Scholars have perceived the COVID-19 pandemic as a generational experience that shapes children and young people’s lives in individually experienced but collectively shared ways, and thus forms a Generation Corona, whose world views and future expectations are impacted by the pandemic. This paper emanates from the deep impact that COVID-19 has had and continues to have on children and young people. These impacts are diverse but many of them relate to school closures and moving to remote teaching. The paper starts with a literature review of recent survey results on Finnish children and young people’s experiences from remote teaching in spring 2020. The results indicate how remote schooling caused polarization in children and young people’s learning and wellbeing. After this review, the paper presents preliminary results from the DIALLS project in which a group of educational scholars and teachers created a special learning program on cultural literacy, implemented in schools in seven European countries in 2020. The lockdown of European societies, school closures, and moving to remote teaching impacted the implementation of the program. The program was revised in spring 2020 to include a COVID19-related lesson. The paper explores with a qualitative content analysis the student’s multimodal artifacts in which they reflect how to be empathetic, tolerant, and inclusive in pandemic conditions. The analysis brings forth the emergence of Generation Corona and how the notions of empathy, care, and the fight against the pandemic are similar among children and young people in this generation.
Tuuli Lähdesmäki, University of Jyväskylä, Finland