The effects of COVID-19 on the respiratory and gastrointestinal systems are widely documented. However, recent research shows that the virus also affects the brain. According to studies conducted in the United Kingdom and Germany, 20-70% of COVID-19 patients experience neuropsychiatric symptoms (Boldrini et al., 2021). Some of the symptoms recorded include psychosis, cognitive deficits, anxiety, and attention deficits. Since these problems occur independently of respiratory symptoms associated with coronavirus, researchers have concluded that the disease causes brain damage (Boldrini et al., 2021). In severe cases, patients with COVID-19 experience a cytokine storm, which could alter neuroplasticity, memory, and learning (Boldrini et al., 2021). COVID-19 impairs some parts of the brain and reduces its capacity to perform certain functions. In relation to education, coronavirus negatively impacts a person’s ability to learn new things and retain information.
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Teachers should be aware of research that shows how the novel coronavirus affects the brain. Intentional teaching involves learning a student’s strengths and interests and guiding them to become the best versions of themselves (Salmon & Barrera, 2021). It also entails acknowledging their weaknesses and helping to manage or overcome them, where possible. Teachers should realize that people, including young students, may not have the same cognitive abilities as before. An intentional teacher will be aware of the individual needs of each student. For instance, a learner with attention deficits due to COVID-19 requires engaging instructional methods. An intentional teacher will incorporate engagement activities, such as class presentations, into their teaching. They will also be more encouraging to their students, who may feel inadequate due to changes in their brain structure. The goal of intentional teaching is to create a positive classroom environment that enhances learning (Salmon & Barrera, 2021). Intentional teaching methods should be reflective of the changes caused by the pandemic.
Boldrini, M., Canoll, P. D., & Klein, R. S. (2021). How COVID-19 affects the brain. JAMA Psychiatry, 78(6), 682-683. Web.
Salmon, A. K., & Barrera, M. X. (2021). Intentional questioning to promote thinking and learning. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 40, 100822. Web.