Bildiri Konusu:Dezavantajlı – Risk altındaki Çocuklar ve Eğitimi

The Widening Educational Gap for Children Coming from Low Socio-economic Status during COVID-19 Pandemic
One of the unwanted results of COVID-19 was school closures, with all school-aged children suddenly being out of school. From that point, these children’s educational and developmental needs, as well as their general well-being, became a further concern for all stakeholders. Children’s learning and academic success is one facet of general concern, whilst the long-term impact of children staying out of school might result in extensive socio-emotional problems as children under five experience boredom and confusion at home during the pandemic. One of the main reasons for this might be the fact that their typical number of social interactions are halves when away from school compared to school days. Undoubtedly The COVID-19 pandemic has altered both the context and content of early childhood education, yet little is known about its exacerbating impact on children coming from low-SES families.
School closures have more severe consequences for low-SES children. In addition to psychological consequences, there might be dramatic educational consequences COVID-19, especially for children from the socio-economically disadvantaged part of society. Even in more normal circumstances, the gap in mathematical and literacy skills between children from lower and higher socio-economic backgrounds often widens during school holidays. Children from lower socio-economic backgrounds appear to lose the majority of any academic achievement during summer holidays, while such setbacks are generally not observed in children from higher socio-economic backgrounds.
There is some evidence of the benefits and challenges of online learning at the elementary, secondary, and high-school levels; however, unfortunately, pre-school education was totally ignored in MONE’s Education Informatics Network at the beginning of the pandemic. Therefore, during the closures, a number of private or public kindergartens also used distance education as an alternative to face-to-face education. However, there is a need to understand whether pre-schools located in rural areas and teachers working with low-SES children had the opportunity to continue their education. However, research surrounding online learning at the pre-school education level is scarce, and therefore the current study aims to investigate the influences of the COVID-19 pandemic period on early childhood education, particularly among the low-SES districts of Turkey, from early childhood educators’ points of view. More precisely, this study is designed around following research questions:
1. How do early childhood educators working in low-SES rural area perceive the consequences of COVID-19 on children from low-SES rural areas?

The study sample consists of 18 in-service early childhood educators working in low-SES districts of Turkey. In order to create this sample, among the many different strategies of purposive sampling available, the criterion sampling strategy was used. The criteria for the sampling were being a working, in-service teacher in a public school, and working in rural districts with low-SES children. Since all authors are experts in the field of early childhood education and are parts of networks with teachers working with children from low-SES backgrounds in rural parts of Turkey, they announced the nature of the study to their networks. All volunteer teachers were given an explanation as to the purpose and confidentiality of the current study. Then, semi-structured phone interviews were scheduled with those who gave consent to take part. The time taken for each of the interviews ranged between 30 minutes to 90 minutes. All interviews were audio recorded and transcribed by the researchers verbatim for subsequent data analysis. In order to analyze data each researcher read entire transcripts and listed to every meaningful expression from the verbatim transcriptions. In order to reach a meaningful whole from the raw data, codes were given to each listed meaningful expression yielded from the raw data. These codes were subsequently combined under categories, and categories were combined under themes. All authors coded all datasets independently. Finally, codings were compared and full agreement was established after further discussions. The findings of this study flesh out the idea that children's developmental areas are being negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Distance education did not work for young children for parent-related, child-related, instrumental and curriculum-related reasons. Another negative consequence of school closure is the dramatic increase in the exposure of children to the screen.

Anahtar Kelimeler: COVID-19, early childhood education, early childhood teachers, low socio-economic background