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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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COVID-19 and schools: what is the risk of contagion? Results of a rapid-antigen-test-based screening campaign in Florence, Italy

Guglielmo Bonaccorsi; Sonia Paoli; Massimiliano Alberto Biamonte (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: International Journal of Infectious Diseases

In the coronavirus disease 2019 era, debate around the risk of contagion in school is intense in Italy. The Department of Welfare and Health of Florence promoted a screening campaign with rapid antigen tests for all students and school personnel. The aim of this study was to assess the circulation of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) in the school setting by means of mass screening in every primary and middle school in Florence. All students and school personnel at primary and middle schools in Florence were asked to take part. The campaign started on 16 November 2020 and was completed on 12 February 2021. If a subject had a positive result on rapid antigen testing, a molecular test was performed to confirm the result.

School teachers’ self-reported fear and risk perception during the COVID-19 pandemic: a nationwide survey in Germany

Stefanie Weinert; Anja Thronicke; Maximilian Hinse (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
With the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases peaking and health systems reaching their limits in winter 2020/21, schools remained closed in many countries. This survey was conducted in Germany to better understand teachers’ risk perception. Participants were recruited through various associations and invited to take part in a cross-sectional COVID-19-specific online survey. Descriptive statistical analysis was performed. Factors associated with teachers’ fears of contracting the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2) were evaluated with an adjusted multivariable regression analysis. The median age of the 6753 participating teachers was 43 years, and 77% were female. Most teachers worked in high schools (29%) and elementary schools (26%).
Feeling a bit like a tsunami wave: an exploratory study of early childhood professionals’ experiences during the COVID-19 crisis in the USA

Minsun Shin; Victoria I. Puig

Published: July 2021   Journal: Education 3-13
The COVID-19 crisis highlights how vital childcare is and demonstrates the importance of the often undervalued work of early childhood educators. This mixed methods exploratory study presents how early childhood professionals (n = 75) navigated alternate remote teaching formats and served young children and their families during the COVID-19 crisis in the U.S. Key findings include the personal and professional challenges participants experienced supporting their students’ social-emotional development and serving children with disabilities. Participants also shared reflections on the resilience and adaptability of children, families, and themselves. Recommendations for interdisciplinary research, professional development that builds technological proficiency, and practice that supports children and families through inclusive early childhood models are discussed.
Emergency remote teaching and learning in Portugal: preschool to secondary school teachers’ perceptions

Filipa Seabra; António Teixeira; Marta Abelha (et al.)

Published: July 2021   Journal: Education Sciences
Emergency remote teaching and learning (ERTL) represent a critical and challenging time for teachers globally. To understand how Portuguese teachers interpreted their ERTL experiences of the first lockdown, we started by asking: What perspectives do teachers have about ERTL? Answering three open questions made available online between April and May of 2020, a sample of 305 preschool, basic, and secondary school teachers expressed their perspectives on (i) difficulties throughout ERTL; (ii) students’ constraints in participating in ERTL; (iii) the potential and benefits resulting from this exceptional period. Data were analyzed using content analysis. While Portuguese teachers perceived ERTL with concern, a majority also saw it as an opportunity. Workload, work conditions, and time management were the most frequently mentioned difficulties. Regarding students’ constraints, teachers emphasized participation, the role of parents, lack of contact, and autonomy.
Intentions of public school teachers in British Columbia, Canada to receive a COVID-19 vaccine

C. Sarai Racey; Robine Donken; Imogen Porter (et al.)

Published: July 2021   Journal: Vaccine X
To control the COVID-19 pandemic high vaccine acceptability and uptake will be needed. Teachers represent a priority population to minimize social disruption and ensure continuity in education, which is vital for the well-being and healthy development of youth during the pandemic. The objective of this analysis was to measure public school teachers’ intentions to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in British Columbia (BC), Canada.
Cite this research | Open access | No. of pages: 7 | Language: English | Topics: Health | Tags: COVID-19, infectious disease, teachers, vaccination, vaccination policies | Countries: Canada
Understanding English teachers’ non-volitional use of online teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic: a Chinese study

Fang Huang; Timothy Teo; Jiayi Guo

Published: July 2021   Journal: System
This study investigated factors influenced Chinese English as a foreign language (EFL) teachers' non-volitional online teaching intentions based on an extended technology acceptance model (TAM). Facilitating conditions, technology complexity, and perceived anxiety were added to the original TAM as extended variables to examine their influence on Chinese EFL teachers' online teaching. Quantitative data were obtained from 158 teachers in Chinese primary and secondary schools and universities. Data were analyzed using structural equation modeling (SEM), and the extended TAM was found to be valid in explaining Chinese EFL teachers' online teaching intentions during quarantine. Teachers' behavioral intentions were significantly associated with their attitudes and perceived usefulness of online teaching.
Surviving but not thriving: comparing primary, vocational and higher education teachers’ experiences during the COVID-19 lockdown

Helena Kovacs; Caroline Pulfrey; Emilie‑Charlotte Monnier

Published: June 2021   Journal: Education and Information Technologies
This paper examines the impacts of the global pandemic in 2020 on different levels of education system, particularly looking at the changes in teaching practice. The health emergency caused closure of schools, and online distance education became a temporary solution, creating discomfort for many teachers for whom this was the first time engaged with online education. This research investigated two important dimensions, namely, how technology was used and what the newfound distance meant in terms of the teacher-student relationship. The article offers insights into experiences of teaching from lockdown reported by 41 teachers at primary, vocational and higher education level in the region of Vaud, Switzerland. This comparative qualitative research has provided an opportunity for an in-depth analysis of the main similarities and differences at three distinctly different educational levels and a possibility to learn more about common coping practices in teaching. The study gives a contribution to a lack of comparative studies of teacher experiences at different educational levels.
Examining K-12 teachers’ feelings, experiences, and perspectives regarding online teaching during the early stage of the COVID-19 pandemic

Yunjo An; Regina Kaplan-Rakowski; Junhe Yang (et al.)

Published: June 2021   Journal: Educational Technology Research and Development
This mixed-methods study explored K-12 teachers’ feelings, experiences, and perspectives regarding online teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study also examined teachers’ perspectives of the “new normal” after COVID-19 and of what should be done to better prepare teachers for future emergencies. Both quantitative and qualitative data were collected from an online survey and follow-up interviews. A total of 107 teachers from 25 different states in the United States completed the online survey, and 13 teachers from 10 different states participated in the follow-up interviews.
COVID-19 outbreaks following full reopening of primary and secondary schools in England: Cross-sectional national surveillance, November 2020

Felicity Aiano; Anna A. Mensah; Kelsey McOwat (et al.)

Published: May 2021   Journal: The Lancet Regional Health - Europe
The full reopening of schools in September 2020 was associated with an increase in COVID-19 cases and outbreaks in educational settings across England. Primary and secondary schools reporting an outbreak (≥2 laboratory-confirmed cases within 14 days) to Public Health England (PHE) between 31 August and 18 October 2020 were contacted in November 2020 to complete an online questionnaire.
Early childhood educators’ wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic

Patricia Eadie; Penny Levickis; Lisa Murray

Published: May 2021   Journal: Early Childhood Education Journal
The importance of Early Childhood (EC) educators’ wellbeing has been brought into sharp focus during the COVID-19 pandemic, as educators have navigated numerous additional stressors while providing education and care services for some children and ongoing support for many others learning at home. This study aimed to explore the impact of the pandemic on EC educators’ wellbeing and educator-child relationships, as growing evidence shows the infuence of these factors on children’s developmental outcomes.
Covid-19: experiences of teaching-mothers in Pakistan

Qudsia Kalsoom

Published: May 2021   Journal: Journal of Gender Studies
Disasters are experienced by, and responded to, differently based on the gender of those experiencing these. The responsibilities of women, particularly mothers, are amplified during times of pressure. This study investigated the experiences of teaching-mothers in Pakistan during the Covid-19 pandemic to understand the challenges they faced as professionals and as mothers. The data were collected through in-depth interviews of 24 teaching-mothers. The study participants were identified through the snowball sampling technique. The data were collected until the point of data saturation and analysed through. The analysis indicates that teaching-mothers in Pakistan faced issues in terms of maintaining their work-life balance, managing space and resources for online teaching, and learning a new set of skills in order to teach online. These multiple challenges affected their mental health. The findings indicate a sharp division of gendered roles in Pakistan and their negative impact on the mental health of women during Covid-19. The study suggests devising organizational policies to support teaching-mothers generally and especially during crises.
Teachers' narratives during COVID-19 partial school reopenings: an exploratory study

Lisa E. Kim; Rowena Leary; Kathryn Asbury

Published: May 2021   Journal: Educational Research

Many countries around the world imposed nationwide school closures to manage the spread of COVID-19. England closed its schools for most pupils in March 2020 and prepared to reopen schools to certain year groups in June 2020. Understanding teachers’ lived experiences at this time of educational disruption is important, shedding light on challenges faced and support needed by schools and teachers in the event of further disruption. The research reported here represents the second timepoint in a longitudinal study investigating what it was like being a teacher in England during the pandemic. This study aimed to better understand teachers’ experiences at a time of partial reopening of schools in mid-June 2020.

Impact of the COVID-19 crisis on learning, teaching and facilitation of practical activities in science upon reopening of Irish schools

Ruth Chadwick; Eilish McLoughlin

Published: May 2021   Journal: Irish Educational Studies
In September 2020, Irish schools reopened following their emergency closure due to the COVID-19 crisis. Measures were put in place to minimise the risk of transmission of the virus within schools and communities. However, these measures were likely to impact on teachers’ capacity to facilitate learning in science, particularly the practical and investigative aspects of the Irish curriculum. This research explores the impact of the measures in place to limit virus transmission on teaching and learning in science, particularly on practical activities. The period of focus is the three months (September to November 2020) following the school closures. The research aims to highlight the implications of the COVID-19 crisis on science teaching and learning in Irish schools. The research will also provide recommendations to lessen the impact on primary and second-level science education to improve student learning and engagement in science.
Child care and COVID-19: support children by investing in early educators and program sustainability

Rebekah Levine Coley; Kathryn Tout

Institution: Society for Research in Child Development
Published: March 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the longstanding vulnerability of early care and education programs and inequities in the health and financial security of early educators. Addressing new and ongoing needs in the early care and education system (including schools, centers, and homes) is critical to supporting the well-being of children who rely on child care. Prior to March 2020, over 7.75 million children under 6 were cared for in regulated child care programs by one million early educators in center-based programs and one million paid home-based early educators.1 While deemed an essential service, child care programs suffered volatile impacts of the pandemic without the support and existing infrastructure available to other businesses. Policy strategies for recovery and rebuilding must address the short- and long-term needs of child care programs and the early educators who work in them. Attention is needed to address disparities in the experiences of early educators who are Black and Hispanic. Actions to support programs and the workforce can ultimately benefit children and families served in child care.
The effects of school closures on SARS-CoV-2 among parents and teachers

Jonas Vlachos; Edvin Hertegard; Helena B. Svaleryd

Published: March 2021   Journal: PNAS
To reduce the transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), most countries closed schools, despite uncertainty if school closures are an effective containment measure. At the onset of the pandemic, Swedish upper-secondary schools moved to online instruction, while lower-secondary schools remained open. This allows for a comparison of parents and teachers differently exposed to open and closed schools, but otherwise facing similar conditions. Leveraging rich Swedish register data, this paper connects all students and teachers in Sweden to their families and study the impact of moving to online instruction on the incidence of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19.
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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.