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As of March 31, 2020, the closure of schools in 192 countries due to the COVID-19 pandemic had resulted in over 1.6 billion learners being temporarily forced out of school buildings. New educational inequities arose, and existing ones were exacerbated. Acknowledging that disruption may also stimulate innovation, the purpose of this qualitative research was to identify possible improvements in middle grades teachers’ practices as they enacted emergency remote instruction. Through narrative responses provided to an online survey administered between May 27 and June 19, 2020, 332 middle grades educators self-identified aspects of their teaching practice that improved while teaching remotely. Findings included deepened knowledge of individual learners; increased individualized instruction; greater opportunities for student choice and self-pace; more timely assessment feedback; enhanced family engagement; and increased technology skills. Implications of this study for educational practice, and for school scheduling in particular, are examined.

Publication Title

Research in Middle Level Education Online



Issue Number

Issue 7

Volume Number

Volume 44

Item Identifier

COVID-19_Teaching, Learning & Research_2021_10_25a

File Format


Citation/Publisher Attribution

Penny A. Bishop (2021) Middle Grades Teacher Practices during the COVID-19 Pandemic, RMLE Online, 44:7, 1-18, DOI: 10.1080/19404476.2021.1959832

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License



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