While this report is not produced by the State of the Nation: K-12 e-Learning in Canada project, it was published by our project partners the Canadian eLearning Network and the authors include our researchers.
Teaching during Times of Turmoil: Ensuring Continuity of Learning during School Closures
In April 2020 of the COVID-19 pandemic forced all of Canada’s schools to begin emergency remote teaching for their K-12 learners. Over the past two and a half years the Canadian eLearning Network (CANeLearn) has documented the impact of the pandemic on K-12 schooling. For each of the past two school years (i.e., 2020-21 and 2021-22), most schools were forced to implement some combination of face-to-face, hybrid, and/or online instruction for students as the threat of COVID-19 continued and schools faced decisions about how to continue teaching and learning while keeping their teachers, staff, and students safe. The uncertainty of most educators in how to effectively shift instruction to be at a distance from the student(s) demonstrated clearly that schools were not ‘pivoting’ to online learning, most simply broadcast typical classroom instruction through an online medium.
This report, the final in the “Pandemic Pedagogy Series,” provides a national overview of each phase of the K-12 educational response to the pandemic from the initial and immediate school closures in Spring 2020 through the 2020-21 and 2021-22 school years along with a summary of the pandemic pedagogical response for each province, territory, and the federal jurisdiction. It argues that we should not simply return to our teaching and learning practices prior to the virus, forgetting about remote teaching, as teaching and learning landscapes are not dichotomous, in-person learning or online learning. Rather, teaching and learning today requires the flexibility to navigate multiple learning landscapes simultaneously, yet few, if any, jurisdictions have taken the steps necessary to ensure that teachers and schools can toggle between in-person learning and remote learning with no loss of instructional quantity or quality.
This summary report argues that more planning and deliberate attention must be provided to teacher preparation, infrastructure, education policy, and resources to be able to maintain quality instructional continuity. The “Pandemic Pedagogy Series” reports by CANeLearn offer recommendations for how schools can be better prepared for future crises that incorporate both home-based and school-based learning opportunities mediated through online learning environments and there is a strong need to pursue this line of inquiry through continuing research beyond the confines of the seven reports in the series. A website6 was created to host the report series, along with an archive of online workshop presentations based on each report.
6 The website is available at https://sites.google.com/view/canelearn-ert/