Faculty Experts on International Day of Education | January 24, 2021


Published: 22Jan2021

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)


Faculty of Education experts from all three departments (DISE, ECP, KPE) had this to say about the state of education today and the lessons we carry forward as we navigate through this pandemic:


“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.” – Dr. Gordon Bloom, Professor, KPE


“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.”Dr. Adam Dubé, Assistant Professor, ECP


“The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the importance of the public’s trust and understanding of science. As educators, we are concerned with improving and widening participation in STEM education, not only to ensure a supply of future scientists, but to address social justice concerns. A STEM education that aims to widen participation is critical to ensuring a scientifically literate population who can be active participants in scientific decisions that impact contemporary society.” Dr. Allison Gonsalves, Assistant Professor, DISE


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.” Dr. William Harvey, Associate Professor, KPE


“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.” Dr. Nancy Heath, Associate Dean of Research & Innovation and James McGill Professor, ECP


“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.” Dr. Bronwen Low, Associate Professor, DISE


“Education means more than reading, doing math or learning scientific theories. Education is one of the major tools we can use to change the world into a better place, and I hope that we all share the responsibility to make it so.” Professor Dilson Rassier, Dean, McGill Faculty of Education


“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.” Dr. Steven Shaw, Associate Professor, ECP


“Today there exists a far-reaching vision at the core of education: a vision that shifts the meaning of education from ‘school work’ to authentic intellectual development, relational and emotional capacity, and responsiveness to social and ecological justice.” Dr. Sheryl Smith-Gilman, Assistant Director Teacher Education Programs & Faculty Lecturer, DISE

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