Although COVID-19 is starting to become less a part of daily adaptation and more a part of history, there will forever be changes to our education system moving forward. This is not necessarily a bad thing. 

Sports and School Will Be Less Intertwined

Currently, team-based sports are the glue holding public schools together. Still, future school calendars won’t be as sports-based, and the governing sports organizations will be separate from the identity of public education. There is no doubt that sports programs are a vital part of a child’s development, and team sports can be beneficial if a student chooses to follow that path. The positives of being a part of a team include individual growth, team bonding, and physical fitness. In addition, the benefits of having a good coach or mentor can provide lifelong self-esteem and success. That being said, many countries worldwide embrace sports within the community, as opposed to making it part of the public school experience. With a focus on education, schools will sponsor fewer recruitment-motivated assemblies to promote athletic college scholarships and kickbacks for high schools.

Remote Learning Will Remain

Remote learning will be the new reference point for the evolution of children’s education, which might not be a bad thing. Diverting from traditional schooling means there will be broader options for previously restricted families because of income, race, or geographic location.   

As virtual teaching becomes our new normal, the benefits will start to unfold once we get past the learning curve. It will become a mass-delivery education system that can be entertaining, cost-effective, and customized for multiple paces and schedules. Options will include group lectures, individualized instruction, and continued use of existing sources such as Khan Academy and YouTube. The cost-savings alone will be beneficial. The approximate per-pupil expenditure for remote learning is just over $5,200, while in-person schooling is $13,600.

Homeschooling Will Become Normalized

One thing that families have noticed is how practical homeschooling can be. In 2020, the response to the pandemic drove a severe decline in enrollment across the country. Among the reasons listed for this decline were homeschooling and losing students to charter or private schools. The vast majority, at fifty-eight percent, were attributed to homeschooling. There is now a marketplace for homeschooling that has been embraced by families who previously never considered it. 

 

Dr. Catherine Barnes is a Jacksonville, Florida-based educator with over 25 years of experience. A graduate of the University of Florida, Dr. Barnes forms her educational philosophy around the belief that “kids deserve a fighting chance—even if you have to fight to give it to them.” She understands that, by adapting to modern students’ needs, today’s teachers can change the trajectory of a child’s life, and has allowed her to continuously embody success and vision in her field.