The pandemic has led to school closures across the globe, with schools locally closing on 20 March and resulting in an expectation for children to learn at home with their parents. The team of researchers from the UNESCO Centre, School of Education at Ulster University will explore how parents or guardians of children from primary, post-primary and special schools are guiding and supporting their child/children’s learning, and the support they receive from schools and teaching staff in doing so. Connections with the wider community are also taken into account by considering how parents interact with other parents during this time and the online resources, videos and activities provided by local organisations such as libraries and museums.
Dr Una O’Connor Bones, Deputy Director of the UNESCO Centre based in the School of Education at Ulster University and lead researcher commented:
“The rapid transition to remote learning for children attending schools at all levels has no doubt been challenging for parents, guardians, pupils and teachers. This research project aims to provide a better understanding of parents’ experiences for those working in education and government policy across Northern Ireland and further afield. We will explore the experiences of parents in supporting their child to learn from home to understand what resources, support and communications exist between schools, pupils and parents during this period and to highlight the challenges and the benefits reported by parents in supporting their children’s learning at this time.”
The short surveys are available open for responses until 15 May and can be accessed via:
Survey for parents of primary school children in Northern Ireland:
Survey for parents of post-primary school children in Northern Ireland:
Survey for parents of children who attend special schools in Northern Ireland: