Assisting teachers to support learning recovery

Anna Riggall
Elnaz Kashefpakdel
Ella Page
Susy Ndaruhutse
Sonia Guerriero
Rosie Leonard-Kane

Covid-19 caused considerable disruption to education around the world. Disadvantaged and marginalised learners have been particularly hard-hit. Naturally, earlier in the pandemic, the focus of much attention was on how to safely reopen schools, often with a preoccupation on hygiene and social distancing considerations. With schools in many jurisdictions reopening partially or fully, there is now a growing interest in the immensely important area of recovering the learning lost while pupils have been away from face-to-face education. These reports are a result of the first phase of a collaborative research programme undertaken with UNESCO.

Globally, our teachers will be charged with the heavy lifting when it comes to leading learning recovery. As school systems continue to reopen, teachers will need to respond not only to students’ deepened academic losses but also to their socio-emotional needs.

Education Development Trust and UNESCO are collaborating on a research initiative as part of UNESCO’s Global Education Coalition.

The first phase of work has resulted in three reports – a rapid evidence assessment, a policy and grey literature review and a summary paper summarising the key gaps in knowledge. The reviews identify gaps in knowledge on learning recovery and school reopening.

Specifically, there is little evidence about:

• Innovative programmes that support teachers at a fast pace;

• What teachers need to know about areas such as digital curriculum design, effective digital delivery and engagement and online/offline learning assessment tools;

• How we can best prepare teachers to respond to the rising challenges of school closure and re-opening;

• The effectiveness of training in specific classroom or instructional techniques and how these might assist teachers in  helping children in their classrooms;

• How schools, local or national governments can support teachers back into classrooms and prevent workforce attrition, as well as teacher anxiety and trauma caused by Covid-19 and working conditions; and

• What the most effective catch-up approaches are in a range of contexts.

Read more in the full reports on the right. 


The Global Education Coalition launched by UNESCO is a platform for collaboration and exchange to protect the right to education during this unprecedented disruption and beyond. It brings together more than 175 members from the UN family, civil society, academia and the private sector to ensure that #LearningNeverStops.