Mothers as education students and Covid-19: the ‘forgotten demographic’

When the Covid-19 pandemic hit Australia in 2020, lockdown restrictions meant that students’ lives underwent adjustment. Universities quickly adapted to full online learning with implications for accessibility to and efficacy in online technologies, and home environments suitable for learning. This study aimed to understand how Covid-19 affected mothers as teaching students within an Education faculty, exploring mothers’ perceptions of university supports and their effectiveness. Eight mothers participated in the study using a narrative inquiry and feminist methodology.

The data shows effects of the pandemic were both negative (heightened stress, financial strain, less sleep) and positive (stronger family bonds, partners more involved in childcare). Recommendations for improved supports include opportunities for affordable childcare, more flexible study options and financial incentives highlighting the need for universities to consider mothers who have caring responsibilities to ensure a more equitable experience for this marginalised group of students.

Chief investigator



Savage, S. (under review). Mothers as education students and Covid-19: the ‘forgotten demographic’, Journal of Teacher Education.