Learning Loss During the COVID-19 Pandemic and the Impact of Emergency Remote Instruction on First Grade Students’ Writing: A Natural Experiment

Gustaf Bernhard Uno Skar, Steve Graham, Alan Huebner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and the sudden cancellation of in-class instruction for many students around the world presented an unprecedented disruption in children’s education. As the COVID-19 pandemic took form, multiple concerns were raised about the potential negative impact on students’ learning. The current study examined this proposition for children’s writing. We compared the quality of writing, handwriting fluency, and attitude toward writing of first grade Norwegian students during the COVID-19 pandemic (421 girls, 396 boys), which included emergency remote instruction for almost 7 weeks, with first grade students in the same schools a year before the pandemic began (835 girls, 801 boys). Aftercontrolling for variance due to national test scores, school size, proportion of certified teachers, students per special education teacher, school hours per student, student gender, and native language, we found that students attending first grade during the pandemic had lower scores for writing quality, handwriting fluency, and attitude toward writing than their first grade peers tested a year earlier before the COVID-19 pandemic emerged. Implications for policy and instruction as well as future research are presented

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Educational Psychology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • first grade
  • handwriting
  • motivation
  • writing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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