The coronavirus pandemic and its associated lockdowns upended our lives and presented challenges and consequences that were previously unimaginable. Teachers were flung in at the deep end with little idea of how, or initially even whether, education would continue; in higher education, institutions were tasked with digitally cultivating a sense of belonging and delivering effective, ‘value for money’ learning and teaching both online and on socially distanced campuses. In presenting these and other challenges, the pandemic also offered us an unexpected chance to re-evaluate our education systems and what is truly important.
As the global pandemic continues to unfold, this issue of BERA Bites selects key blog posts from the BERA Blog’s ongoing special issue on Covid-19 that the editors felt had offered valuable reflections on pedagogy, teacher identity, curriculum, assessment and wellbeing. While many attend to specific contexts, they also have a broader applicability, challenging inaccurate assumptions about how students best learn and addressing vital questions about the future of education beyond Covid-19.
The articles cover issues including:
- the challenges of conducting both education research and assessments during a pandemic
- how seemingly new challenges posted by online teaching relate to pre-existing pedagogical challenges that have, importantly, been overcome
- the difficulties that many children with dyslexia encounter with virtual learning
- how teacher and student identities have changed and developed in lockdown
- why education professionals must focus on children’s psychological and emotional recovery from Covid-19’s impact.
Above all, they make clear that we now have an exciting opportunity to rediscover and remake education.