Teacher Training and Learners with Special Needs in the U.S. and Poland – the COVID-19 Experience


The 2021 transition to teaching online and to virtual environment due to COVID-19 was challenging for many educationalists, teachers, students and pupils all over the world. However, it was particularly difficult for teachers of learners with special educational needs, school therapists and counsellors. They had to provide highly individualized teaching and service without (or with limited) face-to-face contact. This article looks at teacher qualifications necessary to provide ICT based education for learners, particularly for learners
with special needs (from the American and Polish viewpoint). The Authors analyze the context of preservice teacher training in the COVID-19 conditioned environment with the particular focus of teachers of English as a Foreign Language (who wish to obtain teacher qualifications to teach in Polish public schools).


teacher qualifications; preservice teacher education; special needs learners; e-learning; online learning

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Published : 2023-06-09

GadomskaA., DrowerI., & PietrzykD. (2023). Teacher Training and Learners with Special Needs in the U.S. and Poland – the COVID-19 Experience. International Journal of Research in E-Learning, 9(1), 1-23. https://doi.org/10.31261/IJREL.2023.9.1.05

Agnieszka Gadomska  agadomska@swps.edu.pl
SWPS University in Warsaw  Poland

Agnieszka Gadomska is an Assistant Professor at SWPS University's Faculty of Humanities. She is the Head of the English Studies Department, and Coordinator of Postgraduate diploma studies in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL).
Her current research interests include digital materials design and adaptation in glottodidactics, teacher development, CEFR Companion Volume- application in practice, and teaching Academic English skills.
She is the co-author and author of the nation-wide "E-Academy of the Future" project, and of close to 20 articles in national and international academic journals

Iris Drower 
Arizona State University  United States


Dr. Iris Drower is a researcher (office of Global Social Work, School for Social Work,ASU) adjunct faculty (Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, ASU) and Senior Sustainable Scientist (Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory, ASU). Dr. Drower has worked in the educational profession as an administration and inclusion specialist for over 25 years both in the US and abroad.  Her scholarship, teaching and service are grounded in her commitment to support educators to excel and preserve the profession of working with special needs populations. Her areas of expertise include: at risk or high needs student populations, inclusive practices, diverse learners and educational equity, special education, and international education and development.

Dorota Pietrzyk 
University of Warsaw  Poland

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