Transitioning to K-12 Blended Teaching: Overcoming Barriers in Pre-COVID Practice
Abstract: The competencies and skills for post-pandemic blended teaching will more closely resemble pre-Coronavirus conditions than the outbreak’s emergency remote teaching. Thus the barriers and enablers for teachers desiring to transition to a blended setting after experiencing emergency remote teaching will be similar to those faced by early adopters of blended teaching. Previous research grappling with K-12 blended teaching has sporadically identified external barriers on state, school, and classroom levels, as well as some barriers internal to teachers. Our research analyzed 62 interviews of K-12 teachers with blended classrooms to discover the factors that enabled them to blend, stood as barriers to their initial and continuing efforts to blend, and helped them overcome the barriers they faced. Barriers found included, among others, teachers seeing costs as outweighing the benefits of blending, lack of administrative support, and teacher-perceived student characteristics. Enablers included teachers’ willingness to experiment, cohort support, and various teacher and student benefits. Implications for research and practice are discussed.