More Research Needed on Extended Day

A recent report from Child Trends found that extending the school day or year and expanding learning opportunities during out-of-school time hours can be effective in improving educational outcomes for students – but, the report says, the evidence base is limited because much of the research is based on quasi-experimental studies that vary in quality. Researchers advise care and thoroughness when deciding to implement and/or fund extended day programs.

Expanding Time for Learning Both Inside and Outside the Classroom: A Review of the Evidence Base” reviews nearly 150 evaluations of extended school day models, extended school year models, and expanded leaning opportunity programs (ELO or afterschool, before-school and summer learning programs). It concludes that more research is needed.

Child Trends researchers did find a stronger base of evidence supporting afterschool, before-school and summer learning programs, but also recommend additional evaluations for those programs. Many of the researchers’ takeaways on afterschool programs are in line with recommendations from the Afterschool Alliance, such as:

The report was commissioned by The Wallace Foundation. Read more on the new report on the Afterschool Snack blog.

This story originally appeared in the Afterschool Advocate (Vol. 13, Issue 9).

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