Developmentally Appropriate K-3 Online Learning: Teacher Preparation and Professional Development Needs During the Pandemic
Abstract: Research in the last five years indicates that most K-3 educators in the U.S. have taken technology courses during teacher training and after graduating through school district professional development programs. With the COVID-19 pandemic, most K-3 teachers grappled with transitioning their traditional teaching methods to online learning environments with young children. Using a K-3 online needs assessment survey, this study gathered and examined K-3 educators’ strengths and needs with online teaching and learning. Findings reveal that most teachers had used online technology tools with young children in the classroom; however, there is a general lack of effective online design strategies and pedagogy knowledge to deliver developmentally appropriate instruction for online and remote learning environments. Recommendations encourage K-3 teacher professional development and teacher preparation programs to integrate elements of online pedagogy adapted to meet developmentally appropriate practices.