Skip to main content

Make Schools More Human []


Jun Cen

The pandemic showed us that education was broken. It also showed us how to fix it.

By Jan Mehta, professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education

If a measure of a society is how well it takes care of its young, the past nine months are a damning indictment of our nation.

Parents and teachers have been working overtime under impossible circumstances., and states have prioritized keeping gyms and restaurants open over keeping schools open. A result is that about 48 percent of all students are still in full-time virtual instruction (another 18 percent are in hybrid), according to Burbio, a company that tracks school calendars. These rates are higher among poor students and students of color. This is shameful — private schools holding classes under tents on spacious campuses while poor students are sitting outside McDonalds to get internet access.

There is little doubt that going to school is, on average, better for students. They are frequently tuning out of virtual learning. In higher poverty communities, older students are working to help make ends meet or have simply disappeared from the school rolls. What parents have seen streamed into their living rooms often reflects uninspired curriculums and pedagogy. Students think much of what they are learning is irrelevant and disconnected from their identities and the world around them.

These are not new problems — they are just newly visible because of the pandemic, and in some cases exacerbated by it.

It’s looking as though all schools should be able to open fully in the fall. The pandemic — and the pause in institutionalized schooling — has helped us to see what should change when that happens.

The first lesson that the pandemic has revealed is the limits of one-size-fits-all schooling.

To read more, go to:

Add Comment

Comments (3)

Newest · Oldest · Popular

There is little suspicion that going to school is, in general, good for the pupils. They are constantly adjusting to virtual learning. In higher poverty areas, older students are working to help end meetings or are easily deleted from school rounds. I got assignment writing help for them. What parents have seen flowing into their living rooms often reflects unspoken textbooks and lessons.

Thank you for sharing this article Jane, and your comments about schools. We have had our most challenging time ever and it has depleted our energy, resources, reserves, and collective will. But we will prevail, we must. My hope for 2021 is that the country finds common ground around shared values like caring for our children...

Copyright © 2023, PACEsConnection. All rights reserved.
Link copied to your clipboard.