Education & Coronavirus
Recommended by Will Brehm

Human life around the world has radically changed in a matter of weeks because of the novel coronavirus, known scientifically as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2).

Over 1.5 billion children missed school at some point in 2020. What does that mean for educational delivery and assessment? And are there issues of equity we need to consider?

In this on-going series, FreshEd explores the coronavirus and its impact on education from diverse perspectives.

There’s an urban legend that Winston Churchill, near the end of World War II, once said “never let a good crisis go to waste.” President Obama’s chief of staff, Rahman Emanuel, certainly said similar words in 2009 after the Global Financial Crisis. Is the crisis in education today caused by the coronavirus an opportunity to make lasting and positive change? How can we be sure not to waste this moment by returning to normal?

Yong Zhao joins me to talk about educational change in the time of COVID-19. He argues that we must change the “yes, but” attitude to a “yes, and” collaborative approach. We must be innovative and work together to redesign education systems into something new. He’s hoping to see more self-directed learning emerge out of this crisis as well as a shift towards the humanities and philosophy.

Yong Zhao is a Foundation Distinguished Professor in the School of Education at the University of Kansas. His newest book is entitled Teaching Students to Become Self-Determined Learners (ASCD, 2020).

Most children are now out of school because of the pandemic. How should we think about teaching and learning during the crisis? How can we ensure the basic needs of students continue to be met out of school? And can digital learning teach the whole child?

My guest today is Armand Doucet, one of the world’s foremost pracademics and teachers in education for the Digital Age. He has recently co-written a report with Deborah Netolicky, Koen Timmers, and Francis Jim Tuscano entitled Thinking about pedagogy in an unfolding pandemic: an independent report on approaches to distance learning during Covid 19 School Closures.

I spoke with Armand from his home where he was taking care of his son while speaking with me.

Today I speak with  Claire Maxwell about school internationalization. Together with Laura Engel and Miri Yemini, Claire has recently co-edited a new book entitled The Machinery of School Internationalisation in Action.  Beyond the Established Boundaries.

In our conversation, we discuss internationalization in terms of elite education, privatization, and racism. We even discuss the implications of the coronavirus on internationalization.

Claire Maxwell is a  professor of sociology at the University of Copenhagen. Her current work focuses on the family and working lives of globally mobile professionals, understanding identity, and desires around mobility and education strategies. She also looks at how notions of ‘elite education’ are being articulated, experienced and re-negotiated across different cities across the world.

Today I talk with Prachi Srivastava about educational planning in a time of coronavirus. Over 1.5 billion children are out of school. What does that mean for educational delivery and assessment? And are there issues of equity we need to consider?

Prachi Srivastava is an Associate Professor specializing in education and international development at Western University in Canada. In our conversation, we talk about what the global south can teach the global north when it comes to planning in emergencies.

Blaise Pascal, the 17th Century French mathematician and physicist, once wrote “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” As people and governments around the world are wondering whether or not to self-isolate to stop the spread of covid-19, Pascal’s adage has become more pertinent than ever.

As we grapple with our new world, I wanted to bring you a special episode of FreshEd. With me is Yaneer Bar-Yam, a physicist, systems scientist, and founding president of the New England Complex Systems Institute. Yaneer has spearheaded endcoronavirus.org, which aims to minimize the impact of Covid-19 by providing useful data and guidelines for action.

In our conversation, Yaneer discusses what different countries are doing in response to the virus and talks specifically about children and whether or not they should be in school.

Citation: Bar-Yam, Yaneer, interview with Will Brehm, FreshEd, 192, podcast audio, March 17, 2020. https://www.freshedpodcast.com/bar-yam/

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