Alumni, Community, Events, People

Western experts weigh-in on COVID transforming education

October 13, 2020

COVID-19 is transforming education. How education will be transformed is still up in the air but the Faculty of Education has provided leadership and community assistance during this unprecedented time.

As part of the university’s virtual homecoming celebration, the Faculty showcased some of their pandemic work during an online panel discussion.

“We have a talented group of researchers who specialize in many diverse areas, including curriculum development, mental health, diversity and inclusion, and violence in the home,” said panel organizer and Director of Community Engagement for the Faculty of Education, Rosie Triebner. “With our motto of ‘Transforming Education. Transforming Lives,’ this is an area that we excel in and we are pleased to ensure all stakeholders are included.”

The panel discussed some of the impactful resources that were developed for the community – all for free:

  • The Online Teacher allows educators to confidently transition to virtual teaching.
  • The Community Tutoring program worked with community partners to bring teacher candidates right into the community and tutor the most vulnerable students.
  • Pandemic Support for Teachers and Students. Embodied Learnings encourages teachers to include the body in their teaching practice, allowing students to make meaning of themselves, others, and the world around them in new and profound ways.
  • Helping Parents and Educators Talk to Children about COVID-19. The Mary J. Wright Research and Education Centre provided a trauma-informed on-line seminar for educators, to help them feel better prepared to support children returning to their classrooms. Additionally, parents were supported through urgent psychology referrals and information pamphlets helped them understand how to talk to their children about the pandemic.

“It’s wonderful to see these grassroots initiatives and willingness to share resources and learnings with a wider audience, including our alumni and community groups,” said Triebner.

Furthermore, Triebner said the homecoming celebration also recognizes the tremendous job teachers are doing during the pandemic and how they inspire their students to reach their full potential.

“I would not be where I am today if not for teachers who inspired me and brought out the best in me,” said Triebner. “Thank you continuing to do this everyday under extremely difficult situations.”

What’s more, Triebner hopes Education alumni and parents also use Western Education’s resources to help them with online learning as well as how to talk about the pandemic to kids, which will reduce their stress and anxiety levels.

“I hope they get a sense of community. Lean on our expertise, we're here to help,” said Triebner. “Children first for a stronger community is something we truly believe in. We’re in this together.”