The COVID-19 pandemic has placed many unique challenges on our education system. Unpacking the many issues that educators faced will allow researchers to understand some of the impacts that resulted from this unique phenomenon. This exploratory qualitative research study sought to understand how science educators and administrators made sense of science instruction during the spring of 2021. Data was collected through semi-structured interviews and online observations with ten K-12 science teachers and four administrators across two different counties within Virginia. Thematic coding was employed to analyze the findings, and results were validated through member checking with participants. Participants shared that the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need to be extremely resilient and flexible to cope with the changing landscape. For science instruction issues of scientific engagement, inquiry instruction, and equity were present for science educators.


science instruction, COVID, equity in science, qualitative study

Author Bio(s)

Lillian Bentley is a third-year Ph.D. candidate at the University of Virginia in the School of Education and Human Development. She is interested in science education, teacher agency, preservice elementary teachers, self-efficacy, and qualitative research. Please direct correspondence to lre5h@virginia.edu.


I would like to acknowledge Dr. Walt Heinecke for guiding me in qualitative methods, and Dr. Jennie Chiu for editing this manuscript.

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.





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