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COVID-Kids II - Children’s voices during the Covid-19 pandemic - insights into their learning experiences, perceptions and well-being

  • Coordinators: Claudine Kirsch, Pascale Engel de Abreu
  • Research team: Claudine Kirsch, Pascale Engel de Abreu, Džoen Bebić-Crestany, Cyril Wealer
  • Partners: LISER, UNICEF Luxembourg ASBL, OKaJu, ONE, FEDAS Luxembourg ASBL, ANCE ASBL, Fleegeelteren Lëtzebuerg ASBL, AEF Social Lab
  • Funding: Œuvre Nationale de Secours Grande-Duchesse Charlotte
  • Duration: 2021-2022

COVID-Kids II

The voice of children is largely absent during this global pandemic despite the Convention on the Rights of the Child and despite the need for their participation and well-being to help us achieve sustainable development. The project COVID-Kids II strengthens the promotion and protection of children's rights.

In this multidisciplinary and mixed-method project we examine children’s daily experiences at home and at school, their attitudes and preferences as well as their participation, mental health and well-being. The project includes three studies:

1. Study 1: a qualitative longitudinal study consisting of interviews with the 22 children interviewed in 2020 in the study COVID-Kids I (PI Claudine Kirsch)

2. Study 2: a questionnaire for children aged 6-16 on their learning, development and subjective well-being (PI Claudine Kirsch; collaboration with LISER). The survey can be completed until 15 July 2021 on covidkids-uni.liser.lu

Study 3: a quantitative cross-sectional study exploring the psychological well-being, mental health and participation of vulnerable children in alternative care in Luxembourg. (PI Pascale Engel de Abreu)

Expected outcomes

The results of Studies 1 and 2 can help parents, professionals, and policy makers develop appropriate educational measures to create an equitable learning environment, choose appropriate teaching methods and provide differentiated programmes to mitigate educational losses. They could guide the design of school-based or psycho-social interventions that take into account the varied experiences of children. They can also assist parents and other social actors to help children reach their full potential.

The result of Study 3 can inform current and future policy choices and actions regarding the well-being and mental health of vulnerable children in alternative care. The situation of children in out-of-home care is not well understood. The COVID-19 pandemic is likely to have increased the risk of emotional stress due to a combination of negative interactions and experiences, a high risk of pre-existing mental health problems, and the stress and anxiety of living through the pandemic in an out-of-home context. The project helps strengthen and develop the support systems in place.

 

COVID-Kids in the press

 

COVID-Kids - presentations

  • Kirsch, C., Neumann, S., Engel de Abreu, Brazas, K. & Wealer, C. (2020). COVID-KIDS: Und was ist mit den Kindern? Fachvortrag (Zoom) St Gallen. Schulsozialarbeitsverband, 18.01.2021
  • Kirsch, C., Engel de Abreu, P., Neumann, S., Brazas, K. & Wealer, C. (2020). School experiences of children and adolescents in Luxembourg, Germany and Switzerland during the first wave of the lockdown. WHO and UNESCO, COVID-19 and MNCAH Research Network Working Group on COVID-19 and Educational Institutions, 17.12.2020
  • Kirsch, C., Engel de Abreu, P., Neumann, S. (2020). Well-being and home-schooling vu Kanner a Jugendlecher während der Coronavirus Pandemie (Mai – Juli 2020). Special interest group. University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg, 07.12. 2020
  • Kirsch, C., Engel de Abreu, P., Neumann, S. (2020). Well-being an Experiences vu Kanner während dem Lockdown. MENJE: Forum Geesseknäpchen, Luxembourg, 27.11. 2020
  • Engel de Abreu, P., Neumann, S., Wealer, C., Coutinho de Macedo, E., Brazas, K. & Kirsch, C. (2020) Subjective well-being of adolescents in Luxembourg, Germany and Brazil during the COVID-19 pandemic. TAG Group Meeting UNESCO, WHO and UNICEF, 17.11.2020
  • Kirsch, C., Engel de Abreu, P., Neumann, S. (2020) Understanding the influence of COVID-19 on children’s and adolescents’ school experience and subjective well-being. WHO meeting, 13.10.2020
  • Kirsch, C., Engel de Abreu, P., Neumann, S. (2020) COVID-KIDS. Predictors of subjective well-being. Children’s and adolescents’ homeschooling experience. Expert meeting with UNICEF and health professionals. University of Luxembourg, 21 October
  • Neumann, S. (2020) Wohlbefinden von Kindern und Jugendlichen in der Corona-Krise. Internationale Forschungsergebnisse. Ringvorlesung. Universität Tübingen. 06.07.2020
  • Coghill, D., Kirsch, C. and Engel de Abreu, P., Neumann, S. (2020) Cross national variation in the impact of COVID-19 on children and education. WHO COVID-19 and Educational Institutions Research Working Group. 07.07.2020

Publications

Videos

The aim of the project COVID-Kids is to explore children's well-being and stay-at-home experiences during the Coronavirus pandemic in May-July 2020.

Movie 1 - Listen to children and young people: This first movie introduces the project COVID-Kids and some of its findings. It features four children who had different experiences. While some children found it stressful and boring to be at home, others enjoyed the quality time with their family.

 

Movie 2 - The fear of getting ill: Four children speak about the fear of getting ill. While two were not afraid, one child was worried that a family member fell ill and another one experienced adults shouting at him because they believed he had come too close. Results of the project are presented.

 

Movie 3 - Home schooling experiences: This final movie presents some predictors of children's well-being related to home schooling: the quantity, difficulty and content of homework. The children's experiences varied and not everybody coped well.

COVID-Kids I - Understanding the influence of COVID-19 on children’s and adolescents’ school experience and subjective well-being (2020-2021)

  • Research team: Claudine Kirsch (PI) (University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg), Pascale Engel de Abreu (University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg), Sascha Neumann (University of Tübingen, Germany), Kristijonas Brazas (University of Luxembourg)
  • International partners: Elizeu Macedo (Mackenzie Presbyterian University, Brazil), Neander Abreu (Federal University of Bahia, UFBA, Brazil), Emanuele Chiapparini (Berner Fachhochschule, Suisse)
  • Funding: Oeuvre Nationale de Secours Grand-Duchesse Charlotte, Assurances le Foyer
  • Duration: 2020-2021
  • The project is also supported by UNICEF Luxembourg

Governments across the globe are taking measures to contain COVID-19. While quarantine and school closure can delay the spread of the virus, they also affect children’s and adolescents’ education and well-being. The project COVID-KIDS examines home schooling experiences and the subjective well-being of 6- to 16-year-olds during the COVID-19 pandemic.         

Potential effects of social isolation and prolonged school closure

Studies investigating the impact of quarantine indicate that the youngest members of our societies may experience feelings of loneliness, anxiety and exhaustion. Prolonged school closure, which can result in social isolation, interrupted learning and the severe curtailing of disability and childcare services, may harm young people, particularly those of disadvantaged families, and influence their development and learning. Education is one of the strongest predictors of the health and wealth of a country’s future workforce. However, to our knowledge, the challenges posed by remote learning and children’s and adolescents’ subjective well-being are not the focus of many planned research projects related to COVID-19 in Luxembourg.   

Understanding children’s and adolescents’ home schooling experiences and well-being

Our study investigates the effects of social distancing coupled with the challenges of home schooling on children’s and adolescents’ educational experiences and subjective well-being. Primary and secondary students in Luxembourg where schools closed on 16th  March 2020 are the principal target group. The research team will carry out group interviews and conduct a large-scale online survey with students during the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey, in 5 languages, will also be sent to children and adolescents in Germany, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Portugal, Finland, the UK, the US as well as Brazil.

Contributing to education

Our study gives a voice to children and adolescents. Findings will be important nationally and internationally and help educationalists, policy makers, parents, and children and adolescents better understand the ways in which COVID-19 affects learning and well-being. The results can be used to improve educational, social and psychological services for children and adolescents during pandemics.