The “Matthew Effect” (a term coined by Keith Stanovich, a psychologist who has done extensive research on reading) denotes processes whereby inequality is created or maintained. In literacy terms, learners at the end of grade one who can read well begin a pattern of outperforming those learners who cannot read well. With time, the gap widens. Learners who score poorly in literacy from the beginning will go on to fall behind in all other subject areas. The same applies to numeracy.
Dr Crouch shared his thoughts on how to stem this trend in education.