"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

New Study on Student Retention

From the Sydney Morning Herald, via ASCD SmartBrief:

Making a student repeat a level at school has no benefit and in fact may do more harm, Australian research shows.

The study, by Deakin University's Dr Helen McGrath, also found students who repeated a year were 20 to 50 per cent more likely to drop out, compared to similar students who progressed.

Dr McGrath reviewed dozens of studies by academics in Australia and the United States over the past 75 years comparing the outcomes for students with specific needs who were either held back or allowed to progress.

She said those studies failed to support the popular assumption among teachers and parents that repeating a year helped a student's academic performance.

"There may be an occasional student who is the exception, but for most students providing them with more of what didn't work for them the first time around is an exercise in futility," she said.

"In fact, repeating a year confirms to a student that they have failed.

"They experience stress from being taller, larger and more physically mature than their younger classmates. They miss their friends who have moved on to the next year level.

"They also experience boredom from repeating similar tasks and assignments. Their self esteem drops. All of these factors ultimately lead many to drop out." . . .

1 comment:

  1. Adjusting education to the learner in order to facilitate success from student populations that are routinely ignored? Oh. MY. Goodness. What will they think of next?