— Education

4 Big Myths About Pandemic Learning Loss, Debunked

2 Mins read

The past year-plus was like no other in schools across the United States, and experts are just starting to get a handle on the academic toll the rollercoaster of COVID-19 disruptions took on kids. A recent New York Times report suggests, for example, that most children in this country are behind in reading and math — by about four to five months, on average — and there are significant racial and economic disparities within that. It’s unsettling news if you’re a parent who wants the best for your child and has witnessed firsthand how disruptive this time has already been — with another potentially strange academic year looming just around the corner. With that in mind, HuffPost Parents spoke with several experts about what learning loss is (and isn’t) and what parents can do to help their kiddos now.

Pandemic Learning

Myth #1: Learning loss is easy to spot and define.

Learning loss is a fairly broad term that can be measured using many different tools and standards. And it hasn’t been that long since the previous academic year wrapped up, so there isn’t a broad consensus on exactly how far “behind” America’s kids are now. “Learning loss can be defined in many ways, but, in general, it addresses the decline in learning outcomes for children over defined periods,” said Alicia Levi, president and CEO of Reading Is Fundamental, a nonprofit that promotes promoting children’s literacy.

“In a school year, we’re supposed to see growth,” added Lisa Collum, a Top Score Writing teacher and owner. So when experts talk about “loss,” she explained that they’re generally talking about a lack of growth. And there are other types of loss, too, which are more difficult to define but can be just as meaningful, if not more so — like social, emotional, and developmental setbacks. “There have been social, emotional, and behavioral regressions that took time away from learning,” said Dr. Malia Beckwith, section chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics with Children’s Specialized Hospital in New Jersey.

Myth #2: Experts have never dealt with this kind of learning loss before.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly affected kids’ learning, educators have ample experience helping kids catch up. “We do this all the time. We deal with kids who come in and who are way behind. We deal with kids who don’t have the resources at home or outside of school that some other kids do,” said Collum. Summer learning loss is a well-known issue that educators grapple with every year. “We’re just looking at this on a broader scale,” Collum said. So teachers may have a pretty big group of children behind typical benchmarks in their class next year, she said — instead of, say, only three or four children. But the strategies teachers use to help students catch up are likely similar to what they’ve used before, just with more kids.

“We’re going to have to adapt the strategies and resources that we use with a small group of kids [to] our whole class,” Collum said. “We may not have a whole-group structure this year. We may have more of a small-group structure because we will have kids at different levels. But we do that, as educators, anyway.” Ultimately, Collum said, it’s important to reassure parents that while the past year was unprecedented, teachers and schools have experience helping kids get caught up once they’ve got a sense of where they are. She told HuffPost that she hopes that knowledge will help alleviate some of the stress parents might feel as we head into the next school year.

Myth #3: Learning loss doesn’t matter.

While teachers like Collum do not want parents to feel stressed, they also emphasize that learning loss needs to be taken seriously. “You can’t look at starting fresh in the next grade and chapter if kids don’t have certain foundational skills from the year before,” Collum said.

348 posts

About author
As a blogger, I’ve had the opportunity to share my experiences and insights with other people. The most important thing I’ve learned about blogging is that it’s not about me. It’s about connecting with others. I love the idea of using writing to build relationships. I’m always thinking about what I can do to make my blog more useful, interesting, and accessible to others. I enjoy talking about technology, health, finance, food, and travel.
Related posts
— Education

What Is An Exam Rotator Cuff Injury Test?

5 Mins read
What Is An Exam Rotator Cuff Injury Test? Rotator cuff injuries are very common injuIt’s that affect the shoulder joint. These types…
— Education

Chicago Public Schools Cancel Classes So Kids Can Get Vaccinated

2 Mins read
What’s better than a surprise four-day weekend? How about a potentially lifesaving vaccination? Students in Chicago Public Schools will get both next…
— Education

Pakistan edtech startup Maqsad gets $2.1M pre-seed to make education more accessible – TechCrunch

2 Mins read
Taha Ahmed and Roshan Aziz left their jobs in strategy consulting and investment banking in London earlier this year to found a…
Get All Latest Blog Direct In Your Website

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *