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Summer Learning Loss

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Encyclopedia of Cross-Cultural School Psychology

The return of children to school after a long summer vacation without formal instruction has been associated with loss of learning. Researchers have found that, during the summer, children experience learning loss as measured by differences in grade-level equivalent scores between the end of one school year and the beginning on the following school year. Some researchers have estimated a learning loss of one-tenth of a standard deviation between spring and fall achievement scores, or 1-month of instruction on a grade equivalent scale.

Learning loss does not take place equally across all academic areas or for all students. Students diagnosed with learning disabilities and/or receiving special education services appear to be at greater risk of learning loss than other students. There are distinct differences in the impact of summer vacation on different academic skill areas. Greater learning loss appears to occur in the area of math than in the areas of reading and language arts....

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Suggested Reading

  • Borman, G. D., & Boulay, M. (Eds.) (2004). Summer learning: Research, policies, and programs. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

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  • Cooper, H. (2003). Summer learning loss: The problem and some solutions. Champaign, IL: Clearinghouse on Elementary and Early Childhood Education. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. EDO-PS-03-5).

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  • Kim, J. (2004). Summer reading and the ethnic achievement gap. Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk, 9(2), 169–188.

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  • Schacter, J., & Jo, B. (2005). Learning when school is not in session: A reading summer day-camp intervention to improve the achievement of exiting First-Grade students who are economically disadvantaged. Journal of Research in Reading, 28, 158–169.

    Article  Google Scholar 

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Maríñez-Lora, A.M., Quintana, S.M. (2010). Summer Learning Loss. In: Clauss-Ehlers, C.S. (eds) Encyclopedia of Cross-Cultural School Psychology. Springer, Boston, MA.

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  • Publisher Name: Springer, Boston, MA

  • Print ISBN: 978-0-387-71798-2

  • Online ISBN: 978-0-387-71799-9

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