Summer Learning Loss
Evidenceof the Problem at the Local Level
In1906, a research by National Summer Learning Association revealedthat there existed an achievement gap between learners. To gain amore objective perspective, the research was conducted on the issueof summer learning and the effect it had on the learning progress ofthe learners. The results showed that students’ achievement gap iswidened by summer learning loss (Think Stretch, n.d).
Evidenceof the Problem from the Professional Literature
Accordingto a Huffington post by Klein (2013), it has been shown that onaverage, students are losing a month of growth in math every summerwhile students from low income families are likely to slip in readingcomprehension compared to students from middle-income family.
Duringsummer, students are engaged in non-academic activities which oftendiminish their learning capacities especially in math and reading(Smink, 2011).
Thelearning loss is as a result of the long summer vacation wherebystudents tend to forget the skills and knowledge, as a result of notengaging in educational endeavors (Reading is Fundamental ORG, n.d).
Cooper,Borman and Fairchild, conducted a research to determine if indeedsummer learning had any effect on the learners. The research showedthat learners lose their educational balance during this time. Thisproblem is especially high in learners who come from low incomeearning families.(2010).
Annually,students in the United States attend school for approximately 180days. Studies indicate that during this period a remarkable progressalong the course of learning and growth in terms of skills andknowledge is achieved (Smith, 2012). To maintain this trend researchon education matters suggest that stakeholder who include teachers,funders, parents and governments at all levels need to come togetherin an attempt to cut short the learning loss that occurs duringsummer. This is achievable by involving more young learners in summerlearning activities. A good summer learning program would be the onethat blends a myriad of many learning activities such as art, handson activities and developmental relationships. An even better way isto increase the amount of homework given to learners during summer.
Researchhas noted that parental involvement tends to decline at all levels ofeducation (Epstein, et al. 2002). The research has put forth severalconclusions as to why this might be the case. Firstly, the lack ofcurriculum knowhow among parents of learners in higher grades.Secondly, some young learners prefer less involvement of theirparents in their education. Thirdly, some parents choose to pursuetheir career goals after their children have gained someindependence. The research also noted that lack of knowledge byteachers on how to effectively engage the parents in the educationalmatters of their children. The same research also noted that theeconomic strength of the family is also a critical factor when itcomes to parent’s involvement in their children’s education. Theresearch noted that rich parents are actively involved with theeducation of their children at all levels and the vice versa foreconomically strained parents.
Astudy of Teacher Involve Parents in Schoolwork (TIPS) programindicated 88 % and 65% involvementof family members in homework assignments for TIPS year 2 and TIPSyear 1 respectively (Van Voorhis, 2011). Students from low incomefamilies’ experience an average loss in reading performances overthe summer since they have a limited access to books at home (Ready,2010).
Everyonewants the same thing. The teachers want to see their impact on thelearners lives while parents want their children to gain knowledgethe government wants to see the education system of the countrychurning all rounded scholars for economic growth. As a result, thereis need to create a working solution. This is critical especially inthe area of summer schooling: ensuring that learning is intensiveduring this period will help reduce the loss of knowledgeorchestrated by the break.
Summerlearning loss is a controversial issue, which concerns three partiesnamely educators, students, and parents. Educators argue thatstudents lose most the concepts learned in the previous school yearduring the summer break. Parents, on the other hand, argue thatsummer learning programs (including the library reading programs andsummer assignment) deny their children rest and play time. Therefore,reduces students physical, neurological, and emotional developmentdue to the lack of rest and play time. The competing sides fail toidentify the benefits of issuing assignments to students with theintention of reducing summer loss. In addition, there are fewresearchers who have focused their studies on the effects of summerassignments and summer learning programs in reduction of summer loss.The primary goal of the current study is to identify these benefitsand create a platform for designing of practice summer packets.Section two outlines the methodology followed to assess the impact ofsummer assignments in reduction of summer slide concerning middleschool children. The packets will balance between educationalachievements and physical development of children.
Cooper,H. M., Charlton, K., Valentine, J. C., Borman, G. D., & Societyfor Research in Child Development. (2000). Makingthe most of summer school: A meta-analytic and narrative review.Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers.
Epstein,J., Sanders, M., Simon, B., Salinas, K., Jansorn, N., & VanVoorhis, F. (2002). School,family, and community partnerships: Your handbook for action(2nded.).Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
Klein,R. (2013). The Huffington post: Summer learning loss study: can‘summer slide’ be prevented? Retrieved on 17thApril 2014: Fromhttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/21/summer-learning-loss-study_n_3391594.html
Smink,J., (2011). The New York Times: ThisIs Your Brain on Summer. Retrievedon 17thApril fromhttp://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/28/opinion/28smink.html?_r=0
Readingis fundamental ORG, (n.d). Primeron . Retrivedon 17thApril 2014 formhttp://www.rif.org/us/literacy-resources/articles/primer-on-summer-reading-loss.htm
ThinkStrech, (N.d).Whatis the Achievement Gap?Retrieved on April 17thfrom http://thinkstretch.com/explore/research/achievement-gap/