A new podcast on how the pandemic has transformed public education in WA
Two years on, students are mostly back in the classroom, but uncertainty about the future of education persists as the impacts of the pandemic reverberate. The shutdowns, after all, have forced millions of children across the country to attend school online for the first time, leading to all manner of chaos, frustration, mental health issues, loss of academic learning and even a decline in enrollment in public schools.
For the third season of This Changes Everything, we take an in-depth look at this disruption. We spoke to teachers, parents, students, and administrators about the challenges and discoveries and came away with some lessons from a turning point in American education.
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A big takeaway is that there are also things Americans learned from this experience — including, in some cases, a new perspective on deep systemic issues that plagued education long before the virus. And some teachers, students and families see this tumultuous time as more than a challenge. They also see it as an opportunity.
Over six episodes, all available now, we explore the emergence of grace as an educational practice, the impact of the pandemic on student mental health, the possible benefits of online learning, how the pandemic and the protests have changed the conversation around racism in education, and how this prolonged state of weirdness has helped some parents better understand how their children learn.
And as schools continue to manage a bumpy ‘return to normal’, we wonder: Is ‘normal’ even possible? And should that even be the goal?
Listen to the whole season now:
Episode 1: How ‘grace’ became the word for some Western Australian educators
Episode 2: The mental health crisis plaguing students and their teachers
Episode 3: When Online Learning Really Works
Episode 4: The Toll ‘Regular’ School Takes on Students of Color
Episode 5: Meet the Students Calling for More Equity in Public Schools
Episode 6: What Closings Have Taught Some WA Parents About Special Education