In-Person or Online? A Qualitative Analysis of Parents’ Back-to-School Decision-Making During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Beijbom, Anna Mikaela
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of Guelph

The Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent school closures have disrupted family life in Ontario since its onset in 2020. Families were required to transition to online learning from March to June 2020. For the 2020-2021 school year, parents had to choose between continuing with online learning or having their children return to school in-person in an adapted school environment. I conducted a qualitative analysis of 34 interviews with parents of school-aged children in Ontario. This thesis investigated how parents navigated making the back-to-school decision on behalf of their children. The analysis shows the various ways in which considerations like the threat of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, family specific qualities, and previous experiences with online learning featured in back-to-school decision-making.

Covid-19, back-to-school, Ontario, online learning, parents of school-aged children