CHRONICLE PULSE: What is the best way to educate our children today during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Graduate Student, Urban and Regional Planning, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Ewa Beach
“Pandemic or no pandemic, our communities will be more resilient in meeting the uncertain future if we pivot with three AIs – Ancestral Intelligence, Artificial Intelligence, and Appreciative Inquiry. In oversimplified terms, the best way to educate is to consider the context of the individual learner and provide the education that can be gained from nature or outdoors as well as from online or virtually. These are directed to hone intuition, smartness, and community-orientedness. Nurture curiosity, confidence, and care in facing and shaping the future. A sense of stability is helpful but there are barriers and impediments to this. As far as online learning, it can be more stabilizing to commit to it for the entirety of the school year instead of changing course every time the COVID19 situation changes. As far as non-virtual, it is a good time to nurture hands-on, do-it-yourself projects. Stay safe and healthy.”

Retired Professor, Leeward Community College, Ewa Beach
“We have always assumed that the curriculum prepared by the schools is the best and only appropriate curriculum for our children. This is not necessarily true. Our children need to be taught love for work, responsibility, cooperation, recognition and respect for diversity, problem-solving, and other similar humanizing values. These are lessons that can be taught and strengthened at home, hands-on. Parents can sit down and plan with their children a “practical and experiential” curriculum, create a schedule, and implement (perhaps “enforce”) them. Assign the kids tasks at home–like cleaning the house, washing the dishes or watering the plants. Make the tasks fun and collaborative, not simply assigning them like work to be done. Group activities like sharing stories, family weekend evening programs, cooking a dish or doing an art project are helpful tasks that can teach children multiple skills. The COVID-19 pandemic can be an opportunity to teach our children lessons that have been relegated to the back seat by traditional school curriculum. It’s an opportunity for parents and family members to reclaim a fundamental right and responsibility to mold children into becoming the best persons they envision them to be.”

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