Editorial 2021 spring issue of in education

Patrick Lewis

University of Regina

At this writing, here in Canada we are into month 15 of the many measures taken to curtail the spread of COVID-19; measures taken, relaxed, then stepped up and heightened, relaxed and so it has gone. There is no one who has not been affected by this pandemic in some way; this makes the second issue of our journal that sees me speaking of the pandemic in the editorial, and our spring 2020 issue was canceled because of the pandemic. That is certainly not something anyone would have imagined at the beginning of the outbreak of COVID-19. Yet, the pandemic has become very much an integral part of our daily lives no matter what it is we may take up in our everyday practices. All the measures and practices that have been implemented over the past year have influenced and shaped discourse, practice, and actions/behaviours. Many of us in the academy made that sudden shift to remote/online teaching and then dove into the reality that it was not going back to face-to-face for an indefinite period, and still, many universities will be predominantly remote teaching in autumn 2021. The radical shift in teaching method is only one aspect of the far reaching impact of the pandemic on the academy. So many things have had to change, and in the process have brought much to light to bear on aspects that may not have been noticed or attended to prepandemic.

The academy has been significantly impacted by the pandemic and has had to make changes and will continue to make changes even as vaccines roll out and many universities begin to implement their return-to-work/campus plans for staff, faculty, and students over the coming months and year. Like many other things across society, the university is unlikely to return to “normal” practices postpandemic, our structures and practices have shown that we need to address the many inequities and poor practices of inclusion that we are so fond of heralding. And of course, there has been the issue of money; the pandemic certainly has impacted the bottom line of most universities. Universities are, and will be, scrambling to take up and implement more remote and online programs as well as restructuring how facilities are utilized and how and where employees work. If nothing else the pandemic caused universities to take measures that in many cases brought to the fore structural budget problems that were not so easily noticed prepandemic; universities will have to come to terms with these and many other issues if they are to continue to thrive.

Throughout this period many academics impacted by the pandemic in many different ways have been trying to work away at ongoing research projects or try to figure out how to launch new projects during the pandemic with new layers of precautions, protocols, and routines. Conferences were at first cancelled then retooled as online virtual events, and folks continued to try to write and publish, while journals like ours staggered on trying to find reviewers for articles and authors managed to submit works for consideration. Submitting articles to journals or monographs to publishers seemed to be one of a handful of things academics could grasp on that presented as somewhat familiar and unchanged during the pandemic. But that is not very accurate because everything was impacted; the ability of folks to volunteer to review, the unevenness with which academics’ writing has been impacted by the pandemic, and folks who work at journals did not go unscathed by it all. Yet, in spite of all this here we are with another issue of in education, thanks to our many reviewers, managing editor, associate editors, our consulting editors, and of course all the authors who chose to share their work through in education.

This issue will appeal to a many folks as there is a very interesting cross section of work represented within these digital pages. Please dive in and take a look around; we are certain you will be intrigued by many of the works held in this issue.