Dutch pupils caught up on study delays in maths, many still behind in reading
Dutch primary school pupils have partially caught up and closed gaps in reading and mathematics caused by the chaotic introduction of distance learning at the start of the first lockdown. However, the time students need to bounce back varies between different age groups, a study conducted by Central Institute for Test Development (CITO) showed.
Cito, one of the organizations that handle standardized testing of primary school children in the Netherlands, launched a study into possible study delays in November last year. It turned out that students had in general progressed slower than during pre-pandemic circumstances.
Cito continued down the same path in their recent research by looking into reading comprehension and math test results of students in various groups. The study proved that the students in groups 4 to 7 are generally back to pre-lockdown levels regarding their arithmetic skills.
However, the study found that lockdown has widened the gap between students in terms of reading level. Higher-performing students have achieved slightly more learning growth than lower-performing students. This was most visible among students who are now in group 5.
The result is that the stronger readers have now largely made up for the delays they faced during the first lockdown. On the other hand, students with more reading difficulty are still slightly behind. All in all, the differences between students in the second lockdown have increased.
In math on the other hand, students appeared to have progressed at an equal pace in general. Demonstrated growth was large enough to make up for the delay caused by the first lockdown, with no particular differences between low-scoring or high-scoring students recorded.
Cito announced they will soon carry out another similar research with a focus on spelling.