Migrant student achievement, academic resilience, and policy reform during the pandemic
Join this seminar to know more about the policies and programs on the performance disadvantages of immigrant student groups in relation with the unique challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The global pandemic has created monumental challenges for education systems around the world. In the vast majority of industrialised countries, COVID-19 led to school closures for successive weeks, with instruction shifted online to help reduce the risk of transmission and keep students safe. Understandably, parents, educators, and policymakers are concerned about the long-term impacts associated with school closures and disruptions to face-to-face instruction. For the most part, researchers have begun to tackle this timely issue by examining the learning losses associated with school disruptions. Simply put, learning loss research attempts to quantify, using large-scale student assessment results, the degree of progress, or lack thereof, in core subject areas (i.e., reading, mathematics, science) that have resulted from interruptions to in-person schooling. Often this research suggests that learning has stalled during the pandemic and that at-risk student populations, particularly those from migrant and lower socio-economic backgrounds, have been disproportionately affected. Indeed, immigrant student groups have traditionally faced a double disadvantage in education systems since they typically struggle with settlement and language issues in their host country in addition to often experiencing precarious financial situations – both of which contribute to lower achievement outcomes. Yet, the research literature is equally clear that immigrant students tend to fair better (or worse) depending on the national context and educational system in which they are situated. Louis Volante presents an analysis that examines a variety of international jurisdictions with sizeable immigrant student populations to identify relative pockets of immigrant student success. Policies and programs that ameliorate performance disadvantages of immigrant student groups are identified and discussed in relation to the emergent literature and the unique challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. A series of policy considerations are offered for the international community to support the academic resilience of this at-risk student population.