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Perspective: How COVID is changing education

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Education fuels change. Since the onset of COVID mitigations, education has changed. Parents have come to understand the challenging job of teachers as they have been forced into, at times, the role of 'at home educator.' There is a renewed appreciation for the benefits of the gathering of students in learning communities. And . . . there are overpowering calls for us to go back to normal.

We have also learned that the static 'normal' presentation of “school” as 30 students sitting in front of a dispenser of learning is not the only method available to us. Home schooling has proven to be a viable method to encourage learning. For decades adult learners have been learning online. There is proof some kids are more effectively served with remote learning tools.

In our rush to reclaim our lives, we are quick to ignore new truths of learning that can change education. When parents see themselves as investors rather than consumers of education, they pay attention to the process and outcomes of education. When teachers focus on becoming directors rather than dispensers, they empower their students to pursue knowledge with unbridled passion. Most importantly, when students see education as a practice that rewards active engagement rather than passive retention of facts, they are more likely to unleash a love of learning to last a lifetime.

Let’s all agree that education is the key to personal and community growth. Let’s also agree there is much to learn from the era of education in COVID times. Let’s learn from our recent experiences and change education for the better.

I’m Don Gillingham, and that’s my Perspective.

Don has recently retired after 45 years in Lutheran Education. He has been on a “listening tour” in 2022, and shares his observations on his Facebook page.