Building resilient schools: Flexischooling, integration and COVID-19

Ana García-Díaz

Abstract


The paper seeks to show the importance alternative pedagogical methods had when trying to reopen schools on-site and online. Resilient schools were not created in this pandemic. In previous natural disasters, educational institutions needed to used online resources to maintain schools open. A literature review is presented, aiming for answers on inclusion in flexible school settings, solutions for the digital divide and different responses to the crisis produced by the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, Australia and New Zealand cases are presented, as well as introducing the flexischooling phenomenon and the digital divide. Both Australia and New Zealand recognise the rights for families to homeschool or to take children to alternative educational institutions, therefore, is legal. In the pair, it is observed how this legal status of alternative educational options both online and flexible, has strengthened the governmental response on closing the digital gap. Therefore, their reaction when lockdowns were ruled was significantly fast, especially in New Zealand. In conclusion, the article offers an interesting debate on the need for on-site education or flexibility when creating inclusive schools and critical thinkers, presenting both sides of the conversation. Lastly, it is highlighted the need to upgrade the school system to enhance a resilient response in future crisis.

Keywords


Alternative education; Educational policy; School Integration; Resilience; ICT

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5944/reec.38.2021.28840

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