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Abstract

In March 2020, schools and universities were abruptly shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Just as abruptly as they shut down, they were moved to fully online instruction. It was and continues to be an adjustment from classrooms with bodies to online classrooms without bodies, and now in-person classrooms with distanced masked bodies, or some combination of the two. As such, a discourse has appeared decrying the absence of what we know was the “real” educational environment. In this commentary, I use a series of vignettes to illuminate the ontological and epistemological dilemma of this discourse and then bring it into dialogue with literature and theory in order to present an argument that complexifies the assumption that real learning is in-person learning.

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