Teachers’ Ideological Dilemmas During the Pandemic at Higher Education Institutions: a Discursive Psychological Approach

Kyoko Murakami, Sachihiko Kondo, Jianzhong Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted higher education (hereinafter “HE”) teaching and learning approaches globally since 2020. It has compelled a major shift from face-to-face to online delivery, affecting the ways HE teachers teach and communicate with students. In this paper, we explore an under-researched area, teachers’ ideological dilemmas surrounding online teaching and issues related to remote or technologically mediated communication adopted in three countries, China, Japan and the UK. Drawing on the theoretical and methodological framework of discursive psychology, we focus on the concepts called ideological dilemmas and the kaleidoscope of common sense in order to examine common sense views of HE teachers regarding online and onsite teaching as well as blended learning where these constitute ideological dilemmas. Taking an exploratory, small case study approach, we present a discourse analysis of interviews with HE teachers and reveal their ideological dilemmas over online teaching. We identify the patterns of shifting justifications in the interviews. Our discussion highlights the dynamic and dilemmatic nature of the HE teachers’ views, some of which are shaped by the local university context, as well as the different ways in which the spread of COVID-19 is taking place and the various measures taken by each country’s government against the damaging effects of the pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
JournalHuman Arenas
Issue number3/4
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
A local site facilitator was funded (8 h a week) at each service to facilitate the implementation of interventions and was supported by the primary researcher. Local site facilitators planned to conduct regular audits of the interventions being implemented, provide prompts and feedback to the rehabilitation clinicians, provide education and revise interventions as required throughout implementation.


  • Common sense
  • HE teachers
  • Ideological dilemmas
  • Online teaching
  • The pandemic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)


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