Outlining a proposal for a formal Council Recommendation, ‘blended learning’ is the term which, in formal education, is when a school, educator or student takes more than approach to the learning process.
This can be a blend of the school site and/or other physical environments, for instance distance learning and outdoor sites, or blending different learning ‘tools’ that can be digital or non-digital, ie classroom-based. The commission is proposing shorter term measures to address what it calls ‘the most pressing gaps’ exacerbated by the pandemic, plus a way forward for blending learning environments in education settings.
Blended learning, it says, can help to improve the inclusiveness of education, particularly due to its flexibility. It can mean better education provision in remote and rural areas, and for those who are part of traveller communities, or residing in hospitals and care centres, and those engaged in high-performance training. All environments and tools should be equally accessible to minority groups, children with disabilities or from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds, and should not lead to discrimination or segregation.
‘Addressing the most pressing gaps exacerbated by the pandemic’
Mariya Gabriel, EU Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said: “Striving for a vision of better quality and inclusive education and training is by no means limited to the COVID-19 context. There is an opportunity now to learn and move forward from the most recent experiences. Today’s proposal maps a vision of the education we want to see in Europe. One that supports the overall goals of the European Education Area and Digital Education Action Plan to promote quality and inclusion, green and digital education across Europe.
The commission’s recommendation, she added, is aimed at ‘guiding member states in strengthening the preparedness and outreach of their education systems to the benefit of pupils and students, their families and the pedagogical staff.”
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