卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief
How can a growth mindset intervention help students?

Mindsets or implicit theories are terms which refer to various subconscious beliefs about the malleability of human attributes (e.g., intelligence and emotion). Huang and colleagues recently conducted a pilot experiment to examine the effect of a growth mindset intervention on students’ implicit theory of intelligence, intrinsic motivation, and academic achievement. The authors extended the intervention to establish a belief about the malleability of emotion so that students can regulate their emotion and thereby enhance their sense of self-determination, which is likely to reinforce their intrinsic motivation for learning.

Students of 11 primary and middle schools across 48 classes from 2 cities in Guangdong Province, China, were recruited to sign up to the program. Participating students were randomly assigned either to the intervention group or the placebo-control group. The final sample consisted of 194 students (mean age = 11.3 years) in the intervention group and 213 students (mean age = 11.5 years) in the control group. A 90-minute workshop was conducted with both groups separately with different content. While the structure and function of the brain were introduced in the workshops of both groups, only the following contents were introduced in the intervention group:

  • Illustration of the malleability of the human brain to instill a belief that students could improve their intelligence
  • Introduction to a growth mindset and a fixed mindset using cartoon characters, and discussion of their thoughts and behaviours
  • Applying growth theory to emotion

In contrast, teachers in the control group only taught about the brain functions, its different regions and mnemonic strategies. After controlling for pre-tests scores, gender, and age, the results indicated:

  • The intervention significantly improved students’ achievement in math (ES = +0.08) but not in English (ES = +0.05) nor Chinese (ES = +0.04).
  • The intervention enhanced both students’ implicit theory of intelligence (ES = +0.37) and intrinsic motivation (ES = +0.16).
  • As a positive effect was found in math scores, the study further explored for an underlying mechanism. Result of mediation analysis found that a significant indirect intervention effect was initiated by their intrinsic motivation for good math results but not by their implicit theory of intelligence. Put differently, the intervention enhanced their intrinsic motivation and, in turn, that higher implicit motivation related to higher math scores.

Though the intervention period was very brief and the effect on math scores was small, the study provided preliminary empirical evidence to support the implementation of growth mindset related interventions for Chinese students.

 

Source: Huang, Z., Wei, X., Lu, R., & Shi, J. (2022). Whether and how can a growth mindset intervention help students in a non-western culture? Evidence from a field experiment in China. Educational Psychology, 42(7), 913–929. https://doi.org/10.1080/01443410.2022.2085669

 … Read the rest

Does school tracking increase efficiency and inequalities in educational systems?

The Review of Educational Research recently published a meta-analysis to evaluate the effects of school tracking on student achievement and inequalities. School tracking is the practice of assigning students based on their abilities and interests to different types of education, such as type of school or curricula. Within-school tracking consists of grouping students in different classrooms (e.g., ability grouping). Between-school tracking assigns students to different types of schools (e.g., vocational, academic), where the subjects taught are different and specific.

The authors evaluated the effects of the two types of school tracking on student academic achievement – considering that a measure of efficiency of an educational system – as well as on inequalities, measured in two ways: dispersion of student performance, meaning the gap between high and low performers; and the interaction between social-economic background and student achievement. A positive interaction means that socio-economic background has a larger effect in tracked than in untracked systems.

A total of 53 publications were included in the review.

  • Overall, results showed non-significant effects for the educational efficiency of tracking (ES = -0.06), meaning that student academic achievement is not greater in tracked systems.
  • Regarding inequality, results showed a significant positive effect (ES = +0.11), suggesting that tracking increases the level of inequality.
  • Furthermore, between-school tracking increases efficiency (academic achievement) compared to within-school tracking, as well as reduces the level of inequality (relative to within-school tracking).

The authors explain that a possible reason is that students assigned to less-advanced groups still share the same school environment of the more advanced classes, exacerbating inequalities in academic achievement.

 

Source: Terrin, É., & Triventi, M. (2022). The Effect of School Tracking on Student Achievement and Inequality: A Meta-Analysis. Review of Educational Research, 00346543221100850. https://doi.org/10.3102/00346543221100850Read the rest

The effects of a language-based intervention on comprehension skills

Oral language comprehension skills are foundational to building reading comprehension. Thus, early instruction designed to develop oral comprehension skills may benefit long-term reading outcomes for children in early childhood education classrooms. With that in mind, Lo and Xu conducted a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the effect of Let’s Know!, a language-focused, supplementary curriculum, on prekindergarten and kindergarten students’ vocabulary and comprehension outcomes.

The intervention consisted of providing students with four 30-minute class lessons per week that focused on specific language skills. The program was designed to be administered over 25 weeks. Study participants were 69 prekindergarten classrooms (n=361 students) and 56 kindergarten classrooms (n= 328 students) randomly assigned to a treatment or control condition. Classroom teachers in the treatment condition taught one of two Let’s Know! versions: Let’s Know! Broad and Let’s Know! Deep. Both versions were designed to improve language comprehension based on the simple view of reading, which posits that reading comprehension happens when students have both language comprehension and word decoding skills.

In their intent-to-treat analysis, Lo and Xu found that the students in the treatment condition outperformed those in the control condition.

  • Prekindergarten students in both Let’s Know! conditions outperformed the control condition on vocabulary and comprehension monitoring outcomes (ES=+0.55 to +1.22).
  • Kindergarten students also showed significant gains in vocabulary and comprehension monitoring outcomes (ES=+1.01 to +1.55).

The study did not find evidence that Let’s Know! had a statistically significant effect on other targeted comprehension-related skills such as story grammar or understanding expository text. However, the study’s results show promise for the targeted vocabulary instruction component in Let’s Know!. Additionally, by improving comprehension monitoring, Let’s Know! may impact developing reading comprehension skills.

 

Source: Language and Reading Research Consortium, Lo, M.-T., & Xu, M. (2022). Impacts of the let’s know! Curriculum on the language and comprehension-related skills of prekindergarten and kindergarten children. Journal of Educational Psychology, 114(6), 1205–1224. https://doi.org/10.1037/edu0000744

 

Note: The comprehension monitoring probe assessed children’s abilities to monitor their understanding of orally presented narrative or expository passages.… Read the rest

explicit+ vocabulary intervention increases vocabulary learning of DHH children

Vocabulary, a predictor of literacy outcomes, is of great significance for all students. Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing (DHH) students oftentimes lag behind their typically hearing (TH) peers in terms of acquiring vocabulary words appropriate for their age or grade level, which is a concern for many teachers of DHH students. Thus, many teachers adopt various interventions to facilitate DHH students’ vocabulary development. A recent study examined the effect of an intervention called “explicit +”, which demonstrates promising results.

The study examined three types of vocabulary instruction: in-context, explicit, and explicit plus in-context (explicit +). During in-context instruction, teachers expose students to new words while reading books and in conversation. During explicit instruction, teachers provide more information about the new vocabulary and do activities that require the students to use the new words. Explicit + instruction is a combination of these two instructions. The researchers used a multiple baseline design including nine students to test whether explicit + instruction, compared to mere in-context instruction, increased the numbers of words DHH students could learn or assisted them in mastering words’ meanings and appropriate usage. The results showed that the explicit + instruction led to better outcomes of vocabulary learning regarding breadth (numbers of words) and depth (level of comprehension). This conclusion may be informative for teachers when choosing interventions for their DHH students.

 

Source (Open Access): Antia, S. D., Catalano, J. A., Rivera, M. C., & Creamer, C. (2021). Explicit and Contextual Vocabulary Intervention: Effects on Word and Definition Learning. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 26(3), 381–394. https://doi.org/10.1093/deafed/enab002Read the rest

Effect of blended learning on student performance

Li and colleagues recently conducted a meta-analysis to investigate the effects of blended learning on K-12 students’ performance. In recent years, blended learning has become increasingly popular in K-12 education especially after the impact of COVID-19. Blended learning, also known as mixed or hybrid learning, refers to the combination of traditional face-to-face and online learning. In this meta-analysis, online learning is defined as any formal education program in which part of the instruction and content were delivered to students online with some element of student control over time, place, path, and/or pace.

A total of 84 studies with 112 effect sizes published from 2000 to 2020 met the inclusion criteria.

  • Overall, compared to face-to-face learning only, the blended learning method showed a larger effect (ES = +0.65) with substantial heterogeneity.
  • Effects were significantly different among various student outcomes domains. The cognitive domain (e.g., exam scores, ES = +0.74) was the strongest, followed by the affective domain (e.g., satisfaction, motivation, ES = +0.52) and the psychomotor domain (e.g., skill, ability, ES = +0.46).
  • Regarding moderator analysis, no significant difference among blended learning models was found, with flipped classrooms having the largest effect (ES = 0.79), and the lab-rotation having the smallest (ES = +0.30).
  • The effect of blended learning with group activities (ES = +0.94) was larger than without group activities (ES = +0.18), however, there were only four studies not involving group activities.
  • Different grade levels gained different benefits from the blended learning mode. While kindergarten showed no significant effect (with only 2 studies), both elementary (ES = +0.70) and secondary schools (ES = +0.67) displayed significant improvement.
  • Subject discipline in the studies showed significant different effects, with computer course having the largest effect (ES = +1.09) and reading course the smallest (ES = +0.15).
  • The result of meta-regression showed that there was no significant change of effect sizes across 20 years of studies even though technology advanced across time.

 

The result of a publication bias test indicated that there was potential upward bias in the data. One of the possible reasons may be that unpublished studies with insignificant effects were not included in this meta-analysis. Nevertheless, the author believed the result of this meta-analysis enriched educators’ understanding of the practice related to effective blended learning in K-12 education.

 

Source: Li, S., & Wang, W. (2022). Effect of blended learning on student performance in K-12 settings: A meta-analysis. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 38(5), 1254–1272. https://doi.org/10.1111/jcal.12696Read the rest