UA experts weigh in on effect of remote learning on kids

Student desks
Posted at 10:12 AM, Apr 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-20 19:21:35-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — "The biggest concerns I have are the social and emotional effects of the pandemic on children," said Rebecca Hartzell, an associate professor at the University of Arizona's College of Education.

Hartzell directs the University of Arizona's graduate program in applied behavioral analysis.

"My students and I work with children with severe problem behavior," said Hartzell.

Now that many schools in Southern Arizona have reopened, Hartzell is seeing changes in the children she works with.

"We have some children that are experiencing anxiety that didn't have it before. We have some kids that are experiencing depression that didn't have it before, or, at least, weren't exhibiting it," said Hartzell.

She and other education experts from the University of Arizona have come together with a common goal.

"We're all just doing the best we can to take the knowledge that we have and try to apply it to the situation to figure out how to best transition children through this process," said Hartzell.

Every child is returning to their school in a different place. All have had a different experience while learning from home over the last year. Hartzell recommends making a new learning plan for your child alongside their teacher.

"At this point, they really need to know what's happening next. Maybe you could have a schedule both at home and at school that says, 'This is what you're doing today. This is what it's going to look like. This is how we're going to transition," said Hartzell.

It's important to keep in mind that no two children are alike.

"Some kids are going to transition back to this at a different speed and in a different way than other kids," said Hartzell.