A New Era After Corona – what has changed sustainably in education?

In an international comparison the status of digitization in Germany is poor. This became particularly apparent in the educations system through the corona pandemic. Fewer lessons, closed schools and limited social interaction massively impacted students in the short and long term. Wößmann (2020) describes a partially dark scenario. The subsequent costs of closed schools range from economic consequences, such as lower growth due to a lack of developing cognitive skills, to socio-emotional costs due to a lack of social contact with people of the same age, as well as decreased professional success (e.g. lower income, lower probability of taking up employment at all). Since learning is a dynamic process, i.e. content and competencies build on one another, these must be tested and improved continuously, which could not be guaranteed at all times during the corona pandemic. If something is not learned or not learned sufficiently, the basic skills for further knowledge acquisition are missing. Therefore, it is not surprising that many students have lost their motivation to learn during home schooling during the corona pandemic (see Geis-Thöne 2020).

But there are also positive effects from the corona pandemic. Above all, it led to a general digitizing boost, also in the education system. While we are far from providing content digitally and permanently, it is a good basis. In addition, the asynchronous teaching approach enabled the learners to determine their own learning pace, which, among other things, promoted self-learning skills and individual time management. One result from this time is that the learning success is not only attributable to teachers, but everyone involved has to make a significant contribution. This affects both students and parents, as well as teaching staff and politics.

Resulting from the advantages and disadvantages that arose in education during the times of Corona we may ask: To what extent does the corona pandemic have a lasting effect on the education sector?

Further questions can be: Will we return to face-to-face teaching and paper-based learning after the shutdown due to the pandemic? How can we succeed in taking the digitisation momentum with us? What does the education system in Germany need, for example with regard to the media competence of those involved (students, parents and teachers), the equipment of schools or the change in learning procedures – understanding and application instead of pure replication.

Must-Read – the team should read this before the Kick-Off:

WÖßMANN, LUDGER (2020): Folgekosten ausbleibenden Lernens: Was wir über die Corona-bedingten Schulschließungen aus der Forschung lernen können. In: ifo Schnelldienst, 73(6), S. 38-44.
Zugang: https://www.ifo.de/publikationen/2020/aufsatz-zeitschrift/folgekosten-ausbleibenden-lernens-was-wir-ueber-die-corona

Additional Literature:

ENGELS, BARBARA (2020): Corona: Stresstest für die Digitalisierung in Deutschland. In: IW-Kurzbericht, 23, S. 1-4.
Zugang: https://www.econstor.eu/handle/10419/215503.

GEIS-THÖNE, WIDO (2020): IW-Report – Lernmotivation und Freude an der Schule. Eine Auswertung des Nationalen Bildungspanels.
Zugang: https://www.iwkoeln.de/fileadmin/user_upload/Studien/Report/PDF/2020/IW-Report_2020_Lernmotivation.pdf, abgerufen am 24.06.2021.

HUEBENER, MATHIAS/ SCHMITZ, LAURA (2020): Corona-Schulschließungen: Verlieren leistungsschwächere SchülerInnen den Anschluss? In: DIW aktuell, 30, S. 1-6.
Zugang: https://www.econstor.eu/handle/10419/216975.

HUEBENER, MATHIAS/ SPIEß, C. KATHARINA/ ZINN, SABINE (2020): SchülerInnen in Corona-Zeiten: Teils deutliche Unterschiede im Zugang zu Lernmaterial nach Schultypen und -trägern. In: DIW Wochenbericht, 47, S. 865-876.
Zugang: https://www.diw.de/sixcms/detail.php?id=diw_01.c.804559.de.

TENGLER, KARIN/ SCHRAMMEL, NATALIE/ BRANDHOFER, GERHARD (2020): Lernen trotz Corona. Chancen und Herausforderungen des distance learning an österreichischen Schulen. In: Medienimpulse, 58(2), S. 1-37.
Zugang: https://journals.univie.ac.at/index.php/mp/article/view/3637.

Scientific Partner

Supporting Researchers

Walli Hoffmann

Photo: Juliane Theiß

After graduating from high school, Walli Hoffmann first trained as a physiotherapist in Leipzig and worked in this profession at the Bennewitz Neurological Rehabilitation Centre near Leipzig until 2013. At the end of 2013, she decided to change perspectives and studied economics at the University of Leipzig, first for a Bachelor’s degree and then for a Master’s degree in business administration with a focus on marketing, service and distribution. She completed this in 2019. During her studies, she was already a tutor at the Chair of Service Management and also worked as a student assistant at the Fraunhofer Center for International Management and Knowledge Economy IMW in Leipzig. After completing her Master’s degree, she started at the Chair of Business Administration, especially Service Management as a research assistant. There, she is primarily responsible for teaching the Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programmes. At the same time, she also worked at the Fraunhofer IMW until mid-2021, where she carried out scientific and industry projects in various subject areas.

Juliane Theiß

Photo: Walli Hoffmann

After graduating from high school in 2006, Juliane Theiß said goodbye to northern Germany, studied International Management (B.Sc.) at Otto von Guericke University in Magdeburg and then deepened her knowledge of economics with a Master of Science in Business Administration with a focus on Marketing and International Management at Humboldt University in Berlin. After graduating in spring 2013, she began working as a product manager, among others in the private education sector, before making a conscious decision to return to university in summer 2017. At the Chair of Human Resource Management at the University of Leipzig, she was given the opportunity to pursue her enthusiasm for teaching as well as to devote herself to personal research interests. These include above all intercultural and international management, the broad field of diversity management and psychological (work) contracts.