University of Ottawa Student 16

Research Action Project Alteration

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As the 2021 graduating class we have faced many obstacles throughout our two year Bachelor of Education Program at the University of Ottawa. Between work to rule, strike action and ongoing COVID -19 protocols and school closures our learning process has been hit with many obstacles. While some of us have been navigating online learning from the beginning, others are in the midst of trying to grapple with novel learning platforms. Throughout this time the academic expectations placed on us by the Education Program of the University of Ottawa have not wavered in the slightest. Even when the University of Ottawa allowed other faculty's an additional week of rest after the holidays due to the added stress and mental health struggles associated with online learning and COVID -19 our faculty was not included. We understand the reasoning behind this - we want to be in the classroom as much as possible too! However, we have the exact same academic workload as last year with the added burden of stresses related to the pandemic (finding childcare due to school closures, financial burdens, mental health stresses etc.). While we want to show resilience and adaptability through professionalism and grit, we are asking the Faculty of Education to show their support by allowing us some lenience.

We are asking that the Faculty of Education reconsider their requirement of the Research Action Project or modify their expectations to solely include a literature review. Finding opportunities to collect concrete data during class is difficult, especially with the time constraints of online learning. We do not want to burden our associate teachers by asking them to take up more of their precious teaching time to accommodate our University requirements. Rather, we would like to put our energy into assisting our associate teachers with the planning, implementation and evaluation of lessons for our practicum classes. In this way we can ensure that our students have the most productive 3 weeks of online learning possible!

We understand that research is an important aspect of education and our development as professional educators. However, we ask that some leniance be given due to these extraordinary circumstances. Please consider altering the requirement of or expectations associated with the Research Action Project to solely include a literature review.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

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