Educational inequalities and addressing wellbeing needs have been the focus for some countries since the pandemic shone light on their disparities. These have been welcomed, but are also very reactive solutions. Perhaps the new year gives us a chance to think and work differently.
What approaches and resources are needed to help schools take transformative action to address learning loss in a locally responsive manner?
Over the past two years, teachers and leaders have shown agency and commitment, proving their ability to be agile and change at short notice. However, no system can work in emergency response mode indefinitely. Reflection isn’t enough. Educators need to learn ‘what is not there yet’ in order to see our situation as a professional learning opportunity.
A recent research paper from Cambridge University, The Covid-19 Learning Crisis as a Challenge and an Opportunity for Schools, encourages us to think differently about the problem space we find ourselves in. It encourages us, as a ‘unified profession’ (an alliance), to collaborate and share new pedagogical practices in order to learn how to deal with the future.
First, we must visualise our problem space and ‘see’ the mechanisms at play. Alongside collaboration and visualisation, tools can also help us craft a way forward instead of leaving us to hang on for the latest policy change or advice from ministries.
We have a choice to continue in crisis mode; being reactive and exhausted, or take charge of our futures and support each other to be proactive and empowered; serving the communities we love.
We can’t wait for another academic year to pass; another cohort of children leaving school unfulfilled. We need to be brave and role model the collaboration we hope to see from the leaders of the world. Let’s put the educational dollar aside and begin our empowering journey where we own our futures, instead of living in fear.
The following resources have been designed to support our schools and leaders to take action, they have been created by enaginglearningvoices.com and are being offered FREE to anyone who needs them. The tools will help schools visualise and conceptualise their problem space, then interrogate the mechanisms at play and then broaden their scope by using their values to add cohesion to distance/physical learning.
Click on the link for the free tools being offered, including A Spoonful of Sugar, which aims to address concerns schoolchildren may have about the pandemic:
The more hands we can get them into the more chance we have of being proactive.
AUTHORS: Rebecca Thomas and Steve Saville, creators of Werewere school www.engaginglearningvoices.com