HOW HAS THE PANDEMIC USHERED NEW NORMS IN EDUCATION?

Since the pandemic started in 2020, changes have been made to adjust education. Teaching is now undertaken remotely and on digital platforms. There is a distinctive rise in the use of e-learning, such as Zoom to Google classroom, Flipgrid to Nearpod technological growth. The Ed-tech tool kit being built throughout this time. However, not all have come to stay, after all, while Covid-19 will hopefully come to an end, some things we have learned during this time might not be. In the midst of all these it is obvious that there is a crucial need for pedagogical growth. 

What is Pedagogical Growth?  

Pedagogical growth is the kind of growth we need to recharge and reimagine education. We are also talking about something called “educational character” growth. It’s the flipping of priorities in order to address achievement, or the reprioritizing of community and compassion over content as a means to positively impact curriculum and student achievement. These initiative in as much as it doesn’t constitute a drastic change, has a reflection of new norms being ushered into the sector. 

An example is sighted in San Gabriel Unified, a small Title district in Los Angeles America, where they are committed to carving out reflection at this time, that is, reflecting on what’s happening to their students, families, staff, and the community. They have purposefully taken time to talk to all of their stakeholders: students, parents, teachers, local business owners, outside experts, and educators from other schools and districts in Los Angeles and beyond in a bid to find out what educational mechanics to stick with considering the times. We believe that these same conversations are happening in schools, districts, and states all across the globe.

 WHAT ARE THE CHANGES USHERED IN BY THE PANDEMIC THAT MIGHT LAST?

1. Change in Methods of Assessment.

 Assessments don’t need to be high-stakes, nationwide, standardized tests. There are many ways to diagnose learning levels, check for understanding and hold students accountable. People are talking about how to better align assessments with 21st-century learning instructions rather than align instructions with 20th-century testing practices.

2. The Importance of Connecting with Students.

 Understanding and being empathetic of our students’ circumstances has helped us individualize their needs, understand their assets, and support them during this time. Social and emotional learning and awareness will become embedded into lesson planning as well as classroom culture in a more intentional and frequent way. Much as we check for understanding, we will also be checking for physical and mental wellness as well.

3. The Vital Effect of Communicating with the Community in the Partnership of Learning.

 There is a need to continue family and parent’s involvement in the learning process, learning to communicate in a variety of ways with flexibility is at the heart of how families should be approached. They are the keys to engagement and learning.

4. Engagement Strategies.

It must be used if students are even going to tune in to learning. It is like connecting with students, allowing for choice, using project-based learning to make lessons and units more meaningful, and incorporating visuals and recordings to make text more multimodal are key in bringing students to the learning table. As author/educator Kelly Gallagher says, “Engagement first, then content, then rigor.”

The world outside of education also has learned a lot during this time, and those lessons might also be predictors about elements that could be here to stay. They have learned that there’s a lot more to school than just content delivery. And all classes provide deep and necessary experiences that far exceed mere academic access.

The sudden shift away from the classroom in many parts of the globe, and the urgent question of how such a shift would impact the worldwide education market, is not a difficult nut for the educators to crack. 

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