Parent and Teacher Perspectives – Edge and YouGov (May 2020)
In early May, the Edge Foundation wanted to understand how parents’ and teachers’ perspectives on education had changed as a result of the pandemic. They carried out research with YouGov to gather responses from more than 1,000 parents and 500 teachers from across the UK.
Getting more directly involved in their children’s education gave parents a greater insight into the work that teachers and education professionals do, with half of those surveyed (50%) saying that they valued their work more than they did before the coronavirus outbreak. This was particularly true of female parents (57%).
A significant minority of parents (22%), in particular younger parents (35% of 18-24 year olds), and teachers (17%) felt that their experience of lockdown had changed their views on valuable careers that they would be happy for children to pursue. This may reflect the prominence and importance of sectors like logistics and retail during this period – careers that have not always been seen as aspirational for young people.
Focusing on the future, two third of parents surveyed (66%) agreed that teaching and education in the future needs to change following the pandemic. This feeling was even clearer amongst teachers (74%) and most marked amongst younger teachers (99% of 25-34 year olds). One aspect of this has been teachers embracing online ideas and techniques – 45% of those surveyed said that they will continue to use these once lockdown is over, and this was more prominent amongst older teachers (51% of teachers aged 55+).
The most striking thing that parents and teachers agree upon is that they want this pandemic to lead to a much broader and more rounded education, which helps children to develop a range of skills and positive values, and is grounded in real world examples and practical opportunities.
- Protecting the planet should be a higher priority in schools and education:
- Education should help children develop a range of skills like critical thinking, problem solving and communication
- Education should be inspired by real world issues and civic engagement
- Education should help children develop values like kindness, empathy and community cohesion
- Education should include more opportunities for learning by doing - through real world scenarios
Polling results are taken from YouGov and Edge, Parents and COVID-19 and Teachers and COVID-19 (May 2020). Total sample size for the parent survey was 4,671 adults, of which 1,050 were parents with children under the age of 18. Total sample size for the teacher survey was 502 teachers. Fieldwork was undertaken between 15th - 19th May 2020. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).