The COVID-19 pandemic and the turn to emergency remote learning pose numerous issues with respect to the health and well-being of students.
Research suggests that prolonged isolation and environmental stress factors could lead to significantly heightened depression and physiological problems.
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These risks, nevertheless, can be mitigated through shared experiences and the maintenance of interpersonal communication. As it relates to children, through the integration of collaborative assignments as part of a pandemic pedagogy, schools can play an important role in supporting student resilience.
In this vein, as a high school social studies educator, I have devised strategies to ensure that collaboration is incorporated into the classroom with an emphasis on critical thinking, problem solving, and inquiry.
Collaborative song writing and art
At the end of a unit on environmental issues in my freshman Global Studies course, students are typically tasked with writing and performing rap lyrics from the vantage point of teenagers from the future (e.g. 2100) suffering from the effects of climate change and communicating their feelings in a letter to previous generations.