Call for Proposals: Education in the Time of Covid

Special Issue of Radical Teacher
“Education in the Time of Covid”
Editors, Jocelyn Wills and Neil Meyer

Although every educational institution shifted into emergency mode in the spring of 2020, the impacts of Covid-19 on education are and will continue to be uneven, with the most vulnerable institutions and student populations paying the price. In spring 2020, almost every school, K-16, closed its doors, leading to an abrupt experiment in remote learning. Students, educators, and support staff had different levels of preparedness and resources for this shift. And these emergency measures produced a series of emergency changes in policy: to admissions, attendance, graduation, grading and transfer, the disbursement of resources to students (such as financial aid, healthcare, access to technology, and others), and the training of educators.

Reopening plans across the nation reveal different and unequal analyses of risk and reward, along with a lack of clear guidance and resources from the state and federal government. Many institutions re-opened early, arguing that the live experience was essential to students; as a result, some colleges saw dormitories converted into quarantine facilities and K-12 schools often whiplashed between in-person and online teaching. Many other schools remained closed to most, if not all, in-person instruction, especially public schools and two-year colleges. This crisis has also been another example of disaster capitalism in action, where states use budget crises to disinvest further from education, and private educational technology companies step into the gap created by distance learning. Schools have required students to use various platforms, some with dubious pedagogical value and many with troubling policies around student data and privacy.

For this special issue of Radical Teacher, we invite 750-word proposals that consider the impacts of Covid-19 on education (K-12, two- and four-year colleges, and post-graduate) and ways that students, educators, and institutions can respond to and resist continued disinvestment and disenfranchisement in the face of global pandemic. Our hope is to both outline the contours of this crisis in the many ways it has affected education, while also pointing to radical forms of resistance in the classroom and across institutions. Some possible themes include:

  • The growth of ed-tech amid distance learning
  • Pressures on teachers to embrace remote learning
  • The challenges of the hyper-surveillance realities of Zoom and other technology
  • Plagiarism panics in online learning
  • Inclusive and problem-posing pedagogies in distance learning
  • Creating engaged student communities online
  • Teaching Covid-19
  • The specific challenges that contingent faculty have faced
  • Impacts on scholarly and archival research
  • Disparate impacts on student populations
  • Mental/physical health of students, staff, and teachers
  • Maintaining a work-life balance during Covid, such as balancing family responsibilities at home (homeschooling, elder care, etc.) while meeting the needs of students
  • Consequences of state disinvestment in a time of crisis
  • The role of unions in reopening schools and campuses
  • Strategies for working with student (and faculty, and staff) activists
  • Lessons from the 2008 financial crisis applied to the current moment of disinvestment
  • Disparate impacts and growing inequality between two- and four-year institutions
  • Calls for post-pandemic “job preparedness” education and vocational training
  • Opportunities for cross-cultural learning and engagement via online education
  • Countering escalating rhetorics and practices of austerity in pandemic university life
  • Administration fatigue

Abstract Due Date: 9.1.2021

Please send abstracts, as well as any questions you might have, to Neil Meyer ( and Jocelyn Wills (