卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief
Assisting a gender-equal math learning journey

Gender stereotypes are harmful. Many scholars hold the view that gender stereotypic beliefs can undermine students’ math performance. A recent intervention study published in Learning and Instruction strategically combined the reinforcement of gender-equal beliefs with the inculcation of growth mindsets and found promising effects of this joint intervention.

Anti-gender-stereotypic treatments emphasize that boys and girls possess the same potential and can perform equally well in math. Meanwhile, growth mindset training can bolster anti-gender-stereotypic beliefs by focusing on the importance of consistent efforts and deliberate practice. Although past literature has not yet established conclusive evidence on such joint intervention, it has been reported that the interaction between the two treatments has additional benefits for students’ learning motivations.

To fill the gap in literature and provide rigorous evidence on this topic, researchers from South Korea conducted a cluster randomized trial in a public elementary school with 113 students assigned to the intervention group and 90 students assigned to the control group. Students received six 40-minute sessions during a three-month study period. While both intervention and control groups were exposed to hands-on math activities, the intervention program communicated the benefits of adopting growth mindsets and gender-fair beliefs. One example in fostering growth mindsets involved students reading stories about mathematicians’ journeys of overcoming setbacks through diligence and persistence. Similarly, an example in bolstering gender-equal ideals was students guessing a person’s job by their appearance and realizing that gender stereotypes are not necessarily true.

Research results demonstrated that

  • There were positive effects on pupils’ growth mindset (ES=+0.44), perceived competence (ES=+0.24), persistence (ES=+0.21), and achievement (ES=+0.42).
  • Negative effects were found in gender stereotypic beliefs (ES=-0.57) and test anxiety (ES=-0.19).

The findings of this study provide evidence for the synergistic effects of combining growth mindsets with gender-fair beliefs. Since the intervention took place in a primary school, one possible implication is that interventions in children’s earlier life stages could be more beneficial since they prevent rather than reverse gender-stereotypic beliefs.

 

Source (Open Access): Lee, J., Lee, H. J., Song, J., & Bong, M. (2021). Enhancing children's math motivation with a joint intervention on mindset and gender stereotypes. Learning and Instruction73, 101416.Read the rest

What works in mathematics for elementary school students?

A new review of research, conducted by the team at JHU’s Center for Research and Reform in Education and recently published in AERA Open, analyzes the best available international evidence on math programs for children in elementary school to find out what works in math teaching and learning.

Eighty-seven studies of 66 programs were included in the review. Of these, 85% were randomized experiments and 15% were quasi-experiments. Results showed that:

  • There were positive outcomes for tutoring programs (ES = +0.20), with larger effects for one-to-small group tutoring (ES = +0.30) compared to one-to-one tutoring (ES = +0.19).
  • Similar outcomes were found for teachers and teaching assistants as tutors.
  • Professional development (PD) programs were effective when they focused on classroom organization and management (ES = +0.19), such as implementation of cooperative learning, or when they were intended to support the adoption of traditional (non-digital) curricula (ES = +0.12).
  • No impact was found for PD focused on the implementation of digital curricula, nor mathematics content and pedagogy.
  • Traditional and digital curricula with a limited focus on PD (less than 2 days), as well as benchmark assessment programs, found few positive outcomes.

The article concluded that low-achieving students in mathematics can make substantial gains if they receive cost-effective small group tutoring.  At the class level, cooperative learning and classroom management approaches with a focus on teacher PD have great potential in improving student achievement and overcoming inequalities in mathematics.

 

Source (Open Access): Pellegrini, M., Lake, C., Neitzel, A., & Slavin, R. E. (2021). Effective Programs in Elementary Mathematics: A Meta-Analysis. AERA Open7, 2332858420986211.Read the rest

Teaching strategies to improve science learning

A new systematic review in the Journal of Research in Science Teaching analyzes the achievement outcomes of all types of approaches to teaching science in elementary schools. It concludes that science teaching methods focused on enhancing teachers’ classroom instruction throughout the year, such as cooperative learning and science-reading integration, as well as approaches that give teachers technology tools to enhance instruction, have significant potential to improve science learning.

Study inclusion criteria included the use of randomized or matched control groups, study duration of at least four weeks, and the use of achievement measures independent of the experimental treatment. A total of 23 studies met these criteria. The findings were as follows:  

Among studies evaluating inquiry-based teaching approaches, programs that used science kits did not show positive outcomes on science achievement measures (weighted ES=+0.02 in 7 studies), but inquiry-based programs that emphasized professional development but not kits did show positive outcomes (weighted ES=+0.36 in 10 studies).

Technological approaches integrating video and computer resources with teaching and cooperative learning showed positive outcomes in a few small, matched studies (ES=+0.42 in 6 studies).

 

Source: Slavin, R. E., Lake, C., Hanley, P., & Thurston, A. (2014). Experimental evaluations of elementary science programs: A best‐evidence synthesis. Journal of Research in Science Teaching51(7), 870-901.Read the rest

Effect of professional development on science achievement

recent study published in the International Journal of Science Education and funded by the Education Endowment Foundation (England) examined the impact of the Thinking, Doing, Talking Science (TDTS) program on students’ learning outcomes. TDTS is a teacher professional development (PD) program with similarities to inquiry-based science education.  The program aims to enhance teachers’ skills to facilitate students’ higher order thinking through teacher demonstration, student practical tasks and challenges, and class discussion.

The study involved 1264 pupils aged 9-10 at 42 primary schools. Schools were randomly assigned to the TDTS group or the control group. Teachers in the TDTS group received five training days over a school year and implemented the program in their classes. The researchers used a measure developed by them to evaluate student science achievement with particular attention to science inquiry process, content knowledge, and conceptual understanding. The measure was based on questions extracted from standardized tests.

Results showed that:

·         There was a significant effect size for the TDTS intervention (ES = +0.22).

·         The program was more effective for girls compared to boys (ES for girls = +0.32; ES for boys = +0.12).

·         The program was more effective for low-achieving students rather than average or high achievers (low achievers ES = +0.30; average/high achievers = +0.22).

 

 

Source: Hanley, P., Wilson, H., Holligan, B., & Elliott, L. (2020). Thinking, doing, talking science: the effect on attainment and attitudes of a professional development programme to provide cognitively challenging primary science lessons. International Journal of Science Education42(15), 2554-2573.Read the rest

Is Teacher Leadership Related to Student Achievement?

A recent meta-analysis in Educational Research Review identified 21 studies to be used in an analysis of the relationship between teacher leadership and student achievement.  In defining teacher leadership for this analysis, the authors indicate that teachers who demonstrate leadership maintain their normal classroom responsibilities while also assuming leadership responsibilities beyond the classroom.  Among the studies analyzed, five demonstrated what the researchers classify as a desired effect (r > .20) and eight demonstrated what the researchers classify as a meaningful teacher effect (.10 < r < .20).  The researchers used a random-effects model for the meta-analysis, which indicates an overall meaningful teacher effect (r = 0.187, 95% CI = [0.127, 0.246]) when analyzing the relationship between teacher leadership and student achievement.  This provides evidence that teacher leadership is positively related to student performance (p < 0.001).

The authors then further investigate this relationship by looking at differences between courses and specific elements of teacher leadership.  Of the studies used for the analysis, 11 analyzed student reading achievement and 10 analyzed student math achievement.  The results showed that:

  • Teacher leadership demonstrates a stronger relationship with math achievement (r = 0.24) than with reading (r = 0.18), but both analyses provide evidence of a significant relationship. 
  • When analyzing seven specific aspects of teacher leadership, the researchers find that having teachers involved with curriculum, instruction, and assessment decisions demonstrates the strongest relationship with student achievement (r = 0.21). 
  • The six other elements of teacher leadership each produced effect sizes between r = 0.15 and r = 0.19. 

While the authors acknowledge multiple limitations with the current meta-analysis, such as small sample sizes and the inability to determine causality, they suggest that providing empirical evidence of the positive relationship between teacher leadership and student achievement helps to fill a gap in the teacher leadership literature.

 

Source: Shen, J., Wu, H., Reeves, P., Zheng, Y., Ryan, L., & Anderson, D. (2020). The association between teacher leadership and student achievement: A meta-analysis. Educational Research Review, 31, 100357.Read the rest