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You are reading: Vulnerable learners in the age of COVID-19: A scoping review

Catherine F. Drane, Lynette Vernon and Sarah O’Shea

Originally published in The Australian Educational Researcher
Published online 27 November 2020

Abstract

This scoping review provides an overview of COVID-19 approaches to managing unanticipated school closures and available literature related to young people learning outside-of-school. A range of material has been drawn upon to highlight educational issues of this learning context, including psychosocial and emotional repercussions. Globally, while some countries opted for a mass school shut-down, many schools remained open for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. This partial closure not only enabled learning in smaller targeted groups but also offered a safe sanctuary for those who needed a regulated and secure environment. In Australia, if full school closures were to be enforced over a long period, a significant proportion of students from more vulnerable backgrounds would likely experience persistent disadvantage through a range of barriers: long-term educational disengagement, digital exclusion, poor technology management, and increased psychosocial challenges. This scoping review combines research on technology availability and learning, with analysis of the long-term educational impacts of navigating the COVID-19 disruption.

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Content republished under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence.

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