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 fourth International Day of Education is “Changing Course, Transforming Education.” Transforming the future requires an urgent rebalancing or our relationships with each other, with nature as well as with technology that permeates our lives, bearing breakthrough opportunities while raising serious concerns for equity, inclusion and democratic participation (UNESCO).
Here are some experts from McGill University who can provide comment on this issue:
Tina Montreuil, Associate Professor, Department of Educational Counseling and Psychology
“Education was already on a transformational path and changing slowly prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now the ongoing nature of the pandemic has forced us to rethink the way we define educational curricula and related learning objectives, particularly in relation to shaping global citizenship. There are challenges and opportunities in having to rely on technology to support learning while at the same time doing our best to preserve human interactions, particularly as we continue working together to promote equity, diversity and inclusion.”
Tina Montreuil is an Associate Professor in the department of Educational and Counselling Psychology and an Associate Member of the department of Psychiatry at McGill University. Her current research focuses on, among other topics, how symptoms of mental health problems might interfere with self-regulated learning in a group context and ultimately, educational achievement.
Tina.montreuil [at] mcgill.ca (English, French)
Bronwen Low, Associate Professor, Department of Integrated Studies in Education
“Significant inequities in our education system were exposed and deepened early on in the COVID-19 pandemic. These inequities included schools’ ability and preparedness to adopt new modes of instruction, the digital divide, availability of adult support, and access to quiet study spaces at home, which all shaped the experience of remote learning. The inequities also included the differing vulnerabilities and needs of children of ‘remote’ vs. ‘essential’ workers, and the ways that overcrowded and poorly maintained and ventilated public school buildings increased the possibilities of transmission. Two years later, most schools and families are better prepared to adapt to pandemic restrictions and changes, but these inequities still exist."
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] mcgill.ca (English, French)
Mindy R. Carter, Associate Professor, Integrated Studies in Education
“We are living in a moment of great change and transformation, as a result of the effects of the COVID-19 global pandemic. For education, this has intensified the need to rebalance concerns related to equity, diversity and inclusion; in order for some to learn to listen more, as others raise their voices. Complicated curricular conversations that confront prejudice, one’s own positionality, the historical legacies of human rights violations and how the interconnections between relationships with nature and technologies merge and emerge at the forefront. On this International Day of Education, we have the opportunity to re-think, re-consider, and re-imagine (in order to re-emerge) together, as we seek connection and becoming for/with all. Education is the greatest equalizer and hope for a just society.”
Mindy R. Carter is an Associate Professor and Program Director of Teacher Education in the Department of Integrated Studies in Education. She specializes in research related to arts-based educational research, teacher education and identity.
mindy.carter [at] mcgill.ca (English)
Steven Shaw, Associate Professor, Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology
“The COVID-19 pandemic and related crises have created so many challenges for education. These challenges are opportunities. Through technology, the integration of mental health interventions, health care interventions, and equity-focused inclusive instruction, there is potential for education to become an increasingly salient driver of well-being for all.”
Steven Shaw is an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational and 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.
steven.shaw [at] mcgill.ca ( ) (English)
Adam Dubé, Associate Professor, Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology
“This past year has demonstrated that education is central to a functioning society and that we must do more to ensure educational institutions can continue to safely serve their communities in challenging times. Investment and innovation in education are needed so that educators are emotionally, technologically, and financially supported and empowered to cultivate the next generation of society.”
Adam Dubé is an Associate Professor in the Learning Sciences Program of the Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology. He investigates how educational technology augments the learning process and teaches courses on the use of emerging educational technologies.
adam.dube [at] mcgill.ca (English)