I, for one, am getting tired of hearing pundits and researchers (Today’s Example Of The Blinders That Sometimes Hamper The Usefulness Of Education Research) constantly demand actions that have zero chance of happening in response to what some describe as “learning loss.”
I do have lots of issues with the term and concept of “learning loss” (see Trying To Bring Research, Sanity, Teacher Expertise & Student Voice To The “Learning Loss” Discussion). Nevertheless, I do agree that many of our students did not learn as much during the past two-and-a-half years as they would have without the pandemic (though I am also tired of people pointing to distance learning as the primary reason for this challenge – see CRITICAL – & I MEAN CRITICAL – POINT ABOUT “LEARNING LOSS” THAT IS BEING…..LOST).
Pundits, and even some researchers, harp on the idea of lengthening the school year, even though most research say that it doesn’t work (The Best Resources On The Idea Of Extending The School Day & Year). Of course, many parents don’t want it, either, and bonuses are not going to entice enough exhausted teachers to work longer.
Tutoring is not going to be a realistic solution, either. Jeez, our district and most others can’t find people to hire as instructional aides and for other classified staff positions now. Where are these tutors going to come from?
For what it’s worth, I’m going to repeat what I think are two very realistic and effective ways to “accelerate learning” and that districts and school can implement almost immediately.
PEER TUTORS: School may not be able to find adult tutors, but they can begin peer tutor programs that benefit both the older tutors and the younger students they are tutoring. I have over thirty peer tutors in my two ELL classes (see Are Schools Overlooking An Obvious Strategy They Can Implement Immediately To Accelerate Learning? Peer Tutors!)
IMPLEMENT ELL INSTRUCTIONAL STRATEGIES EVERYWHERE: Teachers of ELLs have been implementing “accelerated learning” for decades. Perhaps schools should use their expertise? I’ve written about this for The Washington Post at The kind of teaching kids need right now.
I just wish those with the loudest voices would understand that we live in the world “as it is,” and not in the world as they would like it to be…..