The German study KWiK (Continuity and Change in Schools in Times of Crisis) has been administered since 2020 to research how schools and teachers have dealt with the school disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and how schools responded to the increased need for digital solutions to accommodate remote learning.
The results from the second cycle of the study are now available and summarized in an online brochure focusing on two main aspects: the efforts to upskill teachers to qualify for the new challenges brought on by the pandemic and schools’ perceptions of the particular needs of their students.
The brochure highlights the following findings:
- Digitalization of schools has improved significantly, with more digital devices available and increased WLAN capacities.
- However, the glass is only half full. For example, digital devices for teachers were not always provided.
- While teacher training on digitalization has increased, informal teacher training (such as peer-to-peer) seems to be more prevalent than formal teacher training in this area.
- Teachers reported that student achievement has decreased during COVID-19 disruptions. Secondary teachers especially reported increased differences between different groups of students.
- Students’ needs for support were majorly seen for non-native speakers in the German language, followed by support in physical education/sports, as well as psychological and social support.
- Support programs were mostly conducted during the summer break and through temporary programs – mostly for students with lower achievement and non-native German-speaking students.
- Two-thirds of the surveyed teachers reported having been exhausted and overloaded during the pandemic. This was related to challenges with the digital infrastructure rather than the teachers’ age or gender.
In the KWiK study coordinated by IEA, the Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education in Kiel (IPN), and the University of Hamburg, school principals and teachers were surveyed in two waves so far. Almost 800 schools took part in the study in early autumn 2020 and 260 in summer 2021.
The third cycle of the KWiK survey is currently underway. It focuses on crisis management, including the crisis experiences triggered by the war in Ukraine.