COVID-19 school closure as opportunity:

how experiences of remote education relate to teachers´ self-efficacy beliefs

Resumen/Abstract: COVID-19 school closures have changed the educational process as teaching worldwide abruptly transferred to a distance-learning format. In this process, the availability of ICT infrastructure became an essential resource, while socio-economic inequalities intensified. Despite the challenges encountered, the COVID-19 crisis also implied potential opportunities for acquiring new skills and experiences that may nurture teachers´ self-efficacy beliefs, an essential variable for teacher motivation and educational success. Building on the case of Uruguay, we employed an email-based survey in a nationally representative sample of n=725 urban primary school teachers aged 22 – 68 years (M=41.68; SD=9.49), 3 months into home-confinement (response rate 33.4%). We evaluated student engagement, teacher´s perceived acquired skills and feelings of personal accomplishment during distance education and how these variables associate with teacher self-efficacy, while accounting for school SES and teachers´ ICT infrastructure. ANOVA results show SES differences only for student engagement. Teachers´ ICT infrastructure correlates weakly with acquired skills and feelings of personal accomplishment. A stepwise regression analysis identified feelings of personal accomplishment, newly acquired skills and student engagement as significant predictors of teacher self-efficacy. Teachers´ ICT infrastructure and school socioeconomic level did not contribute to the model, which explained 26% of the observed variance. Our study provides insight on how unprecedented emergency school closures became an opportunity for learning new skills, feeling accomplished and engage with students despite difficult circumstances. We suggest strategies for enhancing TSE as a means for strengthening educational responses in the continuation and aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis.

Investigadores: Mels, Cindy (Departamento de Educación, UCU); Urruticoechea, Alar (Departamento de Neurociencia y Aprendizaje, UCU) y Cuevasanta, Diego (Facultad de Psicología, UdelaR)

Datos adicionales: Este estudio fue financiado por una beca otorgada por la Agencia Nacional de Investigación e Innovación y la Fundación Centro Ceibal para el Estudio de las Tecnologías Digitales en la Educación (Código nº FSED_2_2018_1_150661). Los datos se recopilaron en colaboración con el Centro Ceibal para el Apoyo a la Educación de la Niñez y la Adolescencia.

Contacto: Cindy Mels (