Supplemental learning can help mitigate the Covid-19 learning gap

After many schools were forced to close their doors last year, the new normal of the virtual classroom introduced the “COVID learning gap.” As K-12 students enter another unpredictable school year, 90% of teachers agree that learning gaps were more noticeable last year due to the interruptions of the pandemic, with many (77%) feeling an extra burden to bridge the learning gap that students experienced due to COVID-19 but don’t feel like they have the resources they need to do so.

To further understand teachers’ concerns about the challenges students may face coming into the new school year, The Harris Poll, on behalf of BYJU’S FutureSchool, surveyed 501 pre-kindergarten to grade 12 teachers (U.S. adults employed full-time as teachers in public or private schools, 72% of whom have taught for 10 or more years).

Nearly nine in ten teachers (87%) think students, regardless of their learning style, will suffer from learning gaps, while seven in 10 believe physical or kinesthetic learners (71%) and social or interpersonal learners (70%) are more prone to experience a learning gap. So how can parents help ensure that their children are prepared and thriving? Below are suggestions for parents to consider in order to make the new school year successful.

Consider supplemental learning programs

To help fill the learning gap, 93% of teachers see clear and diverse benefits to supplemental learning programs. Benefits may include strengthening knowledge and skills (70%), the opportunity to explore subjects that may not be available to students in more traditional school settings (69%) and exposing them to new and different learning tools that aren’t provided in standard classrooms (69%). According to teachers, the key parts of supplemental learning programs critical to ensuring students don’t fall behind are wide-ranging, but the most commonly cited are an activity-based curriculum (73%) and one-on-one attention (71%).

Active vs. passive learning

One of the biggest pieces of the puzzle missing from the past year for students of all ages is the engaging and active learning environment that the classroom normally provides. According to the survey, 95% of teachers said students benefit more from an active learning environment (e.g., one-on-one or small groups; hands-on activities) than passive (e.g., large group instruction, one-way communication); however, 91% said COVID-19 forced teachers to engage students in more passive learning than active learning. Online learning platform BYJU’S FutureSchool provides individualized attention and guidance focused on encouraging students to enjoy the journey of learning, creating and problem solving, rather than on the end destination or end result.

One-to-one teacher-to-student attention

More than nine in 10 teachers (93%) believe the lack of resources and time to engage in one-on-one learning hampers students’ ability to get the individualized attention to reach their full potential. Teachers also believe one-on-one supplemental learning can provide a richer learning experience than classroom instruction alone (83%), keep kids engaged in areas of learning that are of interest to them (96%), and is a great way for parents to enhance their children’s in-class learning (90%). Nearly all (91%) say one-on-one instruction is crucial for students to learn and grasp concepts that they might otherwise struggle with, and the majority (84%) agree that parents should consider one-on-one supplemental learning programs to fill gaps in their children’s learning rather than holding their child back. Though teachers believe all learners can benefit, supplemental one-on-one programs are most effective for solitary or intrapersonal learners (82%), visual or “spatial” learners (70%), and logical or mathematical learners (69%); and feel that core subject areas like math (84%), reading and language arts (80%), and science (62%) can be aided the most by taking advantage of one-on-one supplemental learning.

BYJU’S FutureSchool is an interactive learning platform that offers education programs on coding, math and music for students ages 6-18. Students receive personalized attention with live access to a teacher in a one-on-one setting that is designed to challenge them and strengthen their active learning skills. BYJU’S FutureSchool also has an app and frequently hosts a variety of virtual experiences that offer families flexibility and fun wherever they are. Every student is invited to take a free trial class in all subjects, and classes start at $26. Learn more at BYJUSFutureSchool.com.

The survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of BYJU’s FutureSchool between August 13-19, 2021 among 501 pre-kindergarten to 12th grade teachers (defined as adults ages 18+ in the US who are employed full-time as teachers in public or private schools). Full methodology available upon request.

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