There is a major flaw in all of this ‘lost learning’ rhetoric. It is not a permanent loss. Death is! The loss everyone is moaning about is relative to standard expectations based on normal times. In case you haven’t noticed, these are not normal times, so normal standards do not apply. When kids eventually go back to school, they will quickly get back in the game.
As it is, the standards include some interesting but non-essential knowledge. When was the last time you needed to calculate the limits of a parabola or balance a chemical equation? The Battle off Hastings was fought in 1066. William the Conqueror was there. So what? If we need to reduce the content standards, the loss will be minor compared to the alternative of catching and spreading the COVID virus.
Don’t misunderstand me. School is important in so many ways for childhood development and learning. But the current condition of attending a virtual instead of a physical class is not a devastating situation that people need to be worried about. In fact, if done well, students will become better learners because of it. They have to take more responsibility for all facets of their learning, like managing their time, doing online research, analyzing, synthesizing, and using information, etc.
So, relax! This will pass and kids will go back to school. Things will never be like they were before the pandemic, but that may be a good thing. Hopefully, we have learned some valuable lessons about public education and the new normal will be better than it was before. Let’s focus on that conversation. What lessons have we learned? What changes should we make to improve the way public schools serve the community?