How will the work of teachers be carried out after the COVID-19 pandemic?

António Nóvoa, Professor, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal.

Yara Alvim, Professor, Federal University of Juiz de Fora, Juiz de Fora, MG, Brazil.

The article “Teachers after the pandemic”, published in the journal Educação & Sociedade (vol. 42), deals with the educational changes that will take place after the pandemic, giving special attention to teachers. In the critical reflection of the authors, three current illusions stand out, accentuated by the response to COVID-19, namely: 1) the illusion that learning happens “naturally” in a variety of times and spaces, namely at home; 2) the illusion that the physical school will give way to the “virtual school”; 3) the illusion that pedagogy can be replaced by technologies.

The discussion in the text is against these illusions. In this sense, it can be read as a manifesto in defense of the valorization and transformation of public education and the triple role of teachers in the construction of a common public space for education, in the creation of new school environments and in the composition of a pedagogy of encounter. The dramatic situation caused by COVID-19 forced us to give immediate, urgent responses, without the necessary preparation and reflection. The indiscriminate use of digital media was the possible solution to maintain a certain “educational continuity”, in order not to cut all ties with students and protect public health. However, this cannot be the future.

Image: authors.

School should be a space of freedom, where one learns to work and live in common. We all depend on everyone. We must inspire each other. Our ideas are part of a collection of experiences and realities that take place in the world. We don’t need to invent anything. We just need, and it is not little, to know what is done, to describe the work of teachers in the most diverse places, to debate, share, and get involved collectively in the production of futures. Back to normal? No. This is the time to invent, that is, to collectively build another education.

One of the authors of this article, António Nóvoa, is the chair of the research-drafting committee of the International Commission on The Futures of Education, whose report will be released at the UNESCO General Conference in Paris in November 2021. Naturally, the ideas presented here also result from the reflection made within this Commission. The other author, Yara Alvim, brings in-depth knowledge of the Brazilian reality and the situation of teachers, allowing for a better contextualization of the proposals presented in the article.


NÓVOA, A. and ALVIM, Y. C. Nothing is new, but everything has changed: A viewpoint on the future school. Prospects [online]. 2020, vol. 49, pp. 35-41. e-ISSN: 1573-90990 [viewed 18 August 2021]. Available from:

NÓVOA, A. and ALVIM, Y. C. COVID-19 e o fim da educação 1870 – 1920 – 1970 – 2020. História da Educação [online]. 2021, vol. 25, e110616. ISSN: 2236-3459 [viewed 18 August 2021]. Available from:

To read the article, acess

NÓVOA, A. and ALVIM, Y. C. Os professores depois da pandemia. Educação & Sociedade [online]. 2021, vol. 42, e249236. ISSN 1678-4626. [viewed 18 August 2021]. Available from:

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Como citar este post [ISO 690/2010]:

NÓVOA, A. and ALVIM, Y. How will the work of teachers be carried out after the COVID-19 pandemic? [online]. SciELO in Perspective: Humanities, 2021 [viewed ]. Available from:


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