Impact of Social Promotion on Learning Chapter

  • Length: 3 pages
  • Sources: 3
  • Subject: Education
  • Type: Chapter
  • Paper: #20639763

Excerpt from Chapter :

Long-Term Effects of Social Promotion on Student and Teacher

There is a problem in an urban elementary school in Eastern New York. This problem specifically is the social promotion of fifth grade students. Currently, nothing is being done to address the issue of social promotion which is supported by state education policies that benefits from children being passed to the next grade level. There is a lack of training for teachers who teach students who are at risk learners. Teaching at risk learners is one of the areas that require high quality teachers to enhance learner outcomes. However, at risk learners have teachers who are not adequately trained to meet the standards of effective teaching to meet their needs (Grant, Stronge & Popp, 2008). The current educational system/framework does not align such learners with expert teachers, but with average teachers with inadequate training, average skills, and less experience (Grant, Stronge & Popp, 2008). In essence, at-risk learners are usually taught by teachers with minimal content of the subject matter they are addressing and lack proper and adequate preparation/training in teaching. Consequently, there are negative perceptions and misunderstanding of these students who need more experienced and properly trained teachers (Grant, Stronge & Popp, 2008).

Social promotion is the practice of passing students along so that they may remain among their peer/ age group even though the students have not mastered their learning assessments and/or testing in order to advance to the next grade level (Education Week, 2004). This practice has the potential to jeopardize the students' academic and lifetime goals. It also has the potential to make the teacher's job more challenging, as the teacher will find him or herself engaging with students in one group who are not all on the same learning level. Educators should reexamine social promotion to see how it actually affects both students and teachers in the end (Education Week, 2004). Aldridge & Goldman (2014) describes social promotion as challenging for those involved. Students and parents may have an incorrect sense of achievement because of it. For the students who complete the grade successfully may feel their success does not matter. Parents may receive a mix message that their children are successful and ready for the next grade. Social promotion creates differing attitudes about passing to the next grade, not all are good ones.


The purpose of this qualitative study is to examine the long-term effects of social promotion on students and teachers. In addition, the researcher will seek knowledge on teachers' experiences on grade retention and how to look at different strategies to improve academic achievement as well as best practices. Therefore, this study aims to allow teachers to have the ability to evaluate and assess their decisions, attitudes and an overall pedagogical educational approach. The outcome of this study might lead to better decisions on behalf of teachers and students' academic achievement.


This study is significant because it addresses a long-term issue in education that can have a direct impact on the achievement of students and the teaching ability of educators. This study is also significant because implementing or withholding promotions may be instrumental in the developmental progress of the high risk student and a better understanding of how promotions are impactful could result in a more effective solution for both students and teachers (Jimerson et al., 2006).

This research will contribute to filling gap in practice, as Mawhinney, Irby, and Roberts
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(2016) confirms that there are uncertainties on whether social promotion or retention is the most suitable measure for ending low student achievement. The long-term impacts of social promotion on students remain relatively unknown because of the ongoing debates on the most suitable way for addressing low student achievement (Hernandez-Tutop, 2012). The practice of social promotion in the current educational system has attracted considerable criticism on claims that it seemingly contributes to decrease in the country's academic status globally. In light of the existing uncertainties, crucial research is critical to address the impact that social promotion has on the accomplishment of teachers, students, and their parents (Jacob & Ludwig, 2009).

The research study will use the qualitative method to survey participants on whether to implement changes in the program. This study will produce data that provide more knowledge about the influence of social promotion have on all persons involved in the process. The result of this study is expected to be proposal of changes to existing social promotion programs, which will in turn act as new measures for helping high-risk students. Changes in the social promotion programs will be part of the process of ensuring at-risk students have properly trained and experienced teachers to meet their learning needs. One of the questions this study asked was whether there was correlation between teacher burnout and social promotion of students.

Background Literature

1. Chou, Y. C., Wehmehmeyer, M. L., Palmer, S. B., & Lee, J. (2016). Comparisons of self-determination among students with autism, intellectual disability, and learning disabilities: A multivariate analysis. http://1088357615625059

According to this research, teachers working with students with learning disabilities should be adequately trained on how to best support their learning needs. It is because the teachers are the immediate people who will determine the fate of such students in their future lives after completing their education. It is the initial step that will help students in addressing their learning disability problems during their instruction period. After identification of the problem, the teacher will continue helping the students. Additionally, students with learning disabilities can be assisted to pursue other training apart from specific class training and promotion to the next grade level. Such students with learning disabilities might have other interests that they enjoy pursing in their lives (Chou et al., 2016). It is the responsibility of teachers after adequate training to identify such interest from the student's class. After the teachers have identified the interest of the students with learning disabilities, they will help them pursue their interests. This is also done even when the help is done outside the classroom with related services. All involved in this process commits to working together for effective learning and achievement. Students and teachers work as a team to improve enough scholastically, to move to the next grade level. This article will enhance my study by highlighting the need for experienced and properly trained teachers in handling at-risk students. The article enhances this study by showing the impact of adequately trained and experienced teachers on social promotion in relation to meeting students' needs.

2. Ciullo, S., Falcomata, T., & Vaughn, S. (2015). Teaching social studies to upper elementary students with learning disabilities: Graphic organizers and explicit instruction. http://10.1177/0731948713516767

This research stated that parents and educators might want to separate younger students from their peer group or friends, some schools and their leaders do not want to be embarrassed by many students who are held back to repeat the same grade, and…

Sources Used in Documents:


Aldridge, J. & Goldman, R. (2014, May 7). Current issues and trends in education (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Allyn & Bacon.

Education Week. (2004, August 4). Social Promotion. Retrieved December 22, 2016, from

Grant, L., Stronge, J.H. & Popp, P. (2008, May). Effective Teaching and At-Risk/Highly Mobile Students: What Do Award-Winning Teachers Do? Retrieved from Sonoma State University website:

Hernandez-Tutop, J. (2012, May). Social Promotion or Grade Repetition: What's Best for the 21st Century Student. Retrieved from Institute of Education Sciences website:

Cite This Chapter:

"Impact Of Social Promotion On Learning" (2016, December 22) Retrieved October 22, 2020, from

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