The crisis of COVID-19 and opportunities for reimagining education

  • Crain Soudien UCT
  • Jacqueline Harvey HSRC
Keywords: teaching and learning


Our argument in this brief contribution is that Covid-19 has brought the experience of education to a crisis with respect to its practices and the theories which inform it. The practice crisis is about the glaring inequalities in peoples’ access to education. The theory crisis is about how we learn. Our contention is that our dominant cohort learning approaches fail to address the multiple differences children bring to the learning task. In response we make two key moves: firstly, to restore the centrality of cognition in all processes of teaching and learning, and, secondly to situate cognition in its full biopsychosocial complexity. With respect to the first move we begin our discussion of teaching and learning with a focus on cognition and particularly on executive function component of cognition. We provide the explanation of what it is, and with that move to our second to show the importance of new learnings about epigenetics which explain the relationship between the biological and the social to the cognitive process.