Lifelong learning in a context of fear

New publication from Cecilia Bjursell: We need to engage in reflective learning if we are to make the choices that will lead to a society that is worth living in for all generations. We have to learn to be a person in a post-pandemic society.

Leende kvinna i kavaj.

Bjursell, C. (2020). The Covid-19 pandemic as disjuncture: Lifelong learning in a context of fear. International Review of Education.länk till annan webbplats, öppnas i nytt fönster 

Abstract: 

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a number of fundamental changes in different societies, and can therefore be understood as creating ‘disjuncture’ in our lives. ‘Disjuncture’ is a concept proposed by Peter Jarvis to describe the phenomenon when a person is confronted with an experience that conflicts with the individual’s previous understanding of the world. When faced with a situation that creates ‘disjuncture’, the individual is compelled to find new knowledge and new ways of doing things; i.e., the individual must learn. The introduction of social distancing as a measure aimed at reducing the transmission of the virus has dramatically changed people’s behaviour, but this measure does not only have preventive and positive effects. There is an associated risk for increased isolation among the older generations of the population, as well as changed understandings of intergenerational relationships. Although the pandemic (as ‘disjuncture’) may potentially initiate major learning processes in the human collective, we should remember that ‘disjuncture’ is often theorized within neutral, or even positive, contexts. In a context of fear, however, learning may result in a narrowing of mindsets and a rejection of collective efforts and solidarity between generations. A problem is the non-reflective learning that primarily takes place on a behavioural level. We need to recognize this and engage in reflective learning if we are to make the choices that will lead to a society that is worth living in for all generations. We have to learn to be a person in a post-pandemic society.


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