The power of the pod

Pandemic pods
July 28, 2022
Dolores Tropiano

The Center on Reinventing Public Education has released the first in-depth study of family and educator experiences with pandemic pods.

Pandemic pods were created by families during the COVID-19 to address the impact of school interruptions and closures. The pods consisted of small groups of students and enlisted adults — hired instructors or groups of parent volunteers — to supervise students and support their learning. 

The report, titled  “Crisis Breeds Innovation: Pandemic Pods and the Future of Education,” was authored by Ashley Jochim, a principal and researcher at CRPE, and Jennifer Poon, a freelance education consultant and fellow with the Center for Innovation in Education. The report was based on responses from a national survey completed in February of 2021 of 253 families and educators who participated in pods during the pandemic, along with follow-up interviews and other data.

Lessons learned from the survey were both unexpected and relevant. They will serve policymakers grappling with multiple education issues including the departures of families from the public school systems and the historic growth of homeschooling and inform attempts to redesign learning environments to meet the needs of today's students and families.

The report examined the resurgence of the one-room schoolhouse, the benefits of student and family-centered education, the impact of pods on teaching and finally, the future of pods in the education system.

Read the report