D. Lemov on catching up from pandemic losses

What does the author of “Teach Like a Champion” recommend?

Doug Lemov, author of the renowned book and resources collectively known as “Teach Like a Champion,” published an op-ed column in the Los Angeles Times under the headline, “Pandemic learning loss is real. Schools must follow the science to make up for it.” As one may readily infer from the headline, he recommends that educators employ adopt scientifically valid teaching methods.

Parents and schools understandably want to catch up immediately, but it’s unrealistic to think that a few months of anything will fully close the gaps the pandemic has created. More likely, educators are looking at a long game, perhaps three or more years during which schools must do their core work better. If we simply return to pre-pandemic methods, that won’t happen — because before the pandemic, we weren’t really following the science.

Lemov argues strongly for teaching facts, reading, vocabulary, general knowledge, and etc. He promoted distributed practice (calling it “retrieval practice”), dynamic engagement with and among students, and making students feel as if they are valued members of the community.

Lemove’s recommendations may be unpopular with some educators. As Jay Mathews noted, however, those methods lead to success. In ways, his case is similar to the one published in SET 22 August 2021.

Reading his piece will take only three or four minutes. Reflecting on the ideas will require a few more minutes. But the total time devoted to reading and reflecting will be well worth the effort


Lemov, D. (2021, 5 October). Pandemic learning loss is real. Schools must follow the science to make up for it. Los Angeles Times, https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2021-10-06/schools-must-follow-the-science-to-make-up-for-pandemic-learning-loss

Lemov, D. (2015). Teach like a champion 2.0: 62 techniques that put students on the path to college. Jossey-Bass. (Note: There may be a third edition.)

Mathews, J. (2021, 26 September). Author of teacher bestsellers warns against flawed social justice concepts. Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/lemov-charter-school-uncommon/2021/09/26/a93a5dc6-1c02-11ec-bcb8-0cb135811007_story.html

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Teach Like a Champion Web site.