The Pandemic and Public Education
“Varied implementations of technology use and willingness to adapt due to the pandemic on part of the coaching teacher and teacher candidate made the implementation of remote observations during the 2020-2021 school year by the practicum mentor via Zoom possible and successful. This program evaluation looked at the viability of remote observations during the short and long practicums as one response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The practicum mentor was able to observe the professional standards demonstrated by the teacher candidate with conferencing with the support of the coaching teacher. Remote observations can be one way for teacher education programs to observe teacher candidates during practicum in small communities.” Dr. Christine Ho Younghusband
Dr. Christine Ho Younghusband is an Assistant Professor in the Teacher Education Program and Graduate Studies at the University of Northern British Columbian. She completed her doctorate degree in Educational Leadership at Simon Fraser University. Christine has sixteen years experience as a secondary math and science teacher in BC’s public schools and has also served as an elected school trustee. She is also serving on the Board of Directors for the Institute for Public Education/BC.
“In a search for themes to connect all the promising pedagogies, I came to realize that a critical element in each of these lessons was connecting individual students, living, and studying in isolation all over the world, to others socially, in small groups, and to the whole class. Both teachers and students faced serious challenges in alternate delivery modes of instruction. But in our search for effective ways to engage students in their virtual learning environments, teachers, and researchers have an incredible opportunity at this time to learn from one another.” Dr. Edward Howe, Dr. Georgann Cope Watson
Dr. Edward Howe is Professor and Chair, School of Education, Faculty of Education and Social Work, Thompson Rivers University. His research focused on comparative and international education, teacher induction, self study and narrative inquiry. Dr. Howe is an IPE/BC Fellow.
Dr. Georgann Cope Watson is an Open Learning Faculty Member at Thompson Rivers University and a Sessional Lecturer at Brock University. Her research interests include the pedagogy of online teaching and adult education.
“What lessons can we learn from having to adapt teaching and learning during the pandemic? COVID-19 separated us and now we pine to be together as a community and learn together as a community. We want and need to bring back humanity, strive for learning that is student-centred, competency-based, personalized, and interdisciplinary. To regain our sense of power during the pandemic and beyond is to understand and exercise our agency as educators and feel good about letting go of some of what we previously did – because doing so allows us to get to the heart of teaching and learning.” Christine Ho Younghusband.
“Raffi and I collaborated on this commentary out of a shared concern about the lack of protections for children returning to school, especially among those who are not yet eligible for vaccination. The Delta variant is much more infectious than previous variants and original COVID-19, and yet, children returned to school with fewer public health measures in place. Our commentary discusses the current state of the evidence of COVID-19 in children, and how infection and transmission risks can be reduced through evidence-based public health interventions. Ultimately, Raffi and I urge government and public health officials to honour children and adopt the precautionary principle when it comes to implementing protections that can help prevent infection among children.” Andrew Longhurst
Thanks very much to People for Education, Ontario, for tracking and updating the COVID-19 policies and practices in public schools coast to coast to coast.