What is Remedial education?

Remedial education is education which is designed to bring students who are lagging behind up to the level of achievement realized by their peers. Most commonly, it comes up in the context of postsecondary education which is designed to provide college students and adults with basic skills which they did not learn in high school. Educators who work in this field may work for remedial education programs at colleges and universities and for adult literacy programs which offer this type of education to people who are not interested in going to college, but could benefit from additional education.

There are a number of reasons why a student might need remedial education. Some students attend schools of poor quality, and don’t receive adequate grounding in math and language to prepare them for college or life. Other students may have transferred in and out of schools or missed school a lot, creating gaps in their education which contribute to lack of knowledge in core subjects. Students may also have learning disorders and other issues which have impaired their ability to learn.

Historically, people who graduated high school without basic skills were out of luck. Some students, who attended college started classes, realized that they were underprepared, and dropped out. Poorly educated adults struggled to find work and make a living, and often found themselves unable to advance because they lacked the skills they needed. Remedial education addresses these problems by giving people an opportunity to develop skills which they can use to pursue higher education and career goals.

In remedial programs, people are usually given assessments to determine their level of competency. Based on test results, the students are placed in classes which are most likely to provide benefits. Classes are often small, with a focus on high teacher-student interaction, and they can take place at night or during the day to accommodate various needs. In the course of the class, the instructor will bring students up to speed so that they have skills comparable to those of their peers.

Some students may be embarrassed about needing to take remedial education classes, especially if they are attending college or university. Some institutions have gotten around this by offering remedial courses in the summer so that students can start on the same level of their peers. Other programs have used slightly different names, since “remedial education” carries some negative connotations. Students should remember that if they need to take such classes, it probably reflects more on the education system than on them.

The effectiveness of remedial courses

The question that rises is whether successful completion of a remedial course guarantees students’ success in college. The literature provides limited evidence for the effectiveness of remedial courses on outcomes such as persistence to graduation, quality of performance in subsequent courses, and grade point average. Many researchers claim that very little research has been conducted to investigate the effectiveness of remedial or developmental education and that research concerning the effectiveness of remedial education programs has been sporadic, underfunded, and inconclusive and has serious methodological flaws. Recently, efforts have been made to use more rigorous research designs (e.g. regression discontinuity design) to evaluate remedial effectiveness.

There are ways in which we can measure the effectiveness of remedial courses. There are advantages and disadvantages attached to the different methods of remedial learning. Different countries follow different set of remedial courses. All of these topics and others (if any), I call out to my readers to suggest upon.

ac� ud��~ x”�span style=’font-size:14.0pt;font-family:”Calibri”,”sans-serif”;mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:Arial’>There’s something timely about this campaign on the broader national scale. Student numbers are falling in the face of rising fees and loans. Young people who might once have seen university as their natural destination are rethinking what it means in hard money terms to spend three years without earning. The department for education and the department for business, innovation and skills both back the idea of part-time study.

It was Oscar Wilde who said “youth is wasted on the young.” The idea was taken up by his fellow Irishman GB Shaw who developed it into “education is wasted on the young”. Both were pithy quips concealing a nugget of truth. It is certainly the case that as we mature we learn to evaluate and judge our lives and the world around us in a more focused way. And it might be that we come to study and understand more profoundly than when we were young.

I’m not holding this to be an absolute. But it is surely true for many. That’s why part-time study has a great future.



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