Elizabeth Moje takes listener questions on Detroit Today about the sudden changes to learning forced by COVID-19 

April 17, 2020

Dean Elizabeth Moje spoke again with Detroit Today host Stephen Henderson about what teachers, parents, and youth are facing during the time schools are closed and students are learning at home. 

It has been a stressful time, with both parents and educators worrying that students will be behind. Moje said, “There are going to be losses. But we set the standard for what counts as ‘behind.’ We have to recognize that when we all come back together children will be in many different places in learning and we have to support them.”

Schools have differed greatly in their approaches to the shift to online learning. Moje said that while schools were not prepared for a change of this magnitude, teachers across the state have been incredibly innovative in their approach to engaging students in remote learning. The alteration in instruction has provided challenges for students and teachers alike, increasing the workload in some disciplines.

For teachers, Moje encourages teachers to keep up their efforts to connect with their students and allow students to communicate with each other when possible. For parents, Moje recommends talking to children and teens, embracing emotions, and allowing for open and honest communications. 

Moje also cited research about resilience: “When children and youth can be engaged in acts that require them to be helpful to someone else they are more likely to be resilient adults.” Youth need a sense of agency and purpose as well as some structure. This is challenging with all the demands on parents right now but is an important element for youth.
 

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Dean, School of Education; George Herbert Mead Collegiate Professor of Education; Arthur F Thurnau Professor; Faculty Associate, Research Center for Group Dynamics, Institute for Social Research