Study: Some students held back early may gain in outcomes over long run
- A new study argues that holding students back earlier in their educational careers, rather than later in high school when they aren't meeting academic achievement goals, has the potential to boost their success by some measures without decreasing their chances of graduating, reports MindShift.
- Specifically, the study highlights that holding back students at third grade through test-based retention had positive effects on their math and reading scores. Already one out of 10 students — primarily from low-income minority backgrounds — have to repeat another year; but holding them back and giving them the necessary academic attention can improve their low performance. However as a caveat, the study did not look into the social-emotional outcomes of students
- This study runs counter to previous arguments that "redshirting," or starting a kids later in kindergarten, is detrimental to their outcomes, including the potential to earn less money on average over their lifetimes, or experience an emotional stress that derives from being an older student in the classroom.
A popular movement in the K12 classroom has been the emphasis on personalized or individual learning goals. Some of the most common methods of personalized learning involve technologies that allow for innovative and creative learning platforms, switching of teacher and student roles, flexible environments, and projects for group collaboration. But in addition to these strategies, educators must still consider the general academic readiness of their students, as they are constructing their learning paths.
As part of a larger shift in education, education stakeholders observe that the traditional paradigm of having students start school early and graduate high school without any hiccups is not necessarily synonymous with success. More than ever, educators are embracing standards that give students the time they personally need to achieve success. For instance, more high schools have created the option of a "13th year" with helps students that need extra time before college gain the necessary skill sets before moving on to higher education.
This new study showcases the importance of de-stigmatizing such an option at primary school level, as developmentally, kids may benefit from extra time in order to shape their learning paths. Administrators and teachers that don't want to see their students going into remedial programs can take steps to inform parents about what their options are in enrollment and explain that starting kids later is not as taboo as it is often presented.
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