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Education Updates and Features

Robert Smith, Kylee Maarschalk Contribute to EdNC Special Report on Education

Saturday, May 01, 2021

Education NC recently published a Special Report: Your look ahead to 2021-22. For the special series, EdNC asked leaders to share how the pandemic impacted education and what that means for the future.

Robert Smith and Kylee Maarschalk were contributors to the EdNC Special Report. In an article published on May 11, they describe the major changes that teachers made to teaching during the pandemic, highlighting the importance of collaboration and innovation and propose specific changes to support continued collaboration and innovation. Smith and Maarshalk write:

As we begin to emerge from COVID-19, it is important to recognize the major changes undertaken by teachers, schools, and districts, and the new ideas and practices that have or might still emerge. Educators switched first to 100% online instruction and then shifted again to simultaneously teach students face-to-face and online. And just as it is important to plan for students who have fallen behind with their learning, we must also seize the moment to identify and learn from new and innovative practices that have emerged as a result of the pandemic.

Further, it is essential to consider what we have learned about school and teacher change. After reflecting on the last year, the following three themes stand out: the importance of teacher collaboration, teachers’ ability to radically alter their practices, and teachers’ ability to innovate. Collaboration across schools and districts and the use of creative and innovative programs and practices have promise for a new direction for school improvement.

Read the full story here: Collaboration and innovation in a pandemic offer promise for a new direction.

Read the rest of the series here.

About the Authors

Smith is a professor of secondary education in WCE’s Department of Instructional Technology, Foundations and Secondary Education. He is a member of the Educational Innovation Network NC, committed to creating an educational culture in North Carolina PreK-12 public schools that prioritizes innovation.

Maarschalk is in her 11th year of teaching at New Hanover High School. She is a part of UNCW’s Master Teacher program and is a part of the NHCS Emerging Leaders through which she continues to contribute to growth through collaboration to enhance opportunities for all teachers in New Hanover County and across the state.

EducationNC (EdNC) works to expand educational opportunities for all students in North Carolina, increase their academic attainment, and improve the performance of the state’s public schools through the dissemination of nonpartisan data, research, news, information, and analysis about the major trends, issues, and challenges bearing on education.