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High-quality tutoring effective at offsetting pandemic learning losses

As school systems address the coronavirus pandemic’s impacts on education—particularly for less-advantaged students—UVA assistant professor of education and public policy Beth Schueler has co-authored a policy brief outlining evidence that “high-dosage tutoring can produce large learning gains for a wide range of students.” Defined as more than three days per week or at least 50 hours over 36 weeks, high-dosage tutoring appears to be one of the most effective ways to improve educational achievement for elementary and middle school students from lower-income families.

Beth Schueler

Features of the most effective high-dosage tutoring programs include using experienced teachers or volunteers who receive intensive training and ongoing support; using data and assessments to personalize instruction to an individual student’s needs; pairing students with a consistent tutor; and establishing a positive, mentoring relationship between tutor and student. The authors acknowledge that such high-quality tutoring programs can be expensive, but they point out that they are also “highly cost effective relative to many other educational interventions.” The paper, “Accelerating student learning with high-dosage tutoring,” was produced by the EdResearch for Recovery Project to guide educators and policymakers in addressing the educational impacts of the pandemic.