For more than two years, CRPE has studied the practices and impact of pandemic learning pods in hopes of identifying lessons that can be applied more broadly to improving public education for all students. In June 2022, CRPE convened a cross-sector group of education leaders—practitioners, funders, policymakers, researchers, and community advocates.
Drawing from examples of successful pandemic learning communities that were the focus of previous CRPE research, event participants centered discussions around the most significant impacts of pod learning, including how:
- Pods unlocked new opportunities to explore and redesign the how, what, when and where of learning.
- Pods often hired community members adjacent to traditional teaching roles, which brought new competencies into learning environments and supported and validated students’ well-being, identity, and belonging.
- Pods represented a power shift, providing parents, educators and community-based organizations unprecedented control over learning.
This report harvests insights from the cross-sector conversation hosted by CRPE to discuss what steps could—and should—be taken to incorporate these experiences of pandemic pod learning. The implications and scope of change are significant, but they could result in an education system that better meets students and families’ needs and more fully takes advantage of community assets.