July 21, 2010

Preparing for Summer Learning Loss

by Heather Falconer

We’ve heard a lot of talk in the news lately about summer learning loss in K-12 students. First Lady Michelle Obama recently added the importance of summer reading to her campaign to get children leading more active, healthy lifestyles; numerous articles in educational journals have explored the achievement gaps that are directly attributable to the summer break. But what, as educators, can we do to address this inevitable loss of knowledge when our students come back into the classroom? And, do we address it differently with undergraduate students than we do with K-12?

There is plenty of literature to support parents in preventing summer learning loss in their own children, but little in the way of how to handle the loss as an educator. That’s why we would love to hear how you start off the school year.

  • Do you spend time reviewing material from the previous year?
  • Do you ask students to take assessments so that you know what they’ve retained?
  • Do you assign summer coursework so that their minds stay fresh?

Share your ideas with us here — help other educators begin to prepare for September with some new techniques and approaches to get students back up to speed in record time.

Heather Falconer

Written by

Heather Falconer holds undergraduate degrees in Graphic Arts and Environmental Science, as well as an MFA in Writing and an MLitt in Literature. She is currently completing her PhD in Rhetoric and Composition, with an emphasis on rhetoric in/and/of science. Heather has worked internationally in academic publishing as both an author and editor, and has taught a wide range of topics – from research writing to marine biology – in the public and private educational sectors.