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School Lockdown?

Comparative Analyses of Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic in European Countries


The purpose of this article is to analyse how education and schooling took part in handling the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic in eight European countries (Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Italy, Norway, Poland and Sweden). The focus is on primary education and on decisions to close schools, or not. Our research was informed by assemblage theory in order to analyse how different components interacted in developing societal responses to mitigate the pandemic. The research was designed as a comparative case study of practical reasoning in diverse contexts. Data sources were the mass media and statements from governments and authorities. Our analyses showed that decisions to close schools, or not, were based on two alternative discourses on schooling. Closing primary schools was a preventive measure underlined by discourses of schools as places for infection. Keeping primary schools open was underlined by a discourse in which schools were conceived of as a place for social supportive measures and caring. Furthermore, the closing alternative was often combined with attempts to replace school practices by distance learning or computerized instruction. Legal constitutions and lawmaking were of significant importance in selecting discourses and the relative impact of different components, mostly political or medical, in responding to the pandemic.


Deutschland, Grundschule, Kinder im Grundschulalter, Länderübergreifend, Qualitative Studie


Lindblad, Sverker, Wärvik, Gun-Britt, Berndtsson, Inger, Jodal, Elsi-Brith, Lindqvist, Anders, Messina Dahlberg, Giulia, Papadopoulos, Dimitrios, Runesdotter, Caroline, Samuelsson, Katarina, Udd, Jonas, Wyszynska Johansson, Martina (2021). School Lockdown?. Comparative Analyses of Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic in European Countries, European Educational Research Journal, 20, 564–583.

Zuletzt geändert am 22. Juli 2022.