues Marie-Josée Dallaire.
The union leader ends by mentioning that we must therefore continue to seek together to find out and document the conditions under which technologies can have a positive impact on students’ academic engagement and success.
– 30 –
Profile of the FPEP-CSQ
The Federation of Private Education Personnel (FPEP-CSQ) has some 3,000 members in 48 unions and working in some 42 elementary, secondary and college schools in 10 regions of Quebec.
Cell. : 514 237-4432
We haven’t been able to find the full research report on their website, but we did find this…
THE SCREEN DISCONNECTS US: DISTANCE EDUCATION HAS CONSEQUENCES.
The urgency to act!
Urgent action is needed on this issue, while a survey of FPEP-CSQ members clearly shows that distance education is not without consequences for students and staff.
The study was conducted over the past few months with 41 people, teachers and support staff working in private primary and secondary schools.
10 findings revealing the consequences of distance education on students and education personnel.
With the aim of initiating a reflection on the quality of student learning in the context of distance education, of detailing the transformation of the task among members, and of documenting the effects on working conditions, ten main findings emerge from this research:
- The teaching staff had to make a considerable effort to guarantee pedagogical continuity at a distance.
- Technology has not motivated students as much as research claims.
- Students need a lot of autonomy to follow.
- Classroom management has multiple consequences for academic success.
- The erosion of the teacher-student relationship is alarming.
- The task becomes heavier, becomes more complex to the point of generating a serious feeling of incompetence.
- Communications are duplicated and fragmented.
- Few establishments have imposed a code of conduct on parents and students who use technological platforms and tools for disseminating distance education.
- Overexposure to the screen creates a general feeling of fatigue.
- There is no longer a line between professional and personal life.
Let us campaign to mark out and limit the use of distance education!
Let us learn from the forced shift towards distance education.
Let us campaign to mark out and limit its use to exceptional circumstances (pandemic, for example), and thus guarantee fair and humane working conditions for education personnel.
To access research highlights, click here: Distance education has consequences
Did you miss the press conference presenting the research results? https://www.facebook.com/fpepcsq/videos/203462871597070/