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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 37
Family responsibilities and mental health of kindergarten educators during the first COVID-19 pandemic lockdown in Ontario, Canada.

Natalie Spadafora; Caroline Reid-Westoby; Molly Pottruff (et al.)

Published: May 2022   Journal: Teaching and Teacher Education
The present study, conducted during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ontario, Canada, addressed the association between family responsibilities and mental health (depression and anxiety) among kindergarten educators. Participants comprised 1790 (97.9% female) kindergarten educators (73.6% kindergarten teachers; 26.4% early childhood educators) across Ontario.
Transforming teaching and learning in early childhood care and education during COVID-19 in a poor community of the Cape Flats, South Africa

Naseema Shaik

Published: March 2022   Journal: Early Childhood Education Journal
This case study explored the dilemmas of three early childhood care and education (ECCE) teachers in a poor community in the Cape Flats of Cape Town, South Africa during COVID-19, and how they used these dilemmas to transform their teaching. Purposive sampling was used to select the participants and data was collected through a semi-structured interview and thematically analyzed. Ethical clearance was secured from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. Mezirow’s transformative learning theory was used as an analytical framework for the study. In particular, Mezirow’s concept of disorienting dilemmas was used to engage with the dilemmas the ECCE teachers were confronted with during the pandemic.
Early childhood educators’ psychological distress and wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic

Emily Berger; Gloria Quinones; Melissa Barnes (et al.)

Published: March 2022   Journal: Early Childhood Research Quarterly
There is growing awareness of the impacts of COVID-19 on children, families, and more recently, early childhood educators. This study aimed to add to this research and explore Australian early childhood educators’ psychological distress and wellbeing in relation to COVID-19. Accordingly, 205 educators (117 early childhood educators, 86 leaders and 2 others) completed the Impact of Event Scale-Revised, measuring levels of post-traumatic distress, and an open-ended question on wellbeing, both in relation to COVID-19. Educators’ responses to the open-ended question were matched to those who scored high, medium, and low on the Impact of Events Scale-Revised.
Looking back on Nigeria’s COVID-19 school closures: effects of parental investments on learning outcomes and avoidance of hysteresis in education

Moses Ogenyi

Institution: Research on Improving Systems of Education
Published: March 2022

This insight note explores how COVID-19 and related school closures impacted Nigerian schools, parents, and students. National data collected by the National Bureau of Statistics in 2020 through a monthly phone survey show that children had extremely limited contact with the education system during this time, and that families preferred low-cost alternatives such as in-home tutoring and increased parental involvement in education to e-learning tools. Additional data collected by the RISE Nigeria Team in a survey of 73 low-cost private schools in Abuja suggest that some schools did maintain contact with students during mandated school closures, that students experienced absolute learning losses equivalent to about 5-6 months of school missed in other contexts (Cooper et al, 1996), despite participation in alternative learning activities, and that the pandemic led to severe financial hardships for schools and teachers.

Understanding Caribbean early childhood teachers’ professional experiences during the COVID-19 school disruption

Sabeerah Abdul-Majied; Zoyah Kinkead-Clark; Sheron C. Burns

Published: February 2022   Journal: Early Childhood Education Journal
The COVID-19 Pandemic and resulting school closures, present a serious threat to young children’s care, learning, and the achievement of their developmental potential (UNESCO, 2020a). Disruptions to normal school functioning worldwide have presented challenges for teachers who were generally unprepared to teach using different methodologies (United Nations in Policy brief: Education during Covid-19 and beyond, 2020). Since a child’s right to care and education extends even during emergencies this study was conceptualized to better understand the professional experiences of early childhood teachers as they navigated the teaching learning process during the COVID-19 school disruption. A multiple site qualitative case study was designed to answer two research questions: What were the professional experiences of Caribbean Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) teachers at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic period? And how did Caribbean ECCE teachers adapt to ensure continuity of children’s rights to access education? Almog and Perry-Hazan’s (2012) conceptualisation of the Right to Adaptable Education provided the theoretical foundation for this study. Data were collected using a questionnaire sent to teachers from seven Caribbean countries. Five themes were extricated from the findings: changed teacher experiences, significant new understandings, changed teacher collaboration practices, changed individual qualities, and warning signs for support.
Both sides of the screen: predictors of parents’ and teachers’ depression and food insecurity during COVID-19-related distance learning

Anneanne Martin; Anne Partika; Anna D. Johnson (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: Early Childhood Research Quarterly
The COVID-19 pandemic has placed unprecedented strains on both parents and teachers, both of whose mental and financial hardships have serious implications for young children's wellbeing. This study drew on an existing cohort study of families with low incomes in Tulsa, OK when children were in their Spring of 1st grade in 2020. It surveyed parents and teachers – children's caregivers on both sides of the screen during distance learning – before and after the COVID-19 pandemic hit and schools were closed. It first compared the proportion of parents and teachers who were depressed and food-insecure before and after the pandemic struck. It then used pre-pandemic characteristics of parents and teachers in separate models to predict their depression and food insecurity during the pandemic.
Teachers’ perspectives on the delivery of transitional outreach activities and their potential to raise secondary school students’ Higher Education aspirations during the Covid-19 pandemic

Anthea Rose; Lucy Mallinson

Published: December 2021   Journal: Journal of Further and Higher Education
The role secondary schools play in raising student aspirations for, and encouraging progression into, Higher Education through supported outreach is important but often overlooked by both colleges and universities alike. This article reports on our work within Uni Connect’s ‘Raising Higher Education Aspirations’ programme in Lincolnshire which delivers targeted university-inspiring transitional outreach activities to Year 9–13 students from disadvantaged backgrounds with low levels of social and cultural capital, little or no familial habitus of Higher Education and where Higher Education participation is lower than expected. Specifically, this article considers university-inspiring transitional outreach from the perspective of six secondary school Uni Connect programme leads. Semi-structured interviews conducted with school leads over a 12-month period between October 2019 and November 2020 provided a unique insight into the successes and challenges schools face in delivering aspirational Higher Education outreach.
Being a Young High School Teacher in Mexico City. Teachers’ Experiences in Times of Pandemic

Luis Antonio Mata Zúñiga; Diego Angeles Colin

Published: November 2021   Journal: Journal of Applied Youth Studies
This work discusses the educational and occupational challenges posed by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic from the point of view of young high school teachers from Mexico City. It sought to identify and compare their teaching practices using the concept of asymmetric educational spaces (Villa Lever et al., 2017) to capture the influence of educational inequalities upon this sector’s response to the health crisis. For this purpose, 22 semi-structured interviews were conducted to an intentional selection of cases from private and public high schools, all from ages 22-30. Interviews were conducted remotely between June and August 2020, the moment of the first wave of COVID-19 infections in the Mexican capital.
Early childhood teachers of color in New York City: heightened stress, lower quality of life, declining health, and compromised sleep amidst COVID-19

Mariana Souto-Manning; Samantha A. Melvin

Published: November 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic and measures to mitigate its spread affected every facet of education and society. The closure of sites of early care and education posed risks to the health, nutrition, social well-being, and emotional development of young children. In the U.S., threats to the quality of life and wellness of early childhood teachers and young children ages birth to eight (early childhood according to definition issued by the National Association for the Education of young children) intensified existing inequities. These inequities were visible in stigmatizing children and families in neighborhoods with high infection rates; trauma emanating from the death and bereavement of family members; loss of employment and economic hardships; more young children living in extreme poverty; disruptions to child protection services; and higher rates of depression, anxiety, and stress. Stress, anxiety, and disrupted sleep, expected responses to a threat as sizeable as the COVID-19 pandemic, were further exacerbated by racialized inequities in access and rates of vaccination
The little jab aid: 5 ideas to increase COVID-19 vaccination for teachers in Middle East and North Africa (MENA)
This tool is designed to help increase Covid-19 vaccination amongst teachers in MENA countries. Using behavioural science, it offers practical guidance to get to the bottom of vaccine hesitancy, and to design tailored solutions to increase your Covid-19 vaccination rates. Children’s lives have been greatly disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Getting as many teachers vaccinated as possible offers the best chance to safely reopen schools and ensure children’s education can continue uninterrupted. Barriers to vaccine uptake among teachers include individual factors such as misinformation and procrastination, social factors such as a lack of positive social norms for vaccination among their peers, and structural factors such as limited availability of vaccines and low access to vaccination sites.
‘We'd never had to set up a virtual school before’: opportunities and challenges for primary and secondary teachers during emergency remote education

Anastasia Gouseti

Published: November 2021   Journal: Review of Education
The Covid-19 pandemic has brought about the largest disruption to formal education in recent history and has resulted in school closures and the move to online teaching and learning across the globe. Using data from interviews with 25 teachers and head teachers in England and Greece, this paper aims to capture educators’ experiences during emergency remote education (ERE) in spring–summer 2020 and contribute to current and future conversations about the post-pandemic school. Through a qualitative approach, the paper reports on the often improvised and compromised nature of online schooling during the first pandemic lockdown and presents the opportunities and challenges teachers experienced with the move to emergency remote education. It discusses how didactic modes of teaching prevailed, highlights the importance of parental involvement during ERE and argues that the move to online teaching and learning has accentuated digital inequalities.
Time to teach: teacher attendance and time on task in secondary schools in Rwanda

Spogmai Akseer; Ximena Jativa

Institution: *UNICEF
Published: October 2021
In Rwanda, over 3.5 million children were estimated to be out of school in 2020 when the country closed all schools as a safety measure against the spread of COVID-19. The government quickly developed a national response plan and started the process of hiring teachers, constructing classrooms and training in-service teachers in remote-learning pedagogies. Prior to the lockdown, schools were already experiencing challenges, including low attendance rates. In the post-COVID-19 environment, learning losses are expected to be significant, especially on the acquisition of foundational skills, and will hinder the ministry's efforts to achieve the learning outcomes of its new competence-based curriculum. A Time to Teach study in 2020 in Rwanda found that low teacher attendance was a common problem in primary schools. This study seeks to support the Ministry of Education by providing a comprehensive understanding of secondary school teacher attendance in the country. It builds on findings from the primary schools' study, to understand how attendance challenges may be similar or different across education levels, and more importantly, how these can help inform teacher policy design and implementation.
Time to teach: understanding teacher attendance and time on task in primary schools in Liberia

Silvia Peirolo; Ximena Jativa

Institution: *UNICEF
Published: October 2021

In Liberia, recurring school absenteeism and post abandonment are considered critical obstacles to quality education. Although national political actors recognize absenteeism as a major impediment to quality education, studies on the factors influencing teacher attendance in the country, including national policies and practices at the community and school levels, remain scarce. Also, there is a lack of knowledge on the direct and indirect ways the coronavirus pandemic and the measures adopted to contain it impact primary school teachers. This Time to Teach study seeks to fill these knowledge gaps. The report provides valuable insights into how the COVID-19 crisis may exacerbate existing education system challenges that affect teacher attendance and time on task. It also collects and strengthens the evidence base on the factors affecting the various dimensions of primary school teacher attendance to inform the design and implementation of teacher policies.

Time to teach: teacher attendance and time on task in primary schools in Nigeria

Spogmai Akseer; Ximena Jativa

Institution: *UNICEF
Published: October 2021

Prior to COVID-19 lockdowns, the Federal Republic of Nigeria had taken measures to improve the quality of education and of teachers’ working conditions such as by improving school infrastructure and accelerating teacher training programs, and providing incentive schemes for teachers. While education is free and compulsory, Nigeria reports the highest number of out-of-school children in the world. Economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, the impact of school closures, and the shift towards remote learning are anticipated to pose further constraints and push even more vulnerable children out of the education system. Teacher absenteeism and the poor use of instructional time are also significant problems for the Nigerian education system, negatively affect students’ academic performance and learning. This Time to Teach study seeks to support both federal and state governments by providing a comprehensive understanding of teacher attendance in the country’s primary schools. It also aims to provide insights into how attendance challenges may be similar or different across the types of schools (public/Quranic/private) and settings (urban/rural) and more importantly, how these can inform teacher policy design and implementation. Though data were collected prior to COVID-19 school closures, this study also aims to provide insights on how the pandemic may further exacerbate existing challenges. 

‘I think it’s been difficult for the ones that haven’t got as many resources in their homes’: teacher concerns about the impact of COVID-19 on pupil learning and wellbeing

Lisa E. Kim; Suzanna Dundas; Kathryn Asbury

Published: October 2021   Journal: Teachers and Teaching
School closures due to COVID-19 have been predicted to have a large impact on pupils’ learning and wellbeing. Systematic evidence about teachers’ perceptions of what challenges their pupils have faced, and how they have been addressing these challenges, will be important for post-pandemic planning. 24 teachers from English state mainstream primary and secondary schools were interviewed in June 2020 and asked to describe the impact of partial school closures on their pupils’ learning and wellbeing, and how they had been addressing challenges as individual teachers and at the whole school level. Data were analysed using reflexive thematic analysis. Six themes were identified: (a) pedagogy and process, (b) communication with pupils and families, (c) life at home, (d) the role of parents, (e) a COVID-19 curriculum, and (f) moving forwards and making plans.
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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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The first digest covers children and youth mental health under COVID-19.

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