What is "Learning Loss"
What is "Learning Loss"?
The term” learning loss” has caused a nationwide hysteria. The pandemic has given children fewer academic learning opportunities, but a large percentage of our society wants to ignore the trauma children have endured these last few years. Instead they want to heap academic expectations onto children who are already anxious and stressed.
Yes, according to the test results children are behind academically. But they are also behind socially and emotionally. Ignoring this fact is cruel.
Children need time to heal, along with academic opportunities to catch up. Increased instruction and decreased fun will not get our children where we want them to be. Joy must also be present for optimal learning to occur.
Can we just force the children to catch up?
The science of learning clearly indicates that children must engage in a variety of activities to foster their intellectual development and increase their executive functioning skills so they can learn academics.
At school, educators are trying to fill in these gaps by teaching children social and emotional skills so they can have a peaceful classroom. Children are increasingly oppositional and defiant. Educators are desperate for art, music, and sports programs so their children can experience a balanced school life, engage in activities they enjoy, and show up to school each morning enthusiastically.
We know children are experiencing higher levels of anxiety and depression than ever before. However, the standard response to low academic test scores is more academic instruction. This response is coming from bureaucrats and decision makers not from teachers. Most teachers and administrators of schools recognize the push for academics is failing our children and the results are not increased academic performance. Instead, the results are increased levels of mental illness among students. Children need their spirits nurtured, they do not need unrealistic academic expecations.