Experts: International Day of Education | January 24

Published: 22 January 2021

The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed January 24 as the International Day of Education, in celebration of the role of education for peace and development. The theme of the 3rd International Day of Education is ‘Recover and Revitalize Education for the COVID-19 Generation’. Now is the time to power education by stepping up collaboration and international solidarity to place education and lifelong learning at the center of the recovery. (UNESCO)

Here are some experts from McGill University that can provide comment on this issue:

Future of education

Adam Dubé, Assistant Professor, Department of Educational & Counselling Psychology

COVID-19 disrupted students’ education considerably while simultaneously accelerating the adoption of educational technologies. Technology adoption was done with little guidance and support and resulted in both help and harm. The future of education will be forever changed by this mass technology adoption; it is our responsibility to ensure the innovations we adopt fulfill the potential of every learner, regardless of circumstance.”

Adam Dubé is an Assistant Professor in the Learning Sciences Program of the Department of Educational & Counselling Psychology. He investigates how educational technology augments the learning process and teaches courses on the use of emerging educational technologies.

adam.dube [at] (English)

Bronwen Low, Associate Professor, Department of Integrated Studies in Education

The COVID-19 pandemic has deepened and exposed significant inequities in our education system. These include the digital divide and other social inequalities shaping and limiting remote learning; the differing vulnerabilities and needs of children of ‘remote’ vs ‘essential’ workers; and the ways that the overcrowded and poorly maintained public school buildings limit social distancing. We have also seen innovation and resilience from schools, teachers, communities, families, children and youth. Going forward, I’m interested in how what we are learning – and we still know very little about the pandemic’s impact on education – can help us refuse the ‘business of usual' model of education and imagine something new.”

Bronwen Low is an Associate Professor in the Department of Integrated Studies in Education. She is interested in how we might better support socially marginalized young people underserved by traditional schooling models and practices.

bronwen.low [at] (English, French)

Mental health and wellness

Nancy Heath, James McGill Professor, Department of Educational & Counselling Psychology

As we move towards a post-COVID-19 world, it is imperative that we integrate mental health and well-being curriculum into our education. The pandemic has taken a huge toll on our students' mental health and education cannot happen without mental health. We must revitalize education by prioritizing recovery education.

Nancy Heath is a James McGill Professor in the Department of Educational & Counselling Psychology. Her research program explores resilience and adaptive functioning in young people at-risk (children, adolescents, and young adults).

nancy.heath [at] (English)

Steven Shaw, Associate Professor, Department of Educational & Counselling Psychology

The COVID-19 pandemic is a disruption in education, community, health, friendships, and development for children and adolescents. The challenge is to create a foundation of safety and stability required for short- and long-term mental health and learning balanced with opportunities created through innovation, creativity, and independence forced on schools and families by the pandemic.”

Steven Shaw is an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational & Counselling Psychology, where he serves as the director of the Resilience, Pediatric Psychology and Neurogenetic Connections Lab and the co-director of the McGill Developmental Research Lab. His research interests include pediatric school psychology, improving education for children with rare genetic disorders, improving implementation of innovation and clinical research in education and psychology, and developing resilience skills in children at risk for academic failure. [at] (English)

Physical activity and sports

Gordon Bloom, Full Professor, Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education

“It is during the current pandemic, when there are fewer available organized sport opportunities for children, that physical and health education becomes more important for both the physical and psychological well-being of young people. Simply, young people need to move and remain active during this challenging time of our lives, and physical and health education classes can provide this much-needed outlet for young people.”

Gordon Bloom is a Full Professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education. His research focuses on sport psychology, pedagogy, coaching knowledge and behaviours, team building, and psychology of athletic injuries such as concussions.

gordon.bloom [at] (English)

William Harvey, Associate Professor, Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education

There is at least one thing that this challenging pandemic has shown society: human beings need to move to live, socialize and be well. Fortunately, people learn how to adopt and maintain healthy and active lifestyles for a lifetime during in-person and virtual physical and health education programs all across the world.”

William Harvey is an Associate Professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education. His expertise covers adapted physical activity, self-regulation, physical activity and persons with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), play and movement skill proficiency, perceptions and professional skill development of physical education teachers.

william.harvey [at] (English)

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