Theses Doctoral

Teaching During the Triple Pandemic: “It’s So Deeply Personal”

Horowitz, Andrea Morgan

This study explores the experiences of science and mathematics teachers during the Triple Pandemic: a pandemic of COVID-19, poverty, and racism. The intersection of COVID-19, poverty, and racism created a novel educational context for teachers to navigate.

Using an intersectional qualitative case study approach, this study highlights the stories of three middle school science and mathematics teachers as they strove to meet the needs of their students during a time of crisis brought forth by COVID-19 and as pre-existing systemic inequities surfaced during the period of remote learning. Using data collected from an initial and final questionnaire (Likert scale and open-ended), semi-structured interviews, audio journal entries, and a focus group this study sought to capture the teachers’ experiences, their emotions, adjustments to teaching practice, and challenges encountered.

Guided by a conceptual framework integrating Sensemaking Theory, Critical Consciousness, Positional Identity, and Science Identity as a Lived Experience, this study further examined the ways teaching remotely developed, shifted, and affirmed their science and mathematics identities and the impact of sensemaking of their experiences had on their educational priorities. The findings highlight the participants' emotionally charged and challenging experiences as they made sense of their roles as science and mathematics teachers and gained an increasing awareness of systemic inequities.

The three participants developed a critical consciousness through their confrontation of inequities, increased racial identity, and development of their critical agency. Additionally, the participants’ sensemaking of the educational context produced by the Triple Pandemic resulted in the development of new educational priorities reflecting social justice engagement on micro and meso levels and in identity tensions as science and mathematics teachers.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Mathematics, Science, and Technology
Thesis Advisors
Mensah, Felicia
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
Published Here
May 24, 2023