Transforming Education, Transforming Lives: Learning Through the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic impact on education has been far reaching, both globally and locally. From widening an already existing digital divide, to rewriting home-school routines and challenging teachers, families and children’s mental and physical health, the pandemic has engendered a rewriting of educational teaching and learning practices.

We know little, however, about which of those technologies that have been utilised in education have been successful and why. These two new projects in the Department of Disability, Inclusion, and Special Needs (DISN), funded by the YTL Foundation, will look into good practices in inclusive education during and beyond the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Diversifying Inclusion and Growth: Inspiring Technologies for Accessible Learning (DIGITAL) in the time of Coronavirus

Research Lead: Dr Francesca Peruzzo

The DIGITAL project will map the effectiveness of inclusive educational responses to the pandemic. The study will deploy digital ethnographic methods and social network analysis to explore responses across the UK, Italy, the US, Australia, Malaysia and Chile.

Data will be collected through policy and document analysis, digital observation of inclusive practices in virtual classrooms; and semi-structured interviews with parents and teachers. Digital maps of pedagogic networks will visualise the intersected character of learning and teaching practices, and contextual opportunities and constraints.

By exploring pedagogic value, learning processes, and parental and teacher satisfaction, the focus will be on presenting effective inclusive responses that enact accessibility through both digital and non-digital technological solutions, respecting contextual resources and local expertise. 

Positive transitions, transforming education through digital technologies (PhD project)

Doctoral Research Student: Bethan Morris-Tran

This study aims to explore the experiences of primary and secondary school students and teachers during the pandemic, particularly focusing on aspects of; digital access, government and community support, home environment and mental health.

Qualitative data will be gathered through individual semi-structured interviews with secondary and primary school students and teachers, and using a photo-elicitation technique during interviews with students. Individual interviews will be followed by group interviews with students who have a sibling/siblings also currently at school. Alongside this a documentary analysis of government policies and statements, school announcements and national reports will be conducted and inform the interview questions

Focus on these elements will provide insights into the nuances of individuals surrounding, and provide invaluable help in exploring the cacophony of challenges facing individuals and communities, and what our route to recovery should entail.

Further information 

If you are a teacher or parent of a student currently at school and would like more information or to be involved in our research please do not hesitate to contact us.