How to learn from the pandemic: Name, nourish, connect, and grow!

Presenters: Jal Mehta, Neema Avashia, & Justin Reich

Come engage in an optimistic discussion about next year and the future of schooling. This webinar will focus on research about teaching and learning during the pandemic, and how what we have learned can inform innovations and improvements. Learn about exciting new resources and an opportunity to participate in research about how to elevate student voices in reopening plans. For background, see this recent interview from The Learning Professional, “Crisis creates opportunity. Will we seize it?”.


Jal Mehta is a professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. His research explores the role of different forms of knowledge in tackling major social and political problems, particularly problems of human improvement. He has also written extensively on what it would take to improve American education, with a particular focus on the professionalization of teaching. Mehta is the author of The Allure of Order: High Hopes, Dashed Expectations and the Troubled Quest to Remake American Schooling (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013), the co-author of In Search of Deeper Learning: The Quest to Remake the American High School (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2019), the co-editor of Education in a New Society: Renewing the Sociology of Education (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2018), and the co-editor of The Futures of School Reform (Cambridge: Harvard Education Press, 2012).

Justin Reich is an assistant professor of digital media in the Comparative Media Studies/Writing department at MIT and the director of the Teaching Systems Lab. He is the author of Failure to Disrupt: Why Technology Alone Can’t Transform Education, and the host of the TeachLab Podcast. He earned his doctorate from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and was the Richard L. Menschel HarvardX Research Fellow. He is a past Fellow at the Berkman-Klein Center for Internet and Society. His writings have been published in Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Washington Post, The Atlantic, and other scholarly journals and public venues. He started his career as a high school history teacher, and coach of wrestling and outdoor adventure activities.

Neema Avashia has been a Civics teacher in the Boston Public Schools, since 2003, and was recognized as city-wide Educator of the Year in 2013. A graduate from Carnegie Mellon in 2001, Avashia has written and performed for The Moth StorySLAM, and has become a powerful voice on WBUR’s Cognoscenti, where she has published work about the urgent issues of our time, including, “My Parents May Be Acceptable Immigrants, But None of Us Is Safe” which looks at a violent crime against an immigrant in the midwest, and “Newton North High School: Talking To Students When A Symbol Of Racial Hatred Is Unfurled Close To Home”. She has also published work in The Aerogram, and in Eat, Darling, Eat. When not working on essays about inequity in education and racism, Avashia writes about the complexity of growing up Indian in West Virginia.

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Learning Forward is the only professional association devoted exclusively to those who work in educator professional development. We help our members plan, implement, and measure high-quality professional learning so they can achieve success with their systems, schools, and students.

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