post pandemic education

Re-inventing education post pandemic

There has been significant disruption to schools arising out of the pandemic.

Teachers have adapted quickly to home-based learning but it’s understandable that most parents, pupils and teachers look forward to a return to traditional schooling. 

But is that enough? Have the debates fuelled by the pandemic about exams, online learning, blended learning, continuous assessment to be quickly forgotten as we return to pre-pandemic days?  I hope not.

I would hope to see a national conversation about how we deliver education in the future.  Amongst other things, we need to research and capture what can be learned from our experiences over the last year.

For example, did we have the most appropriate exams and assessment systems pre-pandemic, or have recent experiences taught us something new?  What different needs have arisen from different subject areas dependent on the extent to which they are skills or text based?   

Individual learners too have different preferences in terms of learning styles.  Has the pandemic disruption been all negative, or have some pupils thrived? I don't know.

The point is we need to find out and learn.

And what about parents? Should more be done to support parents even once schools return to normal?  Would some parents be interested in learning more about supporting home study?

Research into adult learners (a joint DEMOS-Google project) published in February 2020 just before the pandemic, revealed some very interesting findings about online learning. Based on a large survey of 10,000 adults in employment across the UK,  it found the following:

  • Two thirds of the UK workforce use online learning to help with work; search engines and video platforms reign supreme as the main source of knowledge.
  • Only one in five do so at the recommendation of employers.
  • More than three quarters of people who learn online (77%) say it’s beneficial to their mental health.
  • 29 per cent of the UK working population have used internet-based learning to help raise their pay with a median pay rise being £2 per hour, equivalent to £3,640 per year for a 35-hour week.
  • One in three have also used online learning to help them get a new job.

If adults in work benefit greatly from online learning might some older pupils soon to be leaving school be assisted by having some continued experience of online learning?

As is clear, I don't have the answers.  But hopefully I know some of the questions that need to be asked!


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