The impact of Covid-19 on student achievement: evidence from a recent meta-analysis

Auteur(s) : Di Pietro, Giorgio

Date: 2023

Pages: p. 1-18

Serie: Educational Research Review

Series Volume: 39 (2023) 100530


This work attempts to synthetize existing research about the impact of Covid-19 school closure on student achievement. It extends previous systematic reviews and meta-analyses by (a) using a more balanced sample in terms of country composition, (b) considering new moderators (type of data and research design), and (c) including studies on tertiary education students in addition to primary and secondary education students. Our meta-analysis findings show that the pandemic had, on average, a detrimental effect on learning. The magnitude of this learning deficit (about 0.19 standard deviations of student achievement) appears to be roughly comparable to that suffered by students who have experienced a significant disruption in their schooling due to a major natural disaster (e.g., Hurricane Katrina). Students are also found to have lost more ground in math/science than in other subjects. Additionally, one year or more after the first lockdown, students seem to have been unable to catch up on unfinished learning from the pandemic. This result suggests that more efforts should be made to ensure students recover their missed learning in order to avoid negative long-term consequences for them and society.

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