Education, as is the case with every aspect of our society, has witnessed a seismic transformation triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. Within the first few weeks of its eruption widespread lockdowns and school closures were enforced resulting in an unprecedented disruption in the way education is being delivered. In-person learning and teaching were immediately replaced by synchronous and asynchronous modes of course delivery. Homes became the the new workspaces where learning takes place.
Now that the rates of infection are receding worldwide with more and more people being vaccinated, we can finally discern glimpses of light at the end of the tunnel. Schools in several countries, if not planning to open their doors back soon, have already welcomed back students and teachers. However, as the pandemic storm is weathering away, educational scholars and pedagogues have already started contemplating the future landscape of education, debating what might be termed the post-pandemic pedagogy.
The prefix post carries connotations of radical change and transformation. It implies a movement away from a previous state to a new different one. Admittedly, pre-pandemic education will definitely not be dissimilar to the post-pandemic one. Here are some reasons in favour of this metamorphosis.
The post-pandemic pedagogy is marked by a strong presence of digitality. It is true that online modes of instruction were already in vogue way before the outbreak of the COVID-19 but then discussions within education circles were mainly focused on the efficacy of technology in education. Now, after the mass exodus to the virtual world or what is called e-migraiton, technology becomes a central player in the pedagogical equation. Even for those die-hard techno-pessimists who resist any change they know deep down that technology becomes their own window into the world.
Instruction in the post-pandemic pedagogy certainly includes hybrid approaches that accommodate both in-person and virtual modes of course delivery. Blended learning and Flipped learning are concepts that were established before the COVID-19 era but they have now acquired renewed significance and salience. The ability to design courses that respond to the exigencies of both physical and virtual learning has already become an essential skill in a technology-enhance environment.
The success of the post-pandemic pedagogy requires a stronger parental engagement. Parents are emphatically required to bypass the traditional roles of monitoring and supervising to engaging in more active and meaningful ways in creating the right learning environment at home. With a significant part of education going online, it becomes easier than anytime before for parents to take part in the management of their kids learning. They can take part in online discussions with teachers and school community, track their kids progress, exchange ideas and feedback with members of the community, and partake in the decision making process regarding the design and development of curricular materials.
Finally, in post-pandemic pedagogy, technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK) is foregrounded. TPACK refers to the professional knowledge needed to effectively carry out educational tasks using technology. The concept of TPACK was advanced by Mishra and Koehler based on Lee Shulman’s categorization of teacher knowledge. Shulman’s (1987) initial categorization contained content knowledge (CK), pedagogical content knowledge (PCK), and general pedagogical knowledge (GPK). Mishra and Koehler added the technological dimension to the mix. Thriving in a post-pandemic pedagogy calls for a strong grounding in TPACK. Teachers and educators are to develop interdisciplinary digital competencies that can be applied in teaching across various school subjects.