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ERIC Number: ED518220
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 11
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 24
First-Grade Retention: Effects on Children's Actual and Perceived Performance throughout Elementary Education
Goos, Mieke; Van Damme, Jan; Onghena, Patrick; Petry, Katja
Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness
This study investigates the effects of repeating first grade on children's further academic growth, by tracking the actual performance and the teacher-rated performance of a cohort of Flemish first-graders until the end of elementary school. Two research questions are raised: (1) How do first-grade repeaters, at the cost of one extra year of education, develop in comparison to younger children with whom they will eventually finish elementary school (i.e., same-grade comparison), taking into account their propensity of repeating first grade?; and (2) How would first-grade retainees have developed, had they been promoted to second grade instead (i.e., same-age comparison)? This study is part of the large-scale longitudinal SiBO project, designed to investigate Flemish children's development and school trajectory throughout elementary education (Maes, Ghesquiere, Onghena, & Van Damme, 2002). SiBO is the Dutch acronym for "Schoolloopbanen in het BasisOnderwijs" (School trajectories in Elementary Education). In the present study, all first-time first-graders (N = 3,707) were examined. The authors' results, on average, reveal that first-grade repeaters start their retention year with an advantage in math and reading fluency compared to their new, younger grade-mates who are at similar risk of being retained. Their teachers, however, rate them as equally (bad) skilled in math and language. In addition, over time first-grade repeaters grow significantly slower, making them even end up with a relative disadvantage at the end of elementary school, both in actual performance and as perceived by the teacher. Same-age comparisons, on the other hand, consistently show that first-grade repeaters would have achieved better in math and reading fluency and would have been rated more positively by their teacher in terms of math and language skills, had they been promoted to second grade instead, both in the short and long run. (Contains 1 table, 5 figures and 2 footnotes.)
Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness. 2040 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208. Tel: 202-495-0920; Fax: 202-640-4401; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 1; Grade 2
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness (SREE)
Identifiers - Location: Belgium