The blended approach as an avenue for equity amid covid-19 and future emergencies: Refining pedagogical approaches in higher education
Keywords:Blended approach, equity, COVID-19, Higher Education, social-cultural reproduction
Education systems around the world have been faced with unprecedented challenges as the delivery of education massively shifted to online learning solutions due to the sudden and widespread closure of schools following the outbreak of covid-19 in December 2019. Using Bourdieu’s lens, this qualitative case study employed observations and WhatsApp discussions to analyse the university student’s narratives on the rise of social and cultural reproduction in HE; and the prospects of the blended approach as an avenue for equity amid covid-19 and future emergencies. Ten students, drawn from one purposively selected Zimbabwean university, residing in diverse geographical areas and from different socio-economic backgrounds participated in the study. Findings submit that while
the online teaching presents itself as a reasonable alternative in the middle of covid-19 pandemic and beyond, this reinforces the social position of the elite while the poor anchor the base. The study implores the governments of developing countries through their education departments to refine pedagogical approaches in higher education by using the blended approaches to level the learning terrain dominated by the rich. The rationale for this article is thus to contribute towards the need for consistent equality of opportunities in HE considering the impact of covid-19 and possible futuristic emergencies.