Covid-19

How has Covid-19 impacted educational research? A global leader of pedagogy weighs in

On World Teachers’ Day 2021, School of Education at ASU, Rotaract Club and NSS hosted a talk on the changes in the teaching-learning process over one a half years of the pandemic

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Srikala, a student at the University of Bhagalpur in India has been home ever since the pandemic hit. To attempt to take online classes from home, she needs to procure a mobile phone with a stable internet connection. And in doing so, Srikala has been unsuccessful till now due to financial constraints.

What seems like a distant goal for her is currently met by borrowing her neighbour’s phone each time she wants to log into her classes. Of course, this comes with a lot of interruptions and hassles. A first-generation learner in a five-member family, the frustrated student has now begun to venture into alternate methods of educating herself such as daily newspapers, college books and reading material sourced from friends.

There are millions of students like Srikala across the world who have been ‘digitally excluded’ during the pandemic. Each day, they find themselves grappling with learning newer concepts due to lack of internet access and electronic devices.

On World Teachers’ Day 2021, students at the School of Education, Apeejay Stya University (ASU), Rotaract Club and National Service Scheme (NSS) attempted to understand these global needs in the educational sphere during and post Covid-19 pandemic.

By hosting a virtual session, students discussed the importance of having teachers across the world to cater to online learners and enable their growth in the health crisis. The session titled, ‘Educational Research during and post-Covid-19’ was delivered by Professor Stephen McKinney, Leader of Pedagogy; Praxis and Faith, Research and Teaching Group, School of Education, University of Glasgow, United Kingdom. At the event, he helped teacher trainees and research scholars at the college understand how the last one and half years of the Covid-19 pandemic have led to educational lags.  

He said, “The teaching-learning process has changed globally since the health crisis and has also impacted the educational research process. The causes of this massive hit to research can be divided into – i) school closures, ii) food insecurity and iii) digital exclusion.”

According to Prof. McKinney, the aim of educational research should be streamlined into factors such as How will it be implemented? Will it have a positive impact on society? Does it contribute to social justice, and if it is sustainable, meaningful and timely? Educational research must be useful and accessible to every individual, along with including under-represented and marginalised groups, communities. All these aspects have to come into play, especially since Covid-19 which has underlined how the world must build research resilience.

At the closing of the session, he advised students to engage in responsible research, emphasising that it has to move hand-in-hand with students and teachers, their skills and knowledge resources.

Mrini Devnani is Senior Correspondent (Newsroom). She covers student achievements, interviews and contributions for the website. She was a former Correspondent covering Edutech for the India Today Group, and has a passion for Social Media and Digital Marketing. You can reach her at [email protected]

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