The data would suggest that there is no replacement for in-person learning…and in my 30 years of experience as an elementary through college instructor, and school administrator with a PhD dissertation in “Meaningful Educational Homework for Higher Grade Point Average,” I can attest to and show the facts for in-person over distance learning – for almost every child.
The benefits of in-person learning outweigh those of “distance learning” by far. Ret. Admiral Brett Giroir, MD, is a pediatric physician scientist who states that “We are doing irreparable harm to our children by keeping them out of school – especially racial and ethnic minorities who fall farther and farther behind!”
While Dr. Giroir vehemently disagrees with back-to-school lockdowns, he further states that “…vaccines work, especially with the new strains of viruses and if adults are not inoculated, ‘Delta will find you’!”
Many parents express approval for more free time for their children to help them ‘thrive’; the joys of free time, playtime, and downtime. This, they say, takes the stress off children overwhelmed with homework, extracurriculars, and overly structured schedules.
As a teacher of English, I can assure you, to “thrive” is to flourish or prosper – to progress toward a goal…. but not to achieve more playtime or downtime!
As a parent of five children, I knew how important quality structure was in their lives. I always encouraged their choice in extra activities that they enjoyed after school and on Saturdays… and I checked their homework daily.
About twenty million children live with a single mother or father, many of whom are working two jobs… and who is watching the store; God bless those patient caregivers and babysitters, whose dubious educational credentials prevent them from guiding those distant learners from staring at that blue screen for 6.3 hours on average for each school day. According to a March 21, 2021, Pew Research Center report, “Almost 25% of US children under 18 years of age live with one parent and no other adults.”
Many parents favor a blended option with in-person as well as distance learning. However, more than half of US children, eight years and under, and seven hours or more scan time, will have a thinning cortex and an evaporation of the film that protects the surface of the eye; constant scanning of the blue light dries eyes that do not blink.
“There is no joy in Mudville”… the joy of learning resides with good teachers and involved parents – in the classroom!