How COVID-19 is changing our ideas about education

At Reboot the Future, our ambition is to shape the mindsets of our young people and leaders towards a more compassionate and sustainable future, informed by the Golden Rule (Treat others and the planet as you would wish to be treated). Like many, we believe the crisis of COVID-19 can provide exceptional opportunities to transform the ways we think, act, and collaborate.

As schools across the world start preparing to open their doors in the coming months, we are launching #RebootingEducation – a conversation to find what we have learned about education during the crisis, and to explore what this means for the future. We invite you to take part in our conversation.

What has changed?

The Covid-19 pandemic has fundamentally challenged and changed how we educate our young people. More than 860 million students worldwide, or half the world’s student population, have missed out on classes due to fears of the coronavirus. For the first time, parents have tried their hand at teaching, many teachers have become involved in remote learning, and compassion and courage have fuelled this most unexpected collective effort.

For many, whilst this experience made us realise just how indispensable our teachers are, it has also given us more time to reflect on the purpose of our schools and the values which lie at the heart of education, as well as our hopes and aspirations for future generations. The crisis has reinforced what we already knew but sorely need reminded of: our fundamental connection to the planet. By disrupting untouched ecosystems, we have created the conditions for a pandemic that is having extreme consequences on our health, our economy, and the ability of young people to go to school.

It is within this context that Reboot the Future believe we need a new vision of education, one that nurtures our ability to connect with each other and the rich eco-systems that support us, or what we call, the Golden Rule: Treat others and the planet as you would wish to be treated. There is a mounting body of evidence in support of this: In a 2019 poll around 70% of teachers agreed radical change was needed to make the education system ‘fit for the times we live in’ [1]. A growing number of teachers want their pupils to learn more about the climate crisis, yet 75% of them feel they haven’t received adequate training, whilst 77% of young people are feeling anxious about it [2].

Our ambition

Reboot the Future are launching a conversation on how we can ‘reboot education’ as we rebuild from the impact of COVID-19. Over the coming months, we will be talking to educators, business leaders and the public, asking people how COVID-19 has changed our ideas about education.

We know the future looks different in the wake of Covid-19, combined with an ecological crisis, a shifting job market and growing populations. What have we learned about what is important for education during COVID-19, and which we would like to see maintained in the future? What values will young people need to respond to the changes in the world around them? How can our education system best support teachers to nurture these values?

We will explore these questions and more, openly sharing our findings over summer.

What do you think?

We have just launched our online survey, with seven simple questions. We would love to hear your views, and please do share it with your friends, and on social media with the hashtag #RebootingEducation.

Secondly, we planning a sequence of live-streamed discussions on #RebootingEducation in June, with a selection of global thought-leaders, and in partnership with Franklin University as part of the #GoodAfterCovid19 movement. We will be sharing details on social media, and we hope you can join us and contribute to this important discussion.

Reboot the Future hope that our conversation will create a space to explore a series of big questions impacting all of our lives. We are intent on opening a dialogue, providing ideas, and exploring how our education can most effectively benefit a global society and the environment as we emerge from this crisis. If you would like to partner with us on this initiative or to find out more, please get in touch with

[1] Based on research by YouGov for Oxfam (2019).

[2] Based on poll carried out by Green Schools Project / NUS pupil survey (2018), and a poll by Global Action Plan (2019).