We are living in times when seemingly apparent certainties appear to be challenged by phenomena such as technological advancements, rapid transformations of the labor market, ‘redefinition’ of human communication, migration and population mobility, socioeconomic downturns, political instability, and democratic values under dispute. Education per se is constantly changing, modifying or redefining learning and teaching environments from very early age through the life span.
In addition to all the above challenges, the COVID-19 pandemic that we currently experience has created unprecedented changes in human life and further increased uncertainty on a worldwide scale.
Education was highly disrupted and the learning process massively changed from face-to-face to online. Students, teachers, and parents face several challenges, in coping with these changes and in adapting to these new societal, economic, and educational settings.
Educational researchers are challenged to decode the increased complexity of educational processes at times of global change and uncertainty and to introduce evidence-based practices and reforms to educational policy makers. Evidence-based knowledge can bring some certainty to the uncertainty that educators, students and families currently face. Education research can bring Hope that schools (including all institutions providing education for all age groups) will be able to foster in students the skills to evaluate, critically think and acquire knowledge from various sources. Hope that schools will educate cognitively, metacognitively and motivationally active students, who can choose meaningful learning goals, plan, and monitor their learning behavior, strive towards desired goals attainment, produce novel ideas, provide creative and environment-friendly solutions. Hope that schools will promote socio-emotional competencies such as communication and collaboration skills, intercultural understanding, conflict resolution, intrinsic motivation, emotional understanding and regulation, psychological well-being, and resilience. Hope that educators themselves will be accordingly educated in our changing world so that they will be aware both of the role of societal change in their profession and of their own role in the societal change, be able to broaden their professional identity, to include new roles and responsibilities and be intrinsically motivated to build adaptive learning environments. Hope that schools will become forces for positive changes to the society.