卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief

Kindergarten

Study shows delayed kindergarten entry yields mental health benefits

A study out of Stanford University and the Danish National Centre for Social Research provides evidence that children who delay kindergarten entry by one year demonstrate better self-regulation skills when compared to children who start kindergarten on time. These benefits persisted as the students progressed through elementary school. The data were obtained from a national Danish mental-health screening tool completed by more than 54,000 parents of 7-year-olds and a follow-up of almost 36,000 parents when these same children were 11 years old. Given that increased ability to control behavior and pay attention in class leads to improved academic performance, researchers examined school assessment scores and found that students who delayed kindergarten entry demonstrated higher scores than those who did not. The authors found that the one-year delay resulted in a 73% reduction in inattention and hyperactivity by the time the average student was 11 years old. Children in the U.S. have...

17 07 2019
Do sleep problems in early childhood predict performance at school?

A study published in the British Journal of Educational Psychology looks at whether problems with sleep and self-regulation might be used to predict how children settle in at school. The study involved 2,880 children from Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children. Child sleep problems and emotional self-regulation were assessed via reports from mothers at three time points between birth and age five. Child attentional regulation was assessed by the mothers at two time points, and school adjustment was measured by teacher reports of classroom self-regulation and social, emotional, and behavioral adjustment at school, when the children were aged 6-7 years. Three profiles were found: A normative profile (69% of children) had consistently average or higher emotional and attentional regulation scores and sleep problems that steadily reduced from birth to five. The remaining 31% of children were members of two non-normative profiles, both characterized by escalating sleep problems across early...

17 07 2019
Learning Chinese through picture book reading for ethnic minority children in China

Si Chen and colleagues examined the efficacy of a picture book reading intervention on Uyghur children’s first language (Uyghur) and second language (Mandarin Chinese) learning. This study, supported by the Ministry of Education of China, was the first randomized controlled language education intervention conducted in Xinjiang kindergartens. This study published in Early Childhood Research Quarterly followed Uyghur children from 31 classes in 12 kindergartens in two cities of Xinjiang in one year. Among the 265 participating Uyghur children aged 4 to 5 years old, 134 of them participated in the experimental group receiving the Xinjian Project intervention, while 131 of them were allocated to the control group. The intervention design was based on successful strategies learnt from previous book-reading interventions, including using picture books to provide high-quality second language input in reading and discussion, as well as providing a curriculum of vocabulary instruction and teacher training. Chinese-Uyghur bilingual picture books...

19 06 2019
What counts for future success in math?

Which preschool math competencies are most important for later math achievement? A study in Early Childhood Research Quarterly attempts to answer this question for low-income and minority children. The research looked at 781 children who completed the Research-based Early Mathematics Assessment (REMA) in preschool and a further math assessment in fifth grade. The children came from diverse classrooms in New York and Boston, with 53% of the children African-American and 83% qualifying for free or reduced-price lunch. Using state-defined preschool mathematics standards documents, the researchers classified the REMA into a number of domains of mathematical knowledge: Counting and cardinality – basic counting (rote counting, number recognition, one-to-one correspondence) and advanced counting (cardinality, counting forward and back) Patterning – extend and duplicate patterns Geometry – identify, compare, and compose shapes Measurement and data – recognize shapes and identify their attributes by measurement It was found that: All the domains were significantly predictive of later achievement,...

05 06 2019
Can attention span in infancy predict later executive function?

Infant attention skills are significantly related to preschool executive function at age three, according to a new study published in the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine. One hundred and fourteen children took part in the study. Jessica H. Kraybill and colleagues measured children’s attention at five months by using parental-report questionnaires and by assessing look duration and shifting rate while the children watched a video clip. Children’s single longest continuous look and the number of shifts of gaze at the video were recorded. Shorter looking durations were taken as an indication of better information processing, and high shift rates typically represent better attention. The performance on four different executive function tasks for these same children was then measured when they were three years old. Results indicated that: Higher attention at five months was related to higher executive function at age three (effect size = + 0.05). Child gender and maternal education were...

21 05 2019
Home visits show effect on absenteeism and performance

A new study by Steven Sheldon and Sol Bee Jung from Johns Hopkins School of Education examines Parent Teacher Home Visits (PTHV), a strategy for engaging educators and families as a team to support student achievement. The PTHV model has three main components: (1) an initial visit in the summer or fall in which educators focus on getting to know the student and the family, (2) ongoing two-way conversation during the school year, and (3) a second visit in the winter or spring with a focus on how to support the child academically. Four large urban districts from across the United States participated in the study. From each district, the researchers requested student-level data about demographic characteristics (e.g., gender, race) and student outcomes (e.g., attendance and standardized test performance). Additionally, districts were asked to provide data about the implementation of PTHV in their schools. Key findings of the study were as...

21 05 2019
Early oral competence linked to literacy

An article published in the British Journal of Educational Psychology describes a three-year longitudinal study exploring the predictive relationship between oral narrative competence at age 5/6 and written narrative competence during the following two years. A total of 80 Italian children participated in the study. They were followed for three years and tested three times: Oral production was assessed at the end of the first year of the study, when the children were at the end of kindergarten. This was in terms of narrative competence (cohesion, coherence, and structure).Written production was assessed at the end of first grade in terms of narrative competence (cohesion, coherence, and structure) and orthographic competence (spelling).Written production was assessed at the end of second grade in terms of narrative competence (cohesion, coherence, and structure). Overall, the study demonstrated that oral narrative competence in kindergarten predicted written narrative competence in the following two years, with orthographic competence (spelling) playing a...

24 04 2019
A review of the evidence on early language development

A review of the evidence on early language development, commissioned by the Education Endowment Foundation in the UK in partnership with Public Health England, has examined the most effective ways to support young children with delays in their early language development between birth and five years old. James Law and colleagues looked at the existing evidence to find out which interventions have the greatest potential for boosting young children’s language skills and reducing inequalities in outcomes. They identified 44 intervention studies which focused on language and related skills in preschool. All the studies were randomized controlled trials or quasi-experimental, matched study designs. The findings were as follows: Positive effect sizes were found in relation to receptive language in 29 studies. They found one of the best ways to improve early language development for this group is through training for teachers in early years settings so that they can deliver cost-effective...

24 04 2019
Using teaching assistants to improve language skills and reading

Two evaluations from the Education Endowment Foundation in England have found that two interventions using paraprofessional teaching assistants (TAs) have positive effects. REACH is a targeted reading support program designed to improve the reading accuracy and comprehension of students with reading difficulties in middle school. It is delivered by specially trained TAs. The evaluation tested two interventions – one based on the original Reading Intervention developed by the University of York, and the other with supplementary material on language comprehension. The evaluation was carried out in 21 schools around Leeds, with 202 students (70 and 69 receiving each intervention; 63 control). Results showed that: There was a positive effect on reading skills for both the Reading Intervention (E.S.= +0.33) and the Reading Intervention with additional material on language comprehension (E.S.= +0.51). The evaluations did not provide evidence that the interventions improved reading comprehension in particular, as opposed to other skills such as...

24 04 2019