The coronavirus pandemic has altered schooling across grade levels throughout the state of Michigan.
“There are going to be losses. But we set the standard for what counts as ‘behind.'” — Elizabeth Moje, University of Michigan School of Education
Educators, students and parents have all had to adapt to remote learning on short notice. The transition away from in-person instruction has varied district-to-district, illuminating vulnerabilities and validating bright-spots in Michigan’s education system.
Listen: Elizabeth Moje, Dean of the School of Education at the University of Michigan, talks social distancing’s impact on learning.
Elizabeth Moje, Dean of the School of Education at the University of Michigan, says that while schools were not prepared for a change of this magnitude, teachers across the state have been incredibly innovative in their approach to engaging students in remote learning. The alteration in instruction has provided challenges for students and teachers alike, increasing the workload in some disciplines.
“We have to do a lot of things that are in the moment, and that is difficult. It’s a lot more writing and reading that our children have to do and of course reading is the foundation of all learning,” says Moje.
“We have to recognize that when we all come back together children will be in many different places in learning and we have to support them.”
Moje encourages flexibility during this time as young people face a wave of uncertainty. Parents and teachers should expect losses and be ready and willing to adapt to the shift in benchmarks.
“There are going to be losses. But we set the standard for what counts as ‘behind.’ We have to recognize that when we all come back together children will be in many different places in learning and we have to support them,” says Moje. Grading is also changing from many schools during this time, something Moje says could be carried over after this crisis. “We could start to think more about giving feedback that actually helps young people grow and not focusing as much on evaluation.”