The Opinion of Slovene (Mother Tongue) Teachers on Distance Learning in Primary Schools
The Slovene language has several roles in the educational process in the Republic of Slovenia, including its role as a subject in the curriculum in its own right. It is a basic general education subject in public primary schools and has the most hours of all of the subjects. All teachers were forced to teach remotely for the first time in the history of education (first during the 2019/20 school year and then in the 2020/21 school year) during the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. The results of a survey comprising 348 teachers with the ability to teach the mother tongue at primary school level (grades 1–9 of primary school; 59% were class curriculum teachers and 41% were Slovene language teachers) show, among other things, that teachers mostly have a good attitude towards distance teaching and feel empowered for this type of teaching, although they feel that this method makes them mentally and physically more tired than teaching in the classroom. Among the advantages of distance teaching, teachers mention the greater use of modern information and communication technology, more use of e-material and the opportunity for formal monitoring of students. In their opinion, the biggest problems of distance teaching (of the Slovene language) include: lack of student participation; lack of non-verbal communication, thus creating difficulties in understanding; and technical issues. Most teachers believe that students acquire less knowledge or far less knowledge by distance education than they would from education in the classroom. Teachers who feel more empowered to teach remotely also have a better attitude towards teaching their mother tongue and are more satisfied with the communication aspect with students in distant teaching. Teachers who have received the necessary training for distance teaching as part of their work feel more empowered to teach this way than teachers who have not had such training.
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