Don't remediate, accelerate! Effective catch-up learning strategies: evidence from the United States

Author(s): Steiner, David

Organisation(s): UNESCO; Global Education Coalition; Johns Hopkins School of Education. Institute for Education Policy; Chiefs for Change

Date: 2020

Pages: 12 p.


As countries are reopening or preparing to reopen schools following the prolonged closures due to COVID-19 and are considering various strategies to catch up with learning, this paper has been developed in order to assist Ministries of Education in their decisions, offering guidance on the effectiveness – or not – of some of the most common catch-up learning strategies, based on evidence from research in the US context. Research findings show that common strategies, such as grade repetition, automatic promotion to the next grade or remediation are not effective. Instead, scientific evidence points to other policy options that appear to be more effective, such as accelerated learning, micro-teaching and tutoring. This paper will be useful not only for education decision- and policy-makers but also practitioners. It can be particularly useful in teacher training, informing teacher training processes in pre- and in-service training.

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