Homeschooling in Norway During the Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced an unprecedented global shutdown that has greatly changed what it means to be a teacher, a student, and even a parent in the months that schools have been closed. While most school systems normally require daily physical attendance and bring students together in large groups to learn in a collective endeavor, the closing of schools and the months of social distancing have shifted the site of learning to the home, where learning happens primarily alone or with the help of family members through the technologies available. In this chapter, we report on how school shutdown has affected the students in Grades 1–10 across Norway, where teachers in March 2020 were asked to perform all their teaching from home, through digital devices and remote teaching. As in other countries, Norwegian teachers and school leaders were not prepared to go digital overnight, despite good technological infrastructure and a curriculum that explicitly emphasizes the importance of digital competence across subjects. Drawing on a national survey administered to parents (N = 4,642) about how digital homeschooling was organized, we have investigated what kind of educational opportunities students were offered during the period of remote teaching. Our key findings are that digital home schooling to a large degree consisted of students doing individual tasks, with limited support from their teachers, especially in the lowest grades. We discuss how the unequal access to qualified help at home challenges some of the core ideals of the Nordic model of education—where equal opportunities to learn is a key ambition.
Marte Blikstad-Balas, Kirsti Klette, Astrid Roe & Cecilie Pedersen Dalland (2021). Homeschooling in Norway During the Pandemic-Digital Learning with Unequal Access to Qualified Help at Home and Unequal Learning Opportunities Provided by the School. In: Reimers F.M. (ed) Primary and Secondary Education During Covid-19. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-81500-4_7