Friday, August 7, 2015


Today a study shows that the percentage of children held back to repeat a year in elementary school is around 12.1%.  Parents believe that a child may have not matured enough to advance or simply had a tough time transitioning, etc. and as a result may choose to have said child repeat a grade for a second time, with expectations of realigning the child's learning process. However, studies have shown that this is not the case.

According to Timothy J. Lawson in his book, "Scientific Perspectives on Pseudoscience and the Paranormal," holding a child back only creates the illusion of success, when it actually causes more harm than good.  If a teacher feels a student should repeat the grade and a parent agrees, then the student will continue the next year re-learning old information.  Thus, it is evident that the student will have an easier time progressing through the year, because no new information is being introduced.  So, to the teacher and the parents it would appear holding the child back was a success.  However, when the next year comes around, the student will find themselves right back to the same level of difficulty in understanding, as if the last two years had not even happened.  Holding back a child can cause harm socially because they will be away from all of their friends and may feel embarrassment in the later years.

Overall if a parent feels their child is struggling, the best bet is to enroll in a tutoring system and really helping the child along the way rather than, allowing him/her to repeat old information without gaining anything new.

Lawson, Timothy. J. (2007) Scientific Perspectives on Pseudoscience and the Paranormal. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey. Pearson Education.

1 comment:

  1. This is very true. I have a son that has narcolepsy. The teachers, myself and the doctors recently discovered this last year. It is rare for a 9 year old to develop this disease. the school system every year wanted to hold him back due to the missed assignments as a result of him sleeping all the time. I fought not to. He is unusally large for his age and socially this act would have been terrible for him.