Remediation: What You Need to Know

Remediation classes are typically given to students who require further educational support to become competent at their necessary subject, e.g., mathematics and verbal reasoning/reading. At a fundamental level, remediation means teaching again the content that students didn’t learn previously. As teachers recognize errors or misconceptions in students’ understanding, they might focus on the missing materials before coming back to grade-level learning. Remediation is done early on to prevent most students from requiring more intensive, targeted interventions later on.

While remediation and intervention have the same fundamental objective of supporting struggling students to achieve academic success, they’re different from each other. Teachers implement remediation strategies as a regular part of their teaching to quickly address any misconception of a concept. Intervention is a formal process and generally entails the involvement of other educators and the assessment of data to find out where a student is having difficulty and why. Intervention plans are implemented and evaluated periodically to address a student’s problem quickly and have them stay on track in their core curriculum.

Often, remediation is guided by some kind of formative assessment, whether informal or formal, to accumulate enough insights to identify the lack of knowledge that students are experiencing. For remediation to be effective, teachers need to use a method different from the one they’ve initially used. It needs to be built on previous learning and concentrates on the particular gaps in student thinking that were experienced the first time around.

Teachers can use different types of remediation strategies to help struggling students.

Reteaching is one effective remediation strategy. Here, teachers present the content to a student again. For instance, if a student struggles with a math equation, the teacher shows them the method again. This method is used when a student just needs more exposure to a subject before they can internalize it.

Teachers might need to use alternative teaching strategies for some students. Often, these strategies are based on the individual learning style of a student. For example, teachers might focus on hands-on activities to help a kinesthetic learner absorb the concepts.

Teachers can break down a concept into smaller components and teach them in sequence. It helps them identify the part that’s causing trouble for the student. For example, when teaching a student to write their name, the teacher might break the task down into smaller parts and identify that they have developed an improper pencil grasp.

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