While some studies conclude that “students made little or no progress while learning from home,” the effects of school shutdowns vary depending on additional factors: socio-economic status, the type of distance learning, and especially the involvement of parents.
Though it’s mostly bad news, there is a marked silver lining. For example, one teenager told the New York Times, “… Although living through COVID has been really hard … I am so incredibly lucky to say that I probably gained more than I lost.”
Like most of the damage from this pandemic, the key factors for education were pre-existing conditions. Students already accustomed to facing challenges can grow more resilient in adversity. Students whose education was already more than information transfer were able to build curiosity in new ways. Parents who accepted that their kids’ education was primarily their responsibility made necessary pivots.
In other words, the important lessons to be learned are about far more than crisis management. It’s about what education really is.
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