Learning during coronavirus

[Translate to english:] Foto COYOT/PIXABAY

Researchers warn of a learning gap due to school closures which could result in a lost year and suggest digital solutions.

03/13/2020 · Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Raumwissenschaften · ifo Institut Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung an der Universität München e. V. · News · Forschungsergebnis

The ifo Institute has warned of a learning hiatus due to the school closures in Berlin, Lower Saxony, Saarland, and Bavaria. “We must now do everything possible to ensure that the school closures do not result in a complete learning hiatus. We have to think in terms of learning outcomes, because they are the most important thing,” says Ludger Woessmann, Director of the ifo Center for the Economics of Education in Munich. “The learning outcomes achieved determine whether students are well prepared for future challenges. The year 2020 must not go down in the educational history of the children and young people concerned as a lost year.”

“Schools and teachers have to provide the pupils with materials and tasks so that they can keep up to date,” Woessmann adds. “In particular, they must ensure, by means of appropriate feedback obligations, that the pupils actually deal with the learning material.” The great danger is not only that will less material be taught, but that children and adolescents will fill the time they are not in school with things like computer games or misleading information in social media, which will even lead to negative developments.

Woessmann adds that digital platforms are the best way to achieve bi-directional communication between teachers and pupils. But where these are not available or their use is not properly coordinated, other ways such as postal delivery in both directions must be found.

Otherwise there is a risk not only that the overall achievement level suffers, but also that inequality in pupils’ preparation for further school development increases. Research has shown that the level of knowledge and school competence of children from disadvantaged backgrounds decreases significantly during school holidays, whereas children from educationally advantaged backgrounds even learn more during the holidays. “We must prevent the same thing from happening during school closures,” Woessmann demands.

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