How Unschooling Summer Learning improves reading comprehension at a greater rate than Traditional Summer School
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Students over summer vacation lose on average 3 months of information from the previous school year. To combat this “summer slide”, intervention programs such as summer school were implemented. However, summer school’s success has been doubted, especially in the Detroit Public Schools system, where proficiency rates for all core subjects fall just below 50% (Annual Education Report, 2018). To explore this, Traditional Summer School and another form of alternative learning, Unschooling, were compared with their benefits and also by their flaws. It was decided that to fully compare these two modes of learning, reading comprehension would be tested in each condition. Reading comprehension was selected due to the multiple studies conducted by researchers that conclude that reading comprehension was one of the two main core subjects that suffers the most during summer vacation. Students in each condition were given a baseline reading comprehension test and then tested again after the 5-week program. The conditions were scored by the reading comprehension scores to gauge retention rates. On average, students in the Unschooled condition were able to recall more on the reading tests than their traditional counterparts. These results indicate that a more flexible and hands-on curriculum can produce a more attentive student and, thusly, able to remember more about their subjects.
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