Journal of Curriculum, Teaching, Learning and Leadership in Education


Amid the disruptions of COVID-19 are opportunities to reimagine schooling and education. Taking a historical perspective, this article analyzes education policy following an earlier pandemic, the influenza pandemic of 1918-19, to explore if and how educational change might be possible. Drawing on primary source analysis of Missouri education policy, I argue that influenza-related policy talk was practically non-existent, and the talk that was present mainly focused on how the flu disrupted, but not changed, school operations. Without policy talk advocating for change, policy action the years following the influenza pandemic continued along the lines of Progressive reforms that were already circulating prior. I conclude with implications of this historical analysis for responding to the current COVID-19 pandemic.



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