Despite the overwhelming consequences of the pandemic, this global crisis has also been an extraordinary time for learning. We are learning how adaptable and resilient educational systems, policy makers, teachers, students and families can be. In this blog (which is part of a series highlighting key lessons learned from a study to understand the perceived effectiveness of remote learning solutions, forthcoming) we summarize lessons learned in different countries, with special focus on teachers and how they had to quickly reimagine human connections and interactions to facilitate learning. The role of teachers is rapidly evolving becoming in many ways more difficult than when learning took place only in person.
How has the pandemic changed the role of teachers?
Two crucial factors have shifted due to the pandemic. First, pedagogical adaptations have proven to be pivotal as the traditional lecturing in-person models do not translate to a remote learning environment. No matter the type of channel used (radio, TV, mobile, online platforms, etc.) teachers need to adapt their practices and be creative to keep students engaged as every household has become a classroom – more often than not – without an environment that supports learning. Some countries are supporting teachers with this. In Sierra Leone, where the main remote learning channel is radio, a ‘live’ and toll-free phone line is open for students to call teachers with questions and schedules of radio lessons allow time for children to help their families with daily chores.
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