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Elementary school students walk to classes in Godley, Texas Elementary school students walk to classes in Godley, Texas, Aug. 5, 2020 (AP photo by LM Otero).

How COVID-19 Is Changing Education—Not Always for the Worse

Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020

Education has traditionally been viewed as humanity’s great equalizer, providing children from less privileged backgrounds with the tools they need to achieve greater degrees of financial security and success in their chosen fields. Unfortunately, education can serve to entrench socio-economic disparities just as much as it alleviates them. That has become all too clear in recent months, as the families and schools with the greatest resources, both financial and technological, look to be the ones best-prepared to weather the coronavirus pandemic.

But according to Rebecca Winthrop, senior fellow and co-director of the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution, the pandemic is also exposing some powerful new educational tools and ways of learning. In a new report, she and her co-author write, “Now is the time to chart a vision for how education can emerge stronger from this global crisis than ever before.” This week on Trend Lines, as millions of students head back to school, Winthrop joins WPR’s Elliot Waldman for a conversation about the changing face of education in the era of COVID-19. Click here to read a transcript of an excerpt from the interview.

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Relevant Articles on WPR:
Kenya’s Decision to Cancel Its School Year Will Reverberate Across Africa
A New ‘Lockdown Generation’ Is Raising the Risk of Global Upheaval
What the Pandemic Looks Like in the World’s ‘Ungoverned Spaces’

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Trend Lines is produced and edited by Peter Dörrie, a freelance journalist and analyst focusing on security and resource politics in Africa. You can follow him on Twitter at @peterdoerrie.

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