Black high school students, international high school students, resilience, qualitative content analysis, Covid-19


The Covid-19 pandemic created an indelible mark on K-12 education — specifically, high school students transitioning to college and career. The global scope of this pandemic presented an opportunity to compare how high school cultures across the world adapted to the emergency. Further, news reports highlighted how communities of color were more susceptible to the pandemic.

To better understand how the Black student experience in middle America compared to that of other students from the global community in responding to pandemic-related educational disruption, I used Krippendorff’s content analysis procedures (2018) and a phenomenological interview process to gather and analyze data from 17 Black American high school students and 35 teachers. The central research question was: What are the experiences of Black students in middle America regarding educational disruption when compared to the experiences of high school students in other countries?

The findings revealed that globally both students and teachers were primarily concerned with educational quality, teacher preparedness and substandard Internet service. Findings from twelve other countries confirmed that diminished Internet access and teacher unpreparedness were essential problems. However, Finnish districts which relied on government support seamlessly progressed through the interruptions in March 2020.