Top 10 ways to persevere with in-person classes – the Cavalier Daily
After a year of online schooling, the long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are looming in front of children. Inequalities in resources that existed for children of different socio-economic backgrounds before the pandemic have exacerbated transitions to virtual education and may impact children’s educational development for months and years to come.
As members of Generation Z – may the Pew Research Center defines As individuals born after 1996 reach adulthood, demographic researchers turn to defining the next generation. Without an official name for the next generation, there is ambiguity as to when Gen Z will end and when Gen Z will start. After the fifteen-year period that identifies Millennials as individuals born between 1981 and 1996, the logic the cut-off year for Gen Z is 2011, which means that the oldest members of this generation are still in elementary school.
The COVID-19 pandemic is likely the first significant event that members of the new generation will remember as they age. Likewise, Gen Z were roughly the same age as the younger generation when the recession of 2008 took place.
Teresa Sullivan, presidential sociology professor George M. Kaufman and former president of the university, said she believed the economic downturn caused by the pandemic could be more disruptive for children, however, than that of the 2008 recession.
Following her tenure as university president from 2010 to 2018, Sullivan served as interim vice president and executive vice president of academic affairs at Michigan State University, before returning to the university as a faculty member. of the sociology department. His expertise now specializes in workforce demography and the sociology of work.
âThe recession has been really bad for adult workers who have lost their jobs,â Sullivan said. âThe children did not see their schooling interruptedâ¦ and therefore this daily anchoring was there. It’s not there right now.
Thanks to the pandemic, schools – a key pillar of early childhood development – have been transformed overnight. Over the past 16 months, schools have moved from traditional classrooms to virtual home learning, which has had many impacts. According to surveys conducted by the United States Department of Education in Grades 4 and 8, 24% of all fourth graders were still taking distance education as of May 2021, 24% were in a hybrid setting, and the remaining 52% were attending in person.
From an educational perspective, teachers and parents have struggled to provide adequate home schooling for children behind screens.
Commonwealth Prof. of Education Sara Rimm-Kaufman studies the social and psychological experiences of elementary and middle school children. She lamented the academic and social skill gaps that will appear even when students return to class.
âThere are going to be gaps in social and emotional skills,â Rimm-Kaufman said. “They lack some emotional skills that they would learn in school, such as tolerating frustration.”
Rimm-Kaufman also expressed concern for children with special needs and English learners as they were more likely to fall behind due to the limited services available online.
This preludes a larger problem plaguing schools across the country – the Numeric fraction, which refers to the lack of access that many children face due to the lack of internet at home. According to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, around 40% of low-income parents said their children need to use public Wi-Fi, and an additional 36% believe their children will not be able to complete their work due to lack of access to a computer. In addition, many districts are struggling to finance the personal equipment necessary for all students’ online learning. There have been efforts reduce the divide by increasing funding for Internet access, but these efforts have not yet succeeded in eliminating it.
Rimm-Kaufman noted that the inequalities that existed before the start of the pandemic have increased.
âChildren who had benefits previously still often enjoy them during the pandemic,â said Rimm-Kaufman. “Children who had fewer benefits before live in more difficult and stressful situations.”
Following social distancing protocol and government recommendations to stay home if a trip outside the home was not necessary, many children lacked exposure to their peers and spent a great deal of their time at home.
For children with access to mobile devices, streaming service platforms were a source of entertainment. These platforms are characterized by their selective on-demand viewing which gives the viewer the freedom to choose the content they wish to consume. Programs can broadcast content in a biased way, preventing viewers from learning about other perspectives.
Andrea Press, a professor of media studies and sociology who studies the impact of media on culture, noted the effect this has on children.
âAcademics are finding that this leads to a true island form of access to information so that we are not exposed to views that disagree with beliefs we already have,â Press said. “We have a lot of polarization right now on these issues and part of it is media choiceâ¦ and kids are growing up used to it.”
Without in-person schooling, children cannot meet those with different backgrounds from their own and learn from diverse perspectives.
In addition, working mothers have had to struggle to balance their careers and care for their children due to the closure of daycares and schools.
âWe have had the largest withdrawal of women from the workforce since the end of World War IIâ¦ mainly for child care reasons,â Sullivan said.
The RAND Company cited that based on data collected from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, women in the workforce fell by 2.2 million in October 2020 compared to October of the previous year.
Children watch their parents cope with changes in different ways depending on their socio-economic status at the start of the pandemic and subsequent changes due to job loss.
“[Children] watched the gender division of labor in actionâ¦ maybe it will have a regressive impact on their view of the gender division of labor, âPress said.
There has been growing awareness of the struggles of working mothers in the wake of the pandemic – in February, National public radio reported that employers offered flexible hours and relocation to branches closer to home.
Despite the challenges children face in this uncertain time, there is hope that some positive aspects have come out of the pandemic for this generation.
âThere are some good things that stand out,â said Rimm-Kaufman. âSome children learn attention, organization and self-management skills that they have never learned before. “
Rimm-Kaufman also said she was optimistic that children will overcome the challenges caused by the pandemic if they are given the right support.
âIt’s really up to parents and adults to help kids understand what they just went through,â said Rimm-Kaufman. âYour children grow up to be healthy as they grow in contexts and environments that support them. “