An Assessment of the Effectiveness of the Remedial Teaching Education Policy

TitleAn Assessment of the Effectiveness of the Remedial Teaching Education Policy
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsPapadogiannis I, Wallace M, Poulopoulos V, Vassilakis C, Lepouras G, Platis N
Date Publishedjul
Keywordsblack box evaluation, data driven evaluation, education policy, remedial teaching

The remedial teaching policy is a flagship education policy of the Greek Ministry of Education that aims to create a school of equal opportunities by providing additional support to students from disadvantaged social backgrounds. In this work we utilised a data set provided by the Ministry of Education, followed a black box approach and built on previous results in order to achieve the first ever evaluation, based on data, of the remedial teaching policy. Our findings indicate that remedial teaching is very effective in supporting very weak students, helping 70% of them achieve better academic performance and one out of three of them to sustain this enhanced academic performance in the future, long after they have stopped receiving remedial teaching. On the other hand, and contrary to what is widely believed, our results show that remedial teaching has the opposite impact to what it was designed for, as it is primarily the privileged students that receive the benefits. Consequently, in the way it is currently implemented, remedial teaching widens the gap between privileged and disadvantaged students rather than reduces it. The implications of the work are wide and far reaching, including the establishment of the need to revisit the way remedial teaching is implemented, the highlighting of the value in the data gathered by the Ministry of Education and the proof that individual educational policies can be objectively assessed despite being part of a complex system in which multiple education policies are implemented concurrently.