• Arnika Macphail

Reflections on Lock Down Learning



In a recent New Zealand Herald article, Lockdown learning: 'I'm not going through that again!', Education reporter Simon Collins gives an insightful overview of what whānau and ākonga experienced during New Zealand's first lockdown, and how they plan to approach the recent Level 3 and future lockdowns.


Schools and organisations always knew that this was going to be a big learning curve for schools and their communities. With research now being released we are gaining a clear idea of what worked, how ākonga and whānau coped through lockdown, and what adjustments can be made in the future so that all ākonga can succeed in both the in school and at home learning environments.


One of those studies comes from Dr. Nina Hood who compiled the Learning from Lockdown research. She states "The lockdown as a whole, plus the experiences of teachers, students and parents, present an opportunity. However, it is easy to fall back into business as usual and not to follow up on the questions the experience raised, the opportunities it presented, or the challenges it uncovered or exacerbated."


Another study, Closing the Digital Divide during the COVID-19 Lockdown, compiled by GCSN, brings attention to the digital divide that some ākonga experienced during lockdown.


The GCSN study found that 42 per cent of students felt their learning actually progressed more at home than at school; 35 per cent said they progressed about the same in either place, and only 22 per cent said they progressed more at school.


Dr. Gabrielle Wall, GCSN’s General Manager states schools should “engage more with charities, funding bodies and the government agencies" to get computers and internet for their families. Each and every ākonga is different, some thrived with their studies during lockdown and enjoyed the agency that they had over their learning. Others struggled for various reasons and found that returning to in-school learning was best for them.


With the research and reports now becoming public, we can look at the past and plan for the future, enabling all ākonga, whānau and schools to reach their potential regardless of what level lockdown the country is in.


Reference and Links to NZ Herald premium content article, Lockdown learning: 'I'm not going through that again!', have been used with permission and can be accessed by people who are digital subscribers to the Herald. To read the full online article, visit the NZ Herald website.


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