International Journal of

Arts , Humanities & Social Science

ISSN 2693-2547 (Print) , ISSN 2693-2555 (Online)
DOI: 10.56734/ijahss
The Gift that Keeps on Giving: How Adults Who Repeated a Grade in K-12 Assess the Impact of Retention


Beginning in early 2020, COVID-19 forced educators across the United States to adopt learning platforms and strategies never before contemplated. Recent research suggests that, as classrooms return to face-to-face instruction, parents, teachers, and administrators are confronting gaps in student learning. Once again, grade retention has surfaced as offering lagging students a gift of time. This qualitative study relies on detailed interviews with adults, ages 43-67, who were retained in grade as children. Using narrative inquiry (Merriam & Tisdell, 2016; Patton, 2015), we probed the perceptions of participants, seeking to understand the extent to which their experiences aligned with extant research. The study offers current education leaders and those who aspire to these leadership roles reminders of the long-term impact of a decision to retain a child in grade.