卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief

Kindergarten

New review of evidence on parental engagement

A review of evidence published by the Education Endowment Foundation in the UK shows how parental engagement can have a positive effect on a child’s academic achievement – regardless of age or socioeconomic status. The review, conducted by the Universities of Plymouth and Exeter and supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), concludes that parental engagement in children’s learning is associated with improved academic outcomes, and that the association is stronger when parental engagement is defined as parents’ expectations for their children’s academic achievement. All studies controlled for parents’ education and/or family socioeconomic status. The review highlights areas of promise for how schools and early education settings can support parents in a way that improves their children’s learning. Examples include family literacy interventions to help boost younger children’s learning, and summer reading programs that improve school-aged children’s learning, particularly among families from more disadvantaged backgrounds. An overarching recommendation is the...

06 11 2019
Do higher teacher qualifications mean better early childhood education and care?

This Campbell systematic review examines the evidence on the correlation between teacher qualifications and the quality of early childhood learning environments, as measured by the Environment Rating Scale (ERS). The review summarizes findings from 48 studies with 82 independent samples. The studies had to be comparative or correlational and report either an overall quality scale or an environment rating scale. Overall, the review suggests that higher teacher qualifications are positively associated with classroom quality in early childhood education and care (effect size = +0.20). The review also suggests a positive correlation between teacher qualifications and classroom quality on a number of subscales, including: Program structure– focusing on the schedule, time for free play, group time, and provisions for children with disabilities (ES = +0.22). Activities– this relates to fine motor, art, music/movement, blocks, sand/water, dramatic play, nature/science, math/number, use of digital technologies, and promoting acceptance of diversity (ES = +0.20). Language and...

23 10 2019
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