Everybody agrees that the COVID-19 pandemic is a big disruption in education. It questions many traditional rules and structures that have organised the work of schools in the past. But not everyone agrees that the pandemic will eventually change schools. In this article, I narrow the scope of that question and ask whether the pandemic helps us fix some of the pre-existing inequalities that we were unable, and often unwilling, to improve. I argue that as we think about how education should be reimagined, it is paramount to continue efforts to make education more inclusive, fairer and equitable for all. I take some early examples from two distinct education systems, Australia and Finland, to highlight how disrupted teaching caused by school closures has had different impacts on schools and teachers. The conclusion is that the pandemic may help make education more equitable if current socio-economic inequalities are addressed early on; teachers and principals are trusted more in leading schools forward in the post-pandemic world; and schools and children are supported to become more self-directed in leading and learning.
I wrote this article recently for the Journal of Educational Research for Policy and Practice (Springer). It is available in open access for a limited period of time here: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10671-020-09284-4.
You may also be interested reading what Dr. Pak Tee Ng and Dr. Andy Hargreaves have to say about the topic in the same journal here: https://www.springer.com/journal/10671
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