Before the pandemic, it was estimated that about 20% of young people in Portugal had reading difficulties – roughly the same value as the OECD average for adults, and a concerning one, if we take into account that hesitant reading skills hinder understanding and, consequently, the accomplishment of simple and necessary daily tasks. The pandemic has worsened this situation, with the inherent limitations of distance learning and mask wearing by teachers.
All school related learning is rooted in good reading skills, that are difficult to retrieve if they haven’t been obtained until the age of ten.
It's with these data in mind that Pedro Freitas and Nuno Crato discussed, in TSF's Podcast Educar tem Ciência (There's Science in Education), the main methods for learning how ot read that are currently in use in Portugal, highlighting the one that has proven to be the most efficient. They also talked about the five essential steps of a complete acquisition of reading skills and what to do to remedy the current reading difficulties of young people.
In a subject that is already studied by psychology, educational and cognitive sciences, the contribution of economics of education has to do with the evaluation, through quantitative and statistical methods, of the impact that the different teaching methods have on students' learning abilities.
Click here to listen to the episode (search for the episode from November 11).