Tracking Learning Pod and Hub Initiatives Across the Country

As students and educators stare down the prospect of many more months of remote education, pods and learning hubs have provided a creative solution to address families’ immediate needs for childcare and learning support. In reconfiguring the basic architecture of schooling, these small pandemic learning communities are surfacing lessons that are likely to last beyond the crisis. 

CRPE is launching a national research initiative and research consortium to understand pods and learning hubs. The project will:

  • Map the learning pod landscape: We will conduct an ongoing national scan of pods and hubs to share via a public-facing database. The database will delineate the key features of new arrangements and provide a typology that identifies different models to learn from. 
  • Surface innovative approaches to learning that support student success: We will surface evidence on promising practices by learning whether and how pods sustain students’ engagement in learning, meet their social-emotional needs, and counter historic inequities of race, income, disability, and language. 
  • Identify policy and political barriers and how they are overcome: Through a series of deep dives into new learning systems, we will surface the regulatory and political challenges to forming pods, identify the real and perceived barriers faced by families, educators, and school system innovators, and explore the roles of policy and politics. 
  • Document and disseminate promising practices: Together with our partners, we will surface lessons learned on the design and implementation of pods, including opportunities to strengthen student engagement, integrate social-emotional skills with learning, partner with families and communities, and sustain a systemwide commitment to innovation and learning.
  • Map related system and policy changes compatible with pods: We will document efforts in states and school systems across the country to rethink and rebuild public education to support more equitable learning outcomes.

Families, school districts, community-based organizations, and businesses are stepping up to address the learning gaps laid bare as the pandemic has shuttered schools. Through this initiative and in collaboration with a diverse set of partners, we will learn as much as possible from these efforts to inform a path to rebuilding that is more just, equitable, and responsive to individual student needs.

This project is made possible by support from Walton Family Foundation, the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and the Joyce Foundation. 

Our Analysis

Understanding the learning pods landscape

Ashley Jochim, Robin Lake  |  Thurs, 11/19/20

We are launching a national database that will catalogue and make sense of learning pod initiatives across the country, with an eye toward equity.