For a while it seemed education would be flying high in 2022. With fragile optimism some were beginning to talk about ‘post-pandemic education’. Remote learning was on the decline and schooling was about to return to ‘normal’; whatever that might be? (Presumably just as it was before COVID bit.) Yet here we are in April and it is clear the art of teaching remains in a tailspin. Stay-at-home quarantines for staff and surging rates of absenteeism among students are contributing to a general disengagement from schools and colleges, and with it comes the realization that COVID-19 is continuing to drive a long-overdue revolution in education. 

Salah-Eddine Kandri, Global Head of Education, IFC, in a contribution to the World Economic Forum, noted that “COVID-19 is causing us to challenge deep-rooted notions of when, where, and how we deliver education, of the role of colleges and universities, the importance of lifelong learning, and the distinction we draw between traditional and non-traditional learners.” He acknowledges “As painful and stressful a time as this is, it may fashion a long overdue and welcome rebirth of our education systems.” Such a rebirth will midwife a ‘new normal’ for education globally.

Really? Didn’t the old ways work well for a long time? Surely, sooner or later, we will end up back there, back to the known and reassuring. Well, not for educational pioneer Sugata Mitra who argues “we can never go ‘back’ to anything. Even if we could – to what ‘normal’ shall we return? Going back to normal doesn’t mean anything at all.”

As we grasp for the ‘new normal’ there are portents of what will matter most. Kadenze, Inc. for instance, a longstanding online learning platform committed solely to the creative arts and design, has hard won expertise in online program design to share, especially with teachers and creatives wanting to heighten engagement with their learners. 

Through April Kadenze will publish a series of predictive posts which take readers into Education’s new normal. Subscribe to the Kadenze blog and hold your breath for Modes of Delivery and the ‘new normal’, coming early next week.


Brad Haseman, Executive Vice President, Kadenze, Inc. & Professor Emeritus, QUT

Credit for Image: Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash