Friday, February 25, 2022

Social Skills Study

 Students' social skills and emotional maturity have declined at least somewhat during the coronavirus pandemic, according to most educators who responded to a recent survey. Educators say that in some cases they have observed students withdrawing or acting out.

Educators see gaps in kids' emotional growth due to pandemic. (2022). Eduncaton Week Research Center.

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Pandemic and digital divide research


A recent national report exploresthe impact of the pandemic on the digital divide—the gap between those who have access to devices and connectivity, and those who do not—and its impact on learners. It highlighted several areas that have contributed to the divide—such as a lack of access to devices, limited digital skills, and challenges around engaging pupils online. But it also exposed some of the issues that have occurred because of the divide, likes the disproportionate impact on the learning and wellbeing of the most disadvantaged learners.

Addressing the deepening digital divide. (2022), Oxford University Press.

Want a high SAT score? Ditch test prep and read for fun

Los Angeles Times, Feb. 16, 2022.

To the editor:
Letter writer Linda Mele Johnson (LA Times, Feb. 11) points out that “rich kids do better on the SAT than poor kids.” A major reason is that “rich kids” do more pleasure reading, because they have far more access to books at home and school. 

Studies show that reading more for pleasure (including fiction) results in larger vocabularies, better spelling and better writing. In addition, those who read more know more about literature, history, science and even practical matters. Literacy scholar Jeff McQuillan has argued that pleasure reading is the best way to score well on the SAT, and it is far more effective, economical and pleasant than test prep. It also makes a strong contribution to school and life success. Along with Linda Mele Johnson, I am happy to see the demise of the SAT. Let’s focus instead on investing in libraries and making sure all young readers have plenty of access to books. 

Stephen Krashen
Rossier School of Education University of Southern California 

Primary grades literacy study

Intensive support is needed to help roughly one-third of children in kindergarten through third grade who are not reading at grade level, according to a recent study. For instance, there are first-grade students who do not know the alphabet. While the so-called COVID cohort of students in kindergarten, first and second grade are making progress, they haven’t caught up to where students in those grade levels were performing before schools shut down in March 2020. Fourth and fifth graders seem to have recovered.  Learning disruptions such as quarantines and closings significantly impact literacy outcomes, including slow progress. One-to-one tutoring mitigates this issue. Data also shows racial disparities, with Black and Hispanic students in K-2 not making as strong of a comeback as white students and gaps growing larger than they were before the pandemic.

COVID-19 means more students not learning to read. (2021). Amplify.