Working Conditions for K-12 Distance & Online Learning Teachers in Canada

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Working Conditions for K-12 Distance & Online Learning Teachers in Canada 2017-10-26T01:39:34+00:00

Teacher unions in Canada have had concerns about developments in online learning, but have generally been supportive if they have felt conditions were appropriate.  Teacher unions have also been active in conducting research to investigate how teaching in the distance education and online learning environment is different than teaching in the classroom, and what impact that has on the nature of work and quality of work life for its members.  In this instance, the British Columbia Teachers Federation (BCTF) was concerned that schools may begin assigning students to the distributed learning classes when the class size limit was reached in the face-to-face course.  As such, the BCTF requested a report that explores written provisions for the working conditions of K-12 distance education and online learning teachers in Canada (i.e.,  generally referred to as distributed learning throughout the report).  Based on language included in one provincial collective agreement,one or more local contracts from each of two provinces, and one provincial teacher union policy, the authors describe that there were themes around 1) defining distributed learning; 2) focusing on teacher working conditions; 3) outlining responsibilities for the schools and/or school boards; and 4) providing mechanisms for consultations. There were actually few distributed learning regulations that went beyond what would be expected for traditional brick-and-mortar education.  Further, these unique aspects are reflective of stakeholders’ efforts to examine what constituted the equivalent experiences for teaching in the distributed learning environment relative to traditional classroom teaching.