Nora Flanagan: What COVID-19 revealed about US schools -- and 4 ways to rethink education | TED | Summary and Q&A

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Nora Flanagan: What COVID-19 revealed about US schools -- and 4 ways to rethink education | TED

TL;DR

In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, teachers, parents, and students in Chicago have come together to adapt, support each other, demand equity, and rethink education.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How have teachers adapted to remote learning during the pandemic?

Teachers have learned to host online meetings, hung whiteboards in their living rooms, and reached out to students to ensure their well-being. They have also organized food drives, made and donated masks, and continued to support their students despite the challenges of remote learning.

Q: What have parents learned from the experience of remote learning?

Parents have gained insight into how school happens and what excites and engages their children. They have witnessed their children learning empathy, balance, time management, and other important life skills. This experience has highlighted the importance of parent engagement and the need to prioritize their children's wellness.

Q: What is the fight for equity in Chicago schools?

The fight for equity in Chicago schools is a longstanding battle to ensure that all students have equal access to resources and opportunities. This includes closing the tech gap, eliminating isolation and competition between schools and neighborhoods, and addressing the impact of housing instability and attacks on immigrant communities.

Q: How can schools better support the whole student?

Schools can better support the whole student by providing social workers, nurses, and counselors in every school. Smaller class sizes, adequate staffing, and the availability of art, physical education, music, and computer science programs are also crucial. Additionally, involving students in decision-making processes and considering alternative models of assessment can contribute to better supporting students' holistic development.

Q: How can assessment in schools be reimagined?

One way to rethink assessment is to reduce the emphasis on standardized testing and quantifying student performance. Exploring alternative models like proficiency-based grading programs can provide a more comprehensive understanding of student abilities. Collaborating with the students themselves and involving them in the conversation is essential to creating a more equitable and effective assessment system.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Teachers have had to adapt and make remote learning possible during the pandemic, while also providing support to their communities through food drives, making masks, and reaching out to students.

  • Parents have become more involved in their children's education due to remote learning, and this presents an opportunity to continue engaging parents and ask them what support they need.

  • There is a need for equity in education, including equal access to technology and resources for all students, support for the whole student including social and emotional needs, and rethinking the emphasis on standardized testing and grades.

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