Remote teaching does as much for kids' learning as summer holidays, study finds

Remote teaching does as much for kids' learning as summer holidays, study finds

Remote teaching does as much for kids' learning as summer holidays, study finds

For months on end, the coronavirus crisis forced the closure of primary and secondary schools in Germany, meaning children have had to be taught remotely. A new study has rated the educational benefits of remote learning critically. 

Children’s education stagnated during corona crisis

What did children learn during the coronavirus pandemic? Well, not a lot, according to a new study by researchers at the Goethe University in Frankfurt. Examining data from all over the world, the researchers were, by and large, unable to find evidence of much learning going on. 

“The average development of skills during the school closures in the spring of 2020 can be described as stagnation with a tendency towards a decline in skills,” said Andreas Frey, Professor of Educational Psychology at the Goethe University and one of the study’s authors. The success of remote learning “is therefore within the range of the effects of the summer holidays.”

In their review, the researchers used peer-reviewed scientific studies from around the world that reported on the effects of coronavirus-related school closures on the performance and skills of pupils. Overall, they discovered evidence for what other studies have already found, and what many people have long assumed - that children were not gaining much educational enrichment from learning at home. 

Remote learning affects disadvantaged students most severely

Moreover, the study found that the switchover to home learning disproportionately affected those from socially disadvantaged homes, with the loss of skills among children and adolescents from low-income families much more severe than among their more privileged peers. 

“This confirms the previous assumptions with empirical evidence: the gap between rich and poor widened even further during the first corona-related school closures,” said Frey. 

However, the study’s authors did reach one positive conclusion: that the effect of school closures during the winter were not necessarily so severe, as schools got into the swing of things and online teaching improved in many places. 



Abi Carter

Abi studied History & German at the University of Manchester. She has since worked as a writer, editor and content marketeer, but still has a soft spot for museums, castles...

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