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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 434
Parental support for young learners’ online learning of English in a Chinese primary school

AUTHOR(S)
Jian Tao; Yueting Xu

Published: January 2022   Journal: System
Online language learning is challenging to young learners who often need high levels of support from teachers and parents due to their limited skills in self-regulated learning. While technology integration in education is on the rise, there continues to be a lack of research into how young learners can be better supported in online language learning. This qualitative study examines how parents support young learners' online learning of English during the COVID-19 pandemic, based on interviews with 30 parents of students in Grades 1–5 at a Chinese primary school. The study reveals a range of supportive practices: monitoring of learning emerged as the top priority for parents, followed by affective, academic and technology support. Most of these parental support strategies were mediated primarily by the children's grade level and/or parents' socioeconomic background. Parents also sought teachers' help and played bridging roles to enable teacher-student interaction, particularly when they were unable to provide direct help themselves.
Mental health & maltreatment risk of children with special educational needs during COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Winnie W. Y. Tso; Ko Ling Chan; Tatia M. C. Lee (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: Child Abuse & Neglect

Children with special educational needs (SEN) are more vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic with risk of poor mental wellbeing and child maltreatment. To examine the impact of COVID-19 on the mental health of children with SEN and their maltreatment risk. 417 children with SEN studying at special schools and 25,427 children with typical development (TD) studying at mainstream schools completed an online survey in April 2020 in Hong Kong during school closures due to COVID-19.

‘I already know about it, I’ve been watching the Daily News and updates’: teenagers’ questions about the scientific and social aspects of COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Jenny Byrne; Alison Marston; Marcus Grace (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: Journal of Biological Education
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a surfeit of information and misinformation in the media about it. The lockdown in England meant that schools were closed from March to June, meaning that students had limited access, in school, to ask questions and discuss the biology of the novel virus (SARS-CoV-2) or the impact of the pandemic on themselves, their families and friends. In this small-scale exploratory study, we decided to ask students (15–16-year-olds) on their return to school in June 2020 and in September 2020, what they wanted to know about COVID-19. Findings show that their questions were similar at both time points, indicating that students wanted to know the same things. This suggests that despite the high volume of information available in the media, some of the students’ questions had not been answered or that sources of information were confused and at times contradictory. Interestingly, the questions they asked were based on reliable sources of news rather than fake news, and this finding seems to contradict the literature that indicates young people are prone to believing misinformation. The implications for teaching and learning about COVID-19, and other zoonotic diseases as socio-scientific issues are discussed.
How much does universal digital learning cost?

AUTHOR(S)
Haogen Yao; Mathieu Brossard; Suguru Mizunoya (et al.)

Published: January 2022

COVID-19 school closures initially revealed more than 75% of children lacked access to critical digital learning opportunities. Three out of four were living in the poorest 40% of households. Digital learning is impossible without connectivity and electricity. However, in places like Chad, Malawi and Niger, the proportion of people with access to electricity is below 1 in 5. What efforts will ensure these children are not further left behind in future crises if schools are again closed? How much will universal access to digital learning cost? The answer is US$1.4 trillion. This paper estimates the cost of universalizing digital learning by 2030, in alignment with the conceptual framework of the Reimagine Education initiative. It provides a rationale for cost assumptions; classifies costs into enabling digital learning and delivering digital learning; and, finally, discusses financing achievability by comparing the estimated costs with current spending in education and other sectors.

The impact of extended e-learning on emotional well-being of students during the COVID-19 pandemic in Saudi Arabia

AUTHOR(S)
Sehar-un-Nisa Hassan; Fahad D. Algahtani; Mohammad Raafat Atteya (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Children
Educational institutions in Saudi Arabia extended e-learning until the third semester of the academic calendar to prevent the spread of COVID-19 infection and to achieve 70% inoculation for the Saudi population. This study assesses the impact of extended e-learning and other associated stressors on the emotional health of university students in Saudi Arabia. An online cross-sectional survey collected data between the months of January–March 2021. The emotional signs of stress were measured by using a subset of items from the COVID-19 Adolescent Symptom and Psychological Experience Questionnaire (CASPE). Data about demographic variables, educational characteristics and academic performance were also collected. A regression analysis was performed to determine predictors of emotional health. A total of 434 university students including females (63%) and males (37%) provided responses.
A generational catastrophe: COVID-19 and children’s access to education and food in South Africa

AUTHOR(S)
Debra Shepherd; Nompumelelo Mohohlwane

Published: December 2021   Journal: Development Southern Africa
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, children have been put at greater risk of school drop-out, as well as food insecurity and emotional health deterioration. This paper considers these issues as they have occurred in South Africa. It uses all waves of the National Income Dynamics Study–Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey to estimate non-return to school, access to school meals, and household well-being. The number of learners not attending school in 2021 is estimated to be close to quadruple pre-pandemic levels. Combined with estimates of learning lost, we can conclude that the pandemic has worn away at two decades of progress made in basic education. Evidence also indicates that school feeding has been slow to recover to pre-pandemic levels. Deepened levels of household hunger combined with a lack of access to free school meals is indicated to contribute to significantly greater levels of caregiver anxiety and psychological distress.
Digital parenting during the COVID-19 lockdowns: how Chinese parents viewed and mediated young children’s digital use

AUTHOR(S)
Simin Cao; Chuanmei Dong; Hui Li

Published: December 2021   Journal: Early Child Development and Care
The COVID-19 lockdowns had forced young children to take digital preschooling and their parents to practize digital parenting. This study explored how Chinese parents viewed and mediated early digital use during the lockdowns. A total of 2491 parents were recruited nationally and surveyed online in late 2020. The results indicated that: (1) Chinese parents held mixed views of early digital use with some being positive (25.09%), and negative (35.13%), and balanced or ambivalent (32.64%); (2) they were concerned about the negative impact on early learning and development even though the lockdown has led to an inevitable surge in digital use; and (3) they mainly perceived parental roles as guides (35.84%) and supervisors (32.04%) and adopted four digital parenting approaches: supervision, active mediation, restrictive mediation, and co-use or co-view. The findings imply that Chinese parents were not ready to cope with the challenges caused by early digital use.
Parental perceptions of the impact of COVID-19 and returning to play based on level of sport

AUTHOR(S)
Michael B. Edwards; Jason N. Bocarro; Kyle S. Bunds (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Sport in Society
This study examined the impact of COVID-19 on youth sport parents based on competition level to understand how the pandemic affected youth sport and factors associated with youth returning to sport. Survey data were collected from samples of US sport parents in two waves - early in the pandemic (N = 751) and as programs began to resume (N = 707). Data showed elite sport parents were more willing to return. Although most participants returned to play, significant numbers had not resumed participation. Parent comfort was the most important factor associated with resuming. However, parents allowed children to resume play due to perceived external pressure, potentially creating stress among parents regarding sport participation decisions. Attending school in person and household income were associated with the ability to resume sport suggesting the need to provide school sport environments and consider the financial impacts of COVID-19 on sport families.
After the virus: disaster capitalism, digital inequity, and transformative education for the future of schooling

AUTHOR(S)
Richard Miller; Katrina Liu

Published: December 2021   Journal: Education and Urban Society
The 2020 COVID-19 disaster triggered an educational crisis in the United States, deeply exacerbating the inequities present in education as schools went online. This primary impact may not be the only one, however: literature describes a secondary impact of such disasters through “disaster capitalism,” in which the private sector captures the public resources of disaster-struck communities for profit. In response to these warnings, we ask how schools, families, and communities can counteract disaster capitalism for educational equity. To address this question, this study first synthesizes a critical framework for analyzing digital inequity in education. It then dissect the strategies disaster capitalism uses to attack the school-family-community relationship and exacerbate digital inequity in “normal” times as well as during crises. Employing the notion of community funds of knowledge, it next examines the resources schools, families, and communities can mobilize against disaster capitalism and digital inequity. Finally, guided by the concepts of generative change and transformative learning, this study considers actionable practices of countering disaster capitalism for a transformative education.
COVID-19 testing in schools: perspectives of school administrators, teachers, parents, and students in Southern California

AUTHOR(S)
Jennifer B. Unger; Daniel Soto; Ryan Lee (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Health Promot Practice

School-based COVID-19 testing is a potential strategy to facilitate the safe reopening of schools that have been closed due to the pandemic. This qualitative study assessed attitudes toward this strategy among four groups of stakeholders: school administrators, teachers, parents, and high school students. Focus groups and interviews were conducted in Los Angeles from December 2020 to January 2021 when schools were closed due to the high level of COVID transmission in the community.

Parents’ perceptions of secondary school students’ motivation and well-being before and during the COVID-19 lockdown: the moderating role of student characteristics

AUTHOR(S)
Lisette Hornstra; Linda van den Bergh; Jaap J. A. Denissen (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs
During the COVID-19 lockdown of spring 2020, Dutch children were being homeschooled. This study examined how parents’ (n = 470) perceptions of secondary school students’ (Mage = 14.23 years) need satisfaction, academic motivation and well-being differed before the lockdown (assessed retrospectively) and during the lockdown. Furthermore, it examined the differential impact of the lockdown for different groups of children based on parental educational level, academic track, gender and special educational needs (SEN).
Infants’ and toddlers’ digital media use and mothers’ mental health: a comparative study before and during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Bruna Gabriella Pedrotti; Manoela Yustas Mallmann; Carla Regina Santos Almeida (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Infant Mental Health Journal
This study compared children's and mothers’ digital media use and mothers’ mental health in two samples: one accessed before (Group 1; N = 257; M = 33.18 years; SD = 4.79) and the other accessed during (Group 2; N = 256; M = 33.51 years; SD = 4.96) the COVID-19 pandemic in Brazil. Mothers of children up to 3 years old (Group 1: M = 17.95 months, SD = 9.85; Group 2: M = 16.48 months, SD = 10.15) answered an online survey. Bivariate analysis, factorial ANOVA tests, and multiple linear regression were performed. Results suggest that mothers’ and children's media use duration was higher during the pandemic only among children over 12 months. Mothers’ media use duration (β = .18) and mothers’ intention to offer media (β = .23) contributed to the explanation of children's media use duration (F(4, 474) = 16.81; p < .001; R2 = .12; R2 adjusted = .117). Higher mothers’ common mental disorders symptoms were also positively correlated to mothers’ intention to offer media to children both before and during the pandemic. Results suggest that interventions focusing on infants and toddlers screen time reduction should target maternal aspects such as mental health, maternal screen time, and intention to offer media, taking into account the mothers’ needs when planning these actions.
The experience of SENCOs in England during the COVID-19 pandemic: the amplification and exposure of pre-existing strengths and challenges and the prioritisation of mental health and wellbeing in schools

AUTHOR(S)
Adam Boddison; Helen Curran

Published: December 2021   Journal: About this Journal Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs
A national survey of Special Educational Needs Coordinators (SENCOs) in England was conducted during the summer of 2020 in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic. The annually conducted survey typically collates demographic data about the SENCO workforce, but given the wider context, this particular survey also included nine questions about SENCOs' experiences during the pandemic. More than 1000 SENCOs participated in the survey and the findings demonstrate the critical contribution of SENCOs in supporting pupils with SEND and maintaining effective communication with their families during the pandemic. The study provides evidence of an amplification effect in relation to the strengths and challenges that SENCOs had been experiencing prior to the pandemic. The study also demonstrates the importance of prioritising mental health and wellbeing in schools for both pupils and staff in the wake of the pandemic, with this being the key priority identified by SENCOs across all types of setting and all phases of education.
Sociality, resilience and agency: how did young Australians experience online learning during Covid-19?

AUTHOR(S)
Loshini Naidoo; Jacqueline D’warte; Susanne Gannon (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: The Australian Educational Researcher
In 2020 when schooling was abruptly reconfigured by the pandemic, young people were required to demonstrate new capabilities to manage their learning and their wellbeing. This paper reports on the feelings, thoughts and experiences of eight Year 9 and 10 students in NSW and Victoria about the initial period of online learning in Australian schools that resulted from the Covid-19 pandemic. Beyond dominant narratives of vulnerability and losses in learning, our participants offered counternarratives that stressed their capacities to rise and meet the times. This study trace three central themes on how they: found moments of agency that increased their confidence, reconfigured resilience as a socially responsible set of practices, deployed sociality as a resource for the benefit of themselves and others. The pandemic opened up conversations with young people about where and how learning takes place and how schools might adapt and respond to young people’s growing sense of urgency about the future of schooling.
Covid-19 and school closure: examining the impact on private mid-range and low-fee private basic schools in Ghana

AUTHOR(S)
Lordina Juvenile Ehwi; Richmond Juvenile Ehwi

Published: December 2021   Journal: Prospects
The Covid-19 lockdown implemented globally to prevent the spread of the virus has led to the closure of schools. However, insight into the impact of the lockdown on private schools and the responses it has elicited is limited, especially across the African continent. This article examines the impact of the lockdown on private basic schools in Ghana and how they responded to the closure. Following “organizational ambidexterity” and qualitative interviews with nine proprietors of private schools in Ghana, the study found that the schools’ closure had a negative impact on private basic schools in five crucial ways: disruption to teaching and learning, difficulty in retrieving unpaid teaching fees, inability to pay staff salaries and statutory payments, underutilization of existing assets, and the cost of storing unused stock. The article offers suggestions to the government to support private schools that are broadening educational access at thin profit margins.
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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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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.