Authors: Stefanie De Jesus, Kenneth Gyamerah, and Bryce Archer
Young children have lived their most formative years through a pandemic and lockdowns which have impacted fundamental principles of early learning to some extent. This research sought to understand the impacts of the pandemic on current Kindergarten children and shifts in educators’ pedagogy to support them across the TDSB. These research objectives were addressed using a mixed methods approach, leveraging existing sources of information, and honouring educators’ and parents’ voices.
- Young children and their families had a wide range of experiences during the pandemic, including hardships, adjustments, special moments, disruptions, and new norms that families encountered collectively.
- During the pandemic, children gained skills, knowledge, and experiences from diverse learning environments, such as enhanced fluency with technology and family-classroom connections.
- Educators shared observations of wide-ranging pandemic impacts from their Kindergarten classrooms.
- Parents also expressed steady levels of concern for their Kindergarten children throughout the pandemic.
- Schools have further supported Kindergarten children through key pedagogic approaches and techniques which emphasized social and emotional learning, differentiated learning, modeling and direct instruction, play-, outdoor- and inquiry-based learning, student voice, and parent engagement, as well as leveraged technology, school and TDSB supports.