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).