Looping at One Elementary School: How Successful Was It?

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Virginia Tech

A current educational practice in grouping students is looping. Looping involves teachers remaining with the same students for two or more years. This practice was implemented in the elementary school in this study. This is an evaluation of looping in the first and second grades.

The study has both qualitative and quantitative components. An administrator, teachers, and students in four looping and four non-looping cohorts were participants. Criterion variables were attendance; achievement in English, mathematics, science, and history and social science; instructional time; relationships among students; and relationships between teachers and students. A t-test was used to test for differences between looping and non-looping cohorts for attendance and achievement. Teachers used a log to record instructional time spent reviewing previously learned skills and teaching new skills in mathematics. Observations were conducted to describe the relationships among students and between teachers and students.

There were no differences between looping and non-looping cohorts in attendance, instructional time, and achievement, except in history and social science, for one of the years studied. In that year, students in the looping cohort scored higher on the Standards of Learning test in history and social science than students in the non-looping cohort. Relationships among students were better in looping cohorts, and relationships between teachers and students appeared stronger in non-looping cohorts.

Time, Relationships, Achievement, Evaluation, Looping