卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief

Educational Stage

Keep it real

An article published by the American Psychological Association used data on more than 3,500 German secondary students to explore the link between parental aspirations and their children’s math achievement. It concludes that realistic aspirations are beneficial, but that unrealistic aspirations can be detrimental. The authors used data from the Project for the Analysis of Learning and Achievement in Mathematics (PALMA), a longitudinal study investigating adolescents’ development in mathematics during the secondary school years (German grades 5 to 10; 2002 to 2007).  Samples were drawn from schools in Bavaria and were representative of the child population and the three major school types within the German public school system. The project included assessments of children, teachers, and parents. The study found that: Parental aspiration and children’s mathematical achievement were linked by positive reciprocal relations over time. However, the authors also found that parental over-aspiration can be detrimental to children’s math achievement when aspiration exceeds expectation....

22 10 2020
Peer Assisted Learning Strategies and math achievement

Math PALS (Peer Assisted Learning Strategies) is a supplemental program designed to support mathematics learning through structured peer tutoring activities. Student dyads are created by matching students with similar level of math skills. The program also includes initial professional development to support teachers to deliver the intervention. A recent evaluation published in the Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness assessed the effectiveness of Math PALS in elementary school. The study randomly assigned  28 first grade classrooms (n=454 students)  in northern rural Florida to the intervention or control group. After one school year, results showed that: There were no significant effects on Woodcock-Johnson III math assessment for both subtests: Math Fluency (ES = +0.16; n.s.) and Applied Problems (ES = +0.06; n.s.), However, the intervention effectiveness varied based on initial mathematics skills. For students with higher initial skills (at the 75thpercentile of the sample) there was a positive effect of Math PALS on Fluency...

22 10 2020
Evaluation of Maths Counts

A paper published in Educational Research and Evaluation presents the findings of a one-year efficacy trial of Maths Counts – an intensive, individualized program to support children who struggle with basic math skills at Key Stage 2 (age 7 to 11) in the U.K. The participants were 291 upper-elementary students from 35 schools in England. Students were randomized within school and allocated to an intervention (Maths Counts) or control (business-as-usual) group. The program was delivered to intervention students by specially trained teaching assistants three times per week, for 10 weeks, during curriculum time but outside the regular classroom. The first ten minutes of each session focused on revision of prior learning, and the next 20 minutes introduced new knowledge and skills. The results of the trial suggest that: Maths Counts is effective for students who struggle with basic math skills (effect size = +0.12 for general math skills, and +0.18 for math attitude)....

22 10 2020
Can enrichment math clubs improve mathematics skills for kindergarten students?

High 5s is a small-group after school math enrichment program for kindergarteners who have previously been exposed to the Building Blocks preschool math curriculum. A study published by the Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness assessed the success of this program with 655 kindergarten students in 24 schools who received the program three times a week for half an hour with a trained instructor. The program was structured such that each meeting would consist of 2 short startup activities and conclude with a main activity. Every 4th day was a game day where students were allowed to choose from select activities. While student attendance was high, the quality of instruction varied across club leaders. The results of the High 5s evaluation intervention were mixed: The study showed significantly higher math scores for the intervention students on an assessment that was closely aligned with the program curriculum. However, there were no significant benefits for students...

22 10 2020
Does believing abilities are malleable affect students’ engagement in Math?

Students' engagement in Math is a topic receiving more attention now societies are emphasising the importance of STEM. An article recently published in Frontiers in Psychology explored whether students’ math engagement would be influenced by their beliefs about “implicit theory”. They did this by asking a cohort of Chinese students whether they believed math ability was fixed or malleable, then examining whether the answer affected their math engagement.  They also explored how students' self-efficacy and the intrinsic value they gave to Math influenced the relationship.  The data were collected from 370 students in Grade 8 and 369 students in Grade 11 in China in two waves of assessment. In the first wave, participating students completed the measures of their implicit theory, academic self-efficacy, and intrinsic value. Their Math engagement was then assessed twelve months later. The analysis showed that:  Believing math ability can be changed had a positive effect on students' math...

07 10 2020
How does paternalistic leadership influence teachers in Chinese Schools?

Paternalistic leadership is a leadership style commonly found in East Asia. It "combines strong discipline and authority with fatherly benevolence and moral integrity couched in a personalistic atmosphere". An article recently published in Frontiers in Psychology examined how such leadership style influences teachers in Chinese schools when situated in the educational context.  The study was conducted among 407 elementary school teachers from southern provinces in China. Participants completed a survey measuring teachers' perception of their principals' paternalistic leadership, trust in the principal, teacher commitment to students, and teachers’ job satisfaction. The result showed that: Teachers' job satisfaction was negatively affected by principals' authoritarian behaviour but was promoted by moral leadership. However, both authoritarian leadership and moral leadership had positive indirect effects on teachers' job satisfaction through enhancement of trust in the principal. Moral leadership of the principals also had a significant positive effect on teachers' commitment to students. Benevolent leadership, on the...

07 10 2020
The Cost-Benefit Case for Tutoring

Individual preK-12 tutoring experiments, varying widely in context, approach, and cost, have shown the positive impact of tutoring and small-group programs. However, a recent meta-analysis sought to summarize the findings of experimental studies since 1980. The study is the first systematic review or meta-analysis of experimental research on preK-12 tutoring interventions of all types. The authors defined tutoring as one-to-one or small-group human instruction aimed at supplementing rather than replacing classroom-based education. No correlational or quasi-experimental studies were included in this review. Through the search and screening process, 96 studies were included. The authors found that: Tutoring programs yield substantial positive impacts on learning outcomes, with an overall pooled effect size estimate of +0.37. Furthermore, effects are stronger on average for teacher and paraprofessional tutoring programs as opposed to nonprofessional and parent tutoring. Effects also tend to be strongest among the earlier grades. The main takeaways from this review are nothing new....

07 10 2020
The endangered psychological well-being of students due to COVID-19

Adolescents are vulnerable to stressful events. The global pandemic and subsequent health insecurity, social isolation, and school closings have posed significant challenges to students’ psychological well-being. Researchers from China gathered online survey data from 8,079 middle and high school students to investigate COVID-19’s psychological impacts. The surveyed sample focused on 12-18 years old students from 21 provinces in China. Researchers adopted the patient health questionnaire (PHQ-9) and generalized anxiety disorder scale (GAD-7) to assess the level of depression and anxiety among Chinese adolescents in March. The survey achieved a high response rate of 99.3%. Pre-COVID-19 meta-analysis has established a baseline depression rate of 15.4% among K-12 Chinese students. This study, however, concluded that the surveyed students experienced an alarmingly high rate of 43.7% mild to severe depression and 37.4% anxiety symptoms. Regression results suggested that characteristics such as rural, female, higher grade levels, and living in Hubei are associated with more...

07 10 2020
Chinese and Finnish students’ praises to peers reflected their mindset

Growth mindsets and academic motivations have been increasingly valued. A recent study published in Frontiers in Psychology examines how mindsets and academic motivations are reflected in how students praise their peers. The study was conducted among Chinese and Finnish students to examine any potential differences. The study collected data from 992 Chinese and 870 Finnish fourth to ninth graders from two Chinese and two Finnish public schools. Students completed a questionnaire which measured how they gave feedback to their peers, their mindset and academic motivation. Their feedback was assessed in terms of three kinds of praise, namely neutral praise (e.g., "Great!"), person praise (e.g., "You are so gifted" or "You were really lucky!") and process praise (e.g., "You must have worked hard to achieve this score"). The authors analysed how the use of praise predicted mindset and academic motivation. The findings were as follows: Giving person-focused praise was associated with a fixed mindset and negative academic motivation,...

22 09 2020