Study: Tutoring may mitigate pandemic learning losses

UVA Today
EdResearch for Recovery

The  latest federal stimulus package included funding for K-12 school districts across the country to use specifically for combatting learning losses resulting from the pandemic.

These funds have been earmarked for acceleration programs that education experts believe can help make up some of the ground.

A few of the more talked-about programs involve “high-dosage tutoring” and “vacation academies.”

Recently, University of Virginia education assistant professor Beth Schueler co-wrote a policy brief with Carly D. Robinson, Matthew A. Kraft and Susanna Loeb at Brown University’s Annenberg Institute that discussed how both can be viable methods and what the research says about how to design effective programs. The brief was written for policymakers and practitioners currently crafting their approaches to helping students who have fallen behind due to COVID-19.

“I think tutoring and small-group instruction is particularly well-suited to this moment, and not just because of effects on student academic outcomes,” Schueler said. “Don’t get me wrong, learning is important and the impacts of these programs on academic achievement are impressive, but these are also opportunities to build and rebuild relationships with people in a time when I think we’ve all been disconnected from each other and starved for those relationships.

“Kids can be struggling on a number of dimensions at home, and so taking the time to provide some individualized attention could be really valuable from the perspective of not only academics, but also broader student wellbeing.

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