What did we learn from schooling practices during the COVID-19 lockdown?

The unprecedented shift to remote schooling introduced in many countries in the spring of 2020 as one of the preventive measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 gave us the opportunity not only to analyse the strengths and weaknesses of remote schooling, but also to reflect on how education is being provided in general.

We interviewed in total around 150 key stakeholders coming from five Member States that represent different degrees of readiness to use digital technologies in education. We aimed to obtain different perspectives about the remote schooling experience collecting insights from various groups, namely students, parents, teachers and school leaders.

The topics discussed with study participants related to their experience and perceptions on: unequal access to education, learning tools and content available and put in place through urgent measures, digital and social and emotional competences to face and develop remote schooling, the assessment and certification of students’ learning progress, as well as their psychological well-being.

The results of our study show that full-time remote education with the current state of infrastructure and accessibility of equipment would aggravate existing inequalities, especially for some groups of children who were prevented from attending classes delivered online. We also saw that parents played a key role in their children’s learning process during remote schooling.

This applies in particular to students in primary education or children with special education needs, who required more of their support. Parents played a double role of motivators and facilitators of learning, especially when teachers were not present. Yet, parents’ level of preparedness to play these roles and the level of support received from schools were not always perceived as satisfactory and could contribute to increasing inequalities in access to education.

More information: https://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC123654

Publication is available here.

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