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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

UNICEF Innocenti's curated library of COVID-19 + Children research

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1 - 15 of 317
Children’s conceptions of coronavirus

AUTHOR(S)
Fotini Bonoti; Vasilia Christidou; Penelope Papadopoulou

Published: October 2021   Journal: Public Understanding of Science
The present study aimed to examine children’s conceptions of coronavirus as denoted in their verbal descriptions and drawings and whether these vary as a function of children’s age and the mode of expression. Data were collected in Greece during spring 2020 and 344 children aged 4 to 10 years were first asked to verbally describe coronavirus and then to produce a drawing of it. Content analysis of data revealed the following main themes: (a) Coronavirus, (b) Medical, (c) Psychological, and (d) Social. Results showed that children from an early age present a remarkable level of understanding of coronavirus and the COVID-19 disease as a multidimensional construct, which can be designated not only through characteristics of the Sars-Cov-2 but also through its medical, social, and psychological consequences on people’s lives. Moreover, children were found to emphasize different aspects of this construct depending on their age and the mode of expression.
COVID-19 school closures and cumulative disadvantage: assessing the learning gap in formal, informal and non-formal education

AUTHOR(S)
Sheila González; Xavier Bonal

Published: October 2021   Journal: European Journal of Education
Reducing physical contact has been the most common strategy adopted by governments to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 disease. It has led most countries to close their schools. Previous evidence on the effects of teacher strikes, summer holidays, armed conflicts or any other cause of school closure on learning suggest that the effects of COVID-19 will be highly significant for some and will vary depending on students' previous performance, family characteristics, age or education track, among other factors. Recent evidence shows that learning losses during school closures have been widespread and especially intense among the more disadvantaged students. In this article we evaluate the magnitude of the gap regarding opportunities to learn in formal, informal and non-formal education between families depending on their cultural and economic capital. An online survey (n = 35,937) was carried out during the second week of the confinement (March 2020) in Catalonia. The survey targeted families with children between three and eighteen years. The responses show remarkable social inequalities in opportunities to learn. In this article, we describe the magnitude of the learning gap between social groups and explore which are the most significant factors that explain educational inequalities.
Insecurity, lack of support, and frustration: a sociological analysis of how three groups of students reflect on their distance education during the pandemic in Sweden

AUTHOR(S)
Ida Lidegran; Elisabeth Hultqvist; Emil Bertilsson (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: European Journal of Education
This article investigates the situation of Swedish upper secondary school students who have been subject to distance education during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. It understands the transition from onsite education to distance education as a recontextualization of pedagogical practice, its framing follows loosely concepts from Bernstein. Given that the field of upper secondary education is highly socially structured it is relevant to enquire into the social dimensions of distance education. For this purpose, the study analysed answers to an open-ended question in a survey answered by 3,726 students, and related them to a cluster analysis distinguishing three main clusters of students: urban upper-middle-class, immigrant working-class, and rural working-class.
School closures in France in 2020: Inequalities and consequences for perceptions, practices and relationships towards and within schools

AUTHOR(S)
Filippo Pirone

Published: October 2021   Journal: European Journal of Education
The French education system is known for its inequalities, as well as difficulties in relations between teachers, pupils and their families. But what happens when schools close their gates and begin teaching remotely? To support a sociological discussion of quantitative (N = 5,875) and qualitative (N = 20) data collected with the participation of French teachers during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, this article illustrates how the period of distance teaching was handled and the consequences for perceptions, practices and relations between teachers, pupils and families. The results from our survey show that, although educational inequalities increased during the period of school closures, it nonetheless enabled a good number of school stakeholders to reaffirm their commitment to learning and teaching and to strengthen social connections.
Primary school mathematics during the COVID-19 pandemic: no evidence of learning gaps in adaptive practicing results

AUTHOR(S)
Martijn Meeter

Published: October 2021   Journal: Trends in Neuroscience and Education

The COVID-19 pandemic induced many governments to close schools for months. Evidence so far suggests that learning has suffered as a result. Here, it is investigated whether forms of computer-assisted learning mitigated the decrements in learning observed during the lockdown. Performance of 53,656 primary school students who used adaptive practicing software for mathematics was compared to performance of similar students in the preceding year.

Uneven global education stimulus risks widening learning disparities
Institution: UNESCO
Published: October 2021
Due  to  the  COVID-19  Pandemic,  governments  around  the world  risk  losing  years  of  progress  towards  the  Sustainable Development Goal on education (SDG4) in the 2030 Education Agenda if they do not invest sufficiently in education systems during the crisis response and recovery. Education is not only a human right, but also a strategy for ongoing economic revival and  sustainable  development.  Efforts  to  sustain  or  increase economic investment in education should be smart, strong, and leave no one behind, providing targeted stimulus to vulnerable populations at higher risk of dropping out. UNESCO believes that  the  post-pandemic  economic  recovery  is  dependent  on short- and long-term investment in flexible, resilient education systems that can respond quickly and efficiently.
COVID-19 and educational inequality: How school closures affect low- and high-achieving students

AUTHOR(S)
Elisabeth Grewenig; Philipp Lergetporer; Katharina Werner (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: European Economic Review
In spring 2020, governments around the globe shut down schools to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus. This study argues that low-achieving students may be particularly affected by the lack of educator support during school closures. It collects detailed time-use information on students before and during the school closures in a survey of 1099 parents in Germany.
"Public health and social measures' considerations for educational authorities: schooling in the time of COVID-19: Considerations for health and educational authorities on the public health and social measures to reopen schools as safely as possible"

AUTHOR(S)
Kalpana Vincent; Viviane Bianco; Sarah Fuller (et al.)

Institution: *UNICEF
Published: October 2021

The return to face-to-face learning helps children return to a sense of normality, although different normality as prevention and control measures have likely altered school and classroom routines. It is important that schools should have a risk-mitigation strategy in place. Countries should ensure these strategies carefully balance the likely benefits for, and harms to, younger and older age groups of children when making decisions about implementing infection prevention and control measures. Any measure needs to be balanced with the even worse alternative of schools being closed and Any measure introduced by schools should follow standard protocols for implementation. This publication shares more detailed considerations for health and educational authorities on the public health and social measures to reopen schools as safely as possible.

“Education cannot cease”: the experiences of parents of primary age children (age 4-11) in Northern Ireland during school closures due to COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Jessica Bates; Jayne Finlay; Una O’Connor Bones

Published: September 2021   Journal: Educational Review
This paper reports the research findings from an online survey of parents of primary-age pupils in Northern Ireland during the COVID-19 pandemic. The aims of the study were to explore how parents supported their child/ren’s home learning; to ascertain the communication, guidance and resources between home and school; and to learn from the experiences of parents to enable more effective practices to be established should similar circumstances arise in the future. The survey yielded 2,509 responses and highlighted the divergence of practices in relation to home-school communications across schools as well as the challenges experienced by parents, particularly those who had one or more children with special educational needs and/or those who had Free School Meal Entitlement.
Justice-centered education amid the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Michelle E. Forsythe; Yun-Wen Chan

Published: September 2021   Journal: The Journal of Environmental Education
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought new saliency to educational efforts to ensure every person is able to make effective personal decisions and participate in civic affairs. However, social and political systems often constrain individual opportunities to enact personal decision-making. These sociopolitical contexts necessitate an increased emphasis on justice-centered education that equips students to recognize and respond to inequities in local and global contexts. This article presents three case studies of areas relevant to K-12 education to which the pandemic has drawn critical attention: how scientific knowledge changes, how decisions are made about science-based issues, and how the impacts of such decisions cascade in the environment. Collectively, these cases highlight the importance of justice-centered pedagogies for learning about complex socioscientific issues such as the COVID-19 pandemic and how transboundary justice-centered education could support the meaningful convergence of environmental education, science education, and social studies education.
COVID-19 and the desire of children to return to nature: Emotions in the face of environmental and intergenerational injustices

AUTHOR(S)
Clementina Rios; Alison Laurie Neilson; Isabel Menezes

Published: September 2021   Journal: The Journal of Environmental Education
The global COVID-19 public health crisis has driven policies of lockdowns and social distancing that have had negative social and economic impacts, worsening inequalities and social exclusions, and mixed environmental impacts. This study engaged children from schools with diverse environmental pedagogies in online focus groups about nature and their experiences with nature during the pandemic. Participants expressed fear of the unknown virus, sadness from isolation, longing for family and friends, and yearning for the freedom to enjoy the outside world. They revealed knowledge of both positive and negative impacts of lockdowns on the environment. Their experiences with nature demonstrate how environmental injustice affects the lives of children from public schools in urban contexts, especially those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, who reported less contact with nature during the lockdown. As a group, children are aware and very critical of intergenerational environmental injustice and argue for the need for adults to act.
Mothers’ preferences for their children’s format for return to school during the Coronavirus disease-2019 pandemic: are there differences between full-time employed mothers and mothers who are not employed?

AUTHOR(S)
Christine A. Limbers; Christina L. Pavlov

Published: September 2021   Journal: Journal of Family Issues
The present study assessed factors associated with maternal preferences for their children’s educational format (i.e., completely in-person, completely online/remote, or hybrid of in-person and online/remote) for return to school during the COVID-19 pandemic and whether these associations differed between full-time employed mothers and mothers who were not employed. Participants were 911 mothers of school-aged children from the United States (full-time employed, n = 650; not employed, n = 261). Recruitment took place online via social media during Summer 2020. Questionnaires on school modality preference, maternal work status, and demographic characteristics were filled out online through Qualtrics.
Parent–student relational turbulence, support processes, and mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Timothy R. Worley; Madison Mucci-Ferris

Published: September 2021   Journal: Journal of Social and Personal Relationships
In Spring 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic introduced unexpected transitions for college students and their families. Informed by Relational Turbulence Theory, we examined associations among relational turbulence processes in students’ relationships with parents, social support seeking and reception, and mental health. Seven hundred forty-seven college students living at home with a parent completed an online survey during June 2020. Students’ self uncertainty, interference from parents, and relational turbulence were negatively associated with their support seeking and perceptions of support from parents, whereas facilitation from parents predicted increased support seeking and perceptions of support. In turn, support seeking and perceived support were negatively associated with students’ anxiety, depression, and stress. Finally, support processes mediated the association of turbulence with depression.
Small steps and stronger relationships: parents' experiences of homeschooling children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)

AUTHOR(S)
Shannon Ludgate; Clair Mears; Carolyn Blackburn

Published: September 2021   Journal: Jorsen
During the current global pandemic, parents and carers in England and across the UK have been asked by the Government to ‘home school’ their child/ren, and a plethora of resources have been produced and made available to assist with this. The perceived detrimental effects of being absent from school have been a driver for the Government in ensuring that schools remain open for as long as possible, and the current pandemic situation is replete with narratives of ‘loss’. Little attention has been paid to any potential benefits for children and families of homeschooling or the opportunities it provides. This paper reports on a small-scale online survey that explored the experiences of parents’ homeschooling their child/ren with SEND during a global pandemic in England.
Changes in US parents’ domestic labor during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Daniel L. Carlson; Richard J. Petts; Joanna R. Pepin

Published: September 2021   Journal: Sociological Inquiry
Stay-at-home orders and the removal of care and domestic supports during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic substantially disrupted US parents’ work and family lives. Although much is known about changes in US parents’ paid labor arrangements, the evidence regarding changes in unpaid domestic labor has been largely anecdotal. This study uses novel data from 1,025 US parents in different-sex partnerships to provide a descriptive overview of changes in mothers’ and fathers’ participation in, and division of, housework and childcare from March 2020 to the early days of the pandemic (late April 2020).
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UNICEF Innocenti's Children and COVID-19 Library is a database collecting research from around the world on COVID-19 and its impacts on children and adolescents.

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COVID-19 & Children: Rapid Research Response

UNICEF Innocenti is mobilizing a rapid research response in line with UNICEF’s global response to the COVID-19 crisis. The initiatives we’ve begun will provide the broad range of evidence needed to inform our work to scale up rapid assessment, develop urgent mitigating strategies in programming and advocacy, and preparation of interventions to respond to the medium and longer-term consequences of the COVID-19 crisis. The research projects cover a rapid review of evidence, education analysis, and social and economic policies.