Remedial education is education which is designed to bring students who are
lagging behind up to the level of achievement realized by their peers. Remedial Teaching
means that help is offered to pupils who need pedagogical or didactic assistance. These
are often children who function at a lower than average level because of a certain
learning- or behavioural problem/disorder. However, remedial teaching can also be offered
to pupils who achieve at a higher than average level, they too can do with the extra
attention and care.
There are a number of reasons why a student might need remedial education. Some
students attend schools of poor quality, and don't receive adequate grounding in math
and language to prepare them for college or life. Other students may have transferred in
and out of schools or missed school a lot, creating gaps in their education which
contribute to lack of knowledge in core subjects. Students may also have learning
disorders and other issues which have impaired their ability to learn.
Remedial teaching is usually given during 6 weeks to 3 months, once or twice a week at
school or in the remedial teacher's own practice. The aim being that the pupil can
join his own group again after this period of time (or possibly after a continuation). .
In remedial education, people are usually given assessments to determine their level
of competency. Based on test results, the students are placed in classes which are most
likely to provide benefits. Classes are often small, with a focus on high teacher-student
interaction, and they can take place at night or during the day to accommodate various
needs. In the course of the class, the instructor will bring students up to speed so
that they have skills comparable to those of their peers.
Some students may be embarrassed about needing to take remedial education classes,
especially if they are attending college or university. Some institutions have gotten around
this by offering remedial education in the summer so that students can start on the same
level of their peers. Other programs have used slightly different names, since “remedial
education” carries some negative connotations. Students should remember that if they need
to take such classes, it probably reflects more on the education system than on them.