Posted by & filed under Child Development, Group Processes, Health and Prevention In Aging, Health Psychology, Higher-Order Cognitive Functions in Aging, Intervention: Children and Adolescents, Student Success.

Description: I do not have a fully developed professional Psychological opinion as yet on the question of whether or how schools should re-open in the (soon) coming fall. Some aspects if such an opinion will, of course, involve vital matters of health-related safety; will students get sick, if so, how sick, and will they infect their friends, families, extended families or neighbors? I am particularly interested, though, in what research there may be on the question of how critical face-to-face or, if at all possible, an actually equivalent, online educational experience might be to long term development, achievement, life success and happiness. I started my look into this second part of the general question of the importance of face-to-face schooling by considering an article that addressed my grandfather’s view of education which was, essentially, “get as much of it as you can laddie (he was Scottish), it will make your life better.” So, without disrespecting my grandfather, what are your thoughts on this question? Once you have them sorted have a look at the article linked below to see what a recently published large scale research project suggests.

Source: Schooling Is Critical for Cognitive Health Throughout Life, Association for Psychological Science.

Date: August 10, 2020

Photo Credit:  Image by Andrew Tan from Pixabay

Article Link:

So, what did you make of the article’s claims? The main point that having raised yourself up educationally and thus cognitively higher means that you have much more room to decline before you start to hit non-negotiable functioning limits. While the results do not speak directly to what sort of impact the coming fall educational challenges might entail, they DO speak to one of many ways in which education should be viewed as valuable.  Another thing to think about, not noted in the article, is that the extent to which children and youth education may have been and may be further, in the fall, disrupted as a result of Covid-19 social interventions, is that the potential short and life-long impacts will be differentially experienced along socio-economic status (SES) and racial dimensions (Indigenous people and people of color are over represented in low SES populations). People with means can find more effective alternatives to face-to-face education settings (which also vary along socio-economic status (SES) and racial dimensions). This is an area where current COVID-19 related concerns and current, very appropriate, concerns over systemic racism strongly overlap. I will post further on this topic as I expend the “informed” base for a possible professional opinion on thee matters.

Questions for Discussion:

  1. How might one’s total educational experience influence the nature of one’s experience with dementia?
  2. What are some non-health related factors that should be considered in relation to school, college and university attendance decisions this coming fall?
  3. How might the educational impact of Covid-19 be differentially experiences by people living in low SES circumstances and/or by Indigenous people or people of color?

References (Read Further):

Lövdén, M., et al, (2020) Education and Cognitive Functioning Across the Life Span. Psychological Science in the Public Interest,  Link

Van Lancker, W., & Parolin, Z. (2020). COVID-19, school closures, and child poverty: a social crisis in the making. The Lancet Public Health, 5(5), e243-e244. Link

Dasgupta, N., Funk, M. J., Lazard, A., White, B. E., & Marshall, S. W. (2020). Quantifying the social distancing privilege gap: a longitudinal study of smartphone movement. medRxiv. Link

Beaunoyer, E., Dupéré, S., & Guitton, M. J. (2020). COVID-19 and digital inequalities: Reciprocal impacts and mitigation strategies. Computers in Human Behavior, 106424. Link

Burgess, S., & Sievertsen, H. H. (2020). Schools, skills, and learning: The impact of COVID-19 on education. VoxEu. org, 1. Link