Education Publications

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2020


As the world went into a swift lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, sending individuals to their homes and shutting businesses and institutions, the closing of schools posed big problems. The majority of the world’s children were out of school leading to the largest period of school closures in history. We saw educators turning towards responses, not aimed at collegial and community-engaged strategies for education in an emergency but to online learning cast as education/business as usual. This study explores the logic driving this global response through the policy papers released by three key global education actors: 1) the OECD and its paper A Framework to Guide Education Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic of 2020; 2) UNESCO’s Global Education Coalition #LearningNeverStops; and 3) the World Bank’s Guidance Note on Education System’s Response to COVID-19; and Guidance Note: Remote Learning and Covid 19. We draw on Bacchi’s post-structural policy analysis to make visible the key concepts and binaries used within policy texts and to understand the technologies of saving that were invoked in each policy response, locating the education programs, activities and actors within knowledge practices in educational reform. This article explores the World Bank, OECD, and UNESCO responses using an analysis of knowledge harmonization and difference among these institutions as well as their location as key norm setters and governing actors in the field of education.


This is a pre-publication version of this article, which is currently under review in a Springer journal. Because the article is related to COVID-19, Springer has committed to ensure that research findings and data relevant to this outbreak are shared rapidly. In addition, Springer has urged all authors of relevant research to share preprints of their submitted papers on a recognized preprint server, which we have done in UWO's Scholarship@Western.