Summer learning loss
With debates ongoing on whether students should be given less of a summer break to avoid summer learning loss, Daniel Laitsch, associate professor of education, weighed in on the topic in a Province article.
In 2008, researchers at the Canadian Council on Learning did a review of 39 studies on learning loss. They found the average summer learning loss amounted to one month per year.
Researchers at RAND Corp., a non-profit research institute in the US, found the average summer learning loss in math and reading also amounts to one month per year.
The impact is greater on low-income students, who lose two months of reading skills, compared to wealthier children, who may actually make slight gains from being in educational camps and classes.
Laitsch cautions against "easy answers" such as putting kids in school throughout the summer. He notes the research only measures what kids have lost, and not what they may have learned in other areas during the summer break.
"Summer learning loss does seem to be a real experience but it depends on how you define it. And summers are an opportunity for engaging in much different ways in your environment and we need to be careful about going to easy solutions like just having kids in school as a way to address it," says Laitsch. Full story here.