This past year, policymakers and educators have scrambled to put online learning and radically altered classroom learning protocols in place. How have parents, students, and educators been impacted by these changes? What lessons can we find to guide long-term adaptations for a safe school year? Social science and humanities researchers across the country are seeking answers to these questions and more.
Professor Emma Duerden, the scientific lead of the Developing Brain research program at the University of Western Ontario, is an expert in child cognitive development. Since COVID-19, her research team has pivoted to studying optimal online learning methods for primary school children in Ontario and the impacts of changing school environments on parents’ stress and children’s behaviour.
The first phase of the project investigated children’s shifting behaviours and screen time use during the pandemic. By surveying parents, the researchers have learned that: