Transformative, Evidence-Based Ideas

Lessons from Remote Learning: Parent Perspectives

This spring’s school closures thrust parents into a new role as co-educators. 

Countless stories have emerged of how parents are overwhelmed and how some have “opted out” of school. We at CRPE wanted to dig deeper—to find out more about parent experiences and to help schools and districts capture lessons learned.

In May 2020, we interviewed 33 parents, contacted mostly through social media or through our existing efforts to study parent experiences in special education. 

We asked parents about their experiences helping children with their schooling during the COVID-19 shutdown, about how they balanced these and other duties, and what help they wished schools had provided. Seven of our interviewees were also teachers. We were particularly interested in how their classroom experience affected their work at home with their own children. We wanted to know what worried them, what went well, where they think parents need help going forward, and their thoughts on planning for reopening for the upcoming school year.

Through these conversations, our goal was to gain insight into parent experiences: digging into the stories behind the numbers reported in nationally representative surveys to help inform a broader research agenda focused on parents. 

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