In March, schools closed across Canada when COVID-19 took hold. Lessons moved online and parents pitched in when they could. All summer provincial premiers and public health officers promoted the importance of getting students back to school for their social and emotional well being, while keeping everyone safe. But parents demanded online options not wanting to risk their loved ones’ health. And so most provinces, through their school districts, responded. In some parts of Canada, as pandemic cases climbed, enrollment in remote learning programs did too. Even the $2B from Ottawa couldn’t seem to fund enough teachers to keep up with the demand. And some families, with means of their own, created “learning pods” with private tutors and other learners, all in the name of health and safety.
Has COVID-19 fragmented Canadian public education with options for “the halves” and learning loss for the “have nots?” We asked Charles Ungerleider, Professor Emeritus at UBC, a former deputy Minister of Education and blogger on education issues for his observations.
If the kids are going back to school, or even staying home, we know that outside is better than inside. What a great opportunity then to help students build their connections to nature, to each other and develop their curiousity, resilience and sense of wonder. But how to do this AND keep learners safe? Outdoor education specialist Megan Zeni shares some strategies.
This episode originally aired on September 15, 2020