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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Social learning from media: the need for a culturally diachronic developmental psychology

Mark Nielsen; Frankie T. K. Fong; Andrew Whiten

Published: July 2021   Journal: Advances in Child Development and Behavior

Since the proliferation of television sets into households began over half a century ago there has been widespread interest in the impact that viewing has on young children's development. Such interest has grown with the increasing availability of smart phones and tablets. This review examines the literature documenting human social learning and how this learning is impacted when the instructing agent appears on a screen instead of face-to-face. It then explores the shifting nature of screen-based media, with a focus on the increasingly socio-normative manner information is portrayed. It discusses how the changing nature of screen technology might be altering how children interpret what they see, and raise the possibility that this may render prevailing evidence as historical documentation, rather than setting out established developmental milestones that transcend the period in which they were documented.

Toward quality online physical education: research questions and future directions

David N. Daum; Tyler Goad; Brian Mosier (et al.)

Published: June 2021   Journal: International Journal of Kinesiology in Higher Education
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, online education had grown steadily over the past decade as more K-12 schools and districts expanded their educational options. This included the use of virtual school days, hybrid learning, and fully online courses. Enrollments in K-12 Online Physical Education (OLPE) had also increased steadily over the past decade, representing almost ten percent of total online course completions (Distance Learning Collaborative (DLC), (2019). The purpose of this article is to present a coherent agenda for future research related to K-12 OLPE using current research as a foundation. The Society of Health and Physical Education (SHAPE) America’s Essential Components of Physical Education served as the framework for this article. Overall, limited research has been conducted regarding the policies and decisions that drive the development and implementation of OLPE. Current research does, however, provide some clarity related to OLPE curriculum, instructional practices, and student assessment. K-12 OLPE is not an abstract idea that might come about in the future. It is part of the here and now, especially considering the shift toward distance learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Scholars must cultivate a coherent research agenda and move beyond the current exploratory studies to answer some of the most poignant questions surrounding OLPE.
Maintaining professional standards in early childhood teacher preparation: evaluating adaptations to fieldwork-based experiences during COVID-19

Larisa Callaway-Cole; Ashley Kimble

Published: June 2021   Journal: Early Childhood Education Journal
At institutions striving to maintain face-to-face field placements and instruction amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, circumstances changed daily in response to new developments at the university, local school districts, and personal circumstances. This mixed-methods study explored and evaluated the adaptations made to early childhood teacher preparation courses in an undergraduate program in order to provide relevant training through a variety of instructional modalities including face-to-face, virtual, hypothetical, and mixed reality. Focused on maintaining professional standards through adapted coursework designed to meet student learning outcomes, instructors reflected on multiple instructional modalities and analysis of demonstrable learning outcomes for students in a four-year bachelor’s degree program resulting in state teacher certification.
Recovering lost learning: what can be done quickly and at scale?
Institution: UNESCO
Published: June 2021

Students around the world have lost substantial instructional time owing to abrupt school closures since theoutbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to UNESCO monitoring, in 2020, school buildings werecompletely closed for an average of 15 weeks (4  months) worldwide (UNESCO, 2021a). Counting partialclosures, schools were shut on average for 26 weeks (6.5 months) worldwide, equivalent to almost two-thirds of a typical school year. In response, education systems have deployed remote and hybrid learning modalities to ensure continuity of learning. These efforts have yielded mixed results, with varying degrees of improvement and reduction in inequalities in student learning depending on the modalities and implementation methods of the different education programmes. As a result, almost all students needsome catch-up learning, compelling education systems to deploy and scale up targeted interventions quicklyto help pupils bridge their learning gaps and improve learning.This paper draws key messages to help policy and practice to mitigate the disruptive effects of the COVID-19 crisis on student learning. It addresses the growing concerns of both policy and decision-makers aboutstudents’ disengagement from – or loss of – learning owing to the pandemic, as   reflected in low levels of achievement at   checkpoints compared to expected learning levels, reduced rates of completion and/orgrowing disparities in learners' achievement. If policy-makers do not react quickly by providing additionaland relevant support to address students’ learning needs, especially those from marginalized groups,millions of children and youth may not return to the classroom, and may eventually drop out of school.


Ready to start school, learn and work: evidence from three education programmes for out-of-school children and adolescents in Bangladesh

Marco Valenza; Cirenia Chávez; Annika Rigole (et al.)

Institution: *UNICEF
Published: June 2021
Children in the Sylhet division, in the Northeast of Bangladesh, face complex challenges in accessing quality education, at all school levels. The region ranks among the poorest performers in learning attainment across education levels. UNICEF Bangladesh and its partners have leveraged resources from the Let Us Learn (LUL) initiative to deliver three alternative learning pathways for out-of-school children and adolescents in remote areas of Sylhet. The three pathways cover key transition points in a child’s education: Getting ready to start school (Pre-Primary Education programme), learning foundational skills (A​bility-B​ased Accelerated Learning programme) and entering the job market (Alternative Learning Pathway programme). This report presents evidence on the achievements of the three programmes, highlighting key policy recommendations. The findings draw on analysis of programme monitoring data, qualitative case studies, focus group discussions and interviews. This paper is one of a series of research reports presenting emerging evidence on programmes supported by the LUL initiative, which aims to expand quality learning opportunities for disadvantaged children in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Liberia, Madagascar and Nepal.
Initial development of a national survey on remote learning in early childhood during COVID-19: establishing content validity and reporting successes and barriers

Meaghan McKenna; Xigrid Soto‑Boykin; Ke Cheng (et al.)

Published: June 2021   Journal: Early Childhood Education Journal
This article describes the development and administration of a survey to identify early childhood educators’ successes and barriers when delivering remote instruction (e.g., online whole or small group instruction) during the COVID-19 pandemic to children 2–5 years old. The survey was developed using procedures outlined by the commonly accepted stages of an instrument development process. Content validity was established using four approaches: (a) identifcation of the purpose of the survey, (b) creation of a blueprint of items, (c) cognitive interviews, and (d) expert panel review. A total of 1,053 early childhood educators began the survey, with 808 (77%) of the responses included because educators met the inclusion criteria of working in the United States and responding to at least one question related to remote instruction.
Head teachers’ opinions on the future of school education conditioned by emergency remote teaching

Katarzyna Potyrała; Nataliia Demeshkant; Karolina Czerwiec (et al.)

Published: June 2021   Journal: Education and Information Technologies
The study explores the school transformation process as evidenced by the opinions of head teachers. The main goal of the research was to present a content analysis study of the Polish educational environment on the basis of primary and secondary head teachers’ views on the risks and perspectives brought by the global Covid-2019 lockdown. The conceptual framework was based on the theoretical perspective (the cognitive and affective processes in multimedia learning, the theory of motivation, and goal setting) as well as the model of the school as a learning organization and the assumptions of Emergency Remote Teaching. The categorized interviews with the head teachers were conducted using a categorized interview questionnaire and the respondents considered various categories problems within educational practice related to the functioning of schools during the pandemic.
COVID-19 and inclusive open and distance learning solutions: A rapid assessment of the development and implementation of inclusive open and distance learning solutions for students with disabilities served by inclusive, special schools and resource c
Institution: UNESCO
Published: June 2021

This report highlights a very important topic for the world and for society: inclusive education as a significant issue in the context of the global Education 2030 Agenda and special education to safeguard the rights and interests of per-sons with disabilities share a common focus on the equal access to education for students with disabilities among disadvantaged groups. UNESCO has been advocating for the global com-munity to work together to find ways to remove barriers to learning for persons with disabilities and to provide them with appropriate conditions for equal access to education. Evidence–based data received during interviews with over 50 educators in Rwanda and Mauritius provided the opportunity to identify gaps, les-sons learned, and good practices in the target countries, and helped to articulate the policy recommendations to encourage innovative and pervasive use of ICT and ODL solutions for the education of students with disabilities.

COVID 19, technology-based education and disability: the case of Mauritius; emerging practices in inclusive digital learning for students with disabilities

Anuradha Gungadeen

Institution: UNESCO
Published: June 2021

The research was guided by the following objectives: outline the main contributions of institutions in facilitating integration of information and communication technology (ICT) in SEN education during the pandemic crisis; examine the relevance, efficiency, and effectiveness of technological innovations employed in SEN education; analyse the major barriers impeding the implementation of ODL solutions in SEN education; determine the promising innovative technological practices and whether they are potentially sustainable and replicable in a post-COVID environment; propose policy recommendations to promote and encourage innovative and pervasive use of ODL solutions for learners with disabilities as a post-COVID recovery plan.

COVID 19, technology-based education and disability: the case of Colombia; emerging practices in inclusive digital learning for students with disabilities

Martha Laverde

Institution: UNESCO
Published: June 2021
This study will describe the opportunities and challenges related to the utilization of information and communication technology (ICT) to create more inclusive learning environments in Colombia. It will present and ana-lyse key features of the national policy and one or two emerging initiatives. In each case, it will review, for each target population, accessible ICT products and services in formal and non-formal educational settings.
COVID 19, technology-based education and disability: the case of Bangladesh, emerging practices in inclusive digital learning for students with disabilities

Vashkar Bhattacharjee; Shahriar Mohammad Shiblee

Institution: UNESCO
Published: June 2021

This  study  sheds  light  on  Bangladesh’s  initiatives  in  the  area  of  disability-inclusive  education.  The  particu-lar  focus  is  on  the  role  of  its  Accessible  Reading  Materials  (ARM)  initiative  and  how  this  has  contributed  to ensuring disability-inclusive and accessible education during the COVID-19 pandemic in Bangladesh. ARM is a government-led initiative that was launched in 2014 by the then Access to Information (a2i) programme of   the    Prime Minister’s Office, now the    Aspire to   Innovate Programme of    the    Information and    Communica-tion Technology (ICT) Division of the Government of Bangladesh. It was launched in recognition of the need for solutions to ensure virtual, as well as regular reading access for all students, including children and young people with barriers to reading. ARM is aimed at satisfying the educational needs of all students including students with print and learning disabilities.

Child education in the time of pandemic: learning loss and dropout

Muhammad Jehangir Khan; Junaid Ahmed

Published: June 2021   Journal: Children and Youth Services Review
The disruptive effects of the COVID-19 pandemic had affected the education sector at an unprecedented scale. In order to contain the spread of the virus, a large number of countries across the globe have shut their schools to handle the pandemic. However, it has adversely affected students' learning and school attendance. In this regard, we assess the impact of COVID-19 on the learning loss, school dropout, and the economic costs in term of foregone earnings for children in Pakistan. The study finds a substantial decrease in Learning Adjusted Years of Schooling (LAYS) with worsening consequences for girls than boys. Likewise, the aggregate economic cost amounts to 107 billion dollars when adjusted for human capital utilisation. Besides, our simulation results suggest that about 7.2 million children dropout due to a reduction in household expenditure by 50 percent. In comparison, the dropout is more pronounced at the primary level of schooling. The results recommend that the government design robust social protection and remote education strategies to mitigate school closure’s adverse effect on children's learning. The emphasis should be rather on the long run strategies to cope with a resilient education system of futuristic orientation.
Potential impact of COVID-19 outbreak on education, staff development and training in Africa

Ebrima K. Ceesay

Published: June 2021   Journal: Research in Globalization
The COVID-19 pandemic begins in China in 2019 and because of the connections of China with the rest of the World in trade and businesses, the virus started to spread quickly around the World. This rapidly spread causes serious negative effects on education, small, medium, and large businesses, economic, health, food security, employment, traveling, environment, energy, market, even causes countries to take loans and their debt rises. The specific knowledge about COVID-19 also affects education, which is a source of human capital formation. The data obtained from an online survey, covered from June 2020 to October 2020.
The COVID-19 pandemic impact on pediatric surgery residency programs

Gunadi Gunadi; Naisya Balel; Alvin Santoso Kalim (et al.)

Published: June 2021   Journal: Heliyon
The residency program as a part of the clinical services itself has been influenced by the COVID-19 outbreak. Several reports have been published regarding the impact of COVID-19 on the residency programs; however, all studies were performed in developed countries or did not comprehensively analyze what residents think about the COVID-19 impact on their residency program. We investigated the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the pediatric surgery residency program in our institution as an important part of hospital medical services.
Preschoolers’ approaches to learning and family-school connections during COVID-19: an empirical study based on a Wuhan sample

Fei Tan; Xin Gong; Xiao Zhang (et al.)

Published: May 2021   Journal: Early Childhood Education Journal
The concept, approaches to learning (ATL), is an important dimension of children’s school readiness, which reflects children’s enthusiasm and engagement in learning settings. Due to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), when preschools were shut down for months and children’s social interactions were greatly limited, preschoolers’ ATL might be negatively affected. However, strengthened family-school connections might have the potential to reduce the adverse effects of the pandemic. Based on a sample of 340 preschoolers from 30 classes of 6 preschools in Wuhan, China, we explored the association between family-preschool connections and preschoolers’ ATL scores.
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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.