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Educating During Pandemic Times

By Hortensia Prieto

August 21, 2020

During the first months of 2020 in Mexico, as in the rest of the world, the circumstances in which education develops have changed. Since the World Health Organization (WHO) on March 11th declared that COVID-19 passed from being an epidemic to a pandemic, the way of providing education changed overnight.
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Given the regulations and measures taken by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education in Mexico, the entire educational system should cancel face-to-face classes.

The process of migrating from an in-person school to a virtual school has represented various challenges for educators, it has also offered ample opportunities to improve what is being done and will continue to be done, since this will represent "the new normal in education."

Regardless of how the virtual classroom will look in the short or long term, the humanistic vision of education cannot be ignored, through which it is intended to develop meaningful learning in students, including a more comprehensive vision of education that takes into account affective and cognitive processes.  Given this, learning benefits from promoting active collaboration, where the students decide, use their own resources, and take responsibility for their learning, within an environment of respect, understanding and support. Student involvement is and will continue to be within any modality, whether face-to-face or virtual, a key element that should be monitored to support the humanistic experience of student learning.

 

Considering this humanistic approach and the need to restructure the virtual model for a new school year, two learning approaches that promote greater involvement were chosen: The Project Based Approach (PBS) for Upper Grades, and the “Thematic Units Approach” for Early Childhood and Lower Elementary.

 

Within all the uncertainty that exists today due to this pandemic, what is clear is that we must be open and flexible, since we are heading towards a very dynamic year with constant and unpredictable changes. We will consolidate our virtual model and be attentive to the academic and social-emotional development of each and every one of the students.

 

The Virtual School has brought great challenges and opportunities for all those involved, and with great certainty we can say that many of its components will now be part of the new educational normality to which we will return.

 

During this period of pandemic and confinement, the extraordinary work of ISR teachers stands out, who have adapted their instructional methods to achieve a high level of involvement and motivation in their students. Likewise, parents have committed to continuing this education process, they have diligently accompanied and supported their children in their learning journey. This collaborative work with students, teachers and parents is a key element to achieving the learning objectives.

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