卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief

Kindergarten

Getting children ready for school: whole-child or skill-targeted?

Education children receive in their early childhood has been shown to have long-term impacts on their achievements in school, career and even physical health at the later stage of life. Jenkins and her team explored how the design of preschool curricula (including the content and style of instruction) would influence children’s school readiness – measured by their skills in literacy, math, and socioemotional domain at the end of preschool. By evaluating 11 early childhood education curricula funded by the Preschool Curriculum Evaluation Research (PCER) Initiative Study, the team was particularly interested in comparing the effectiveness of the whole-child approach, which is widely adopted in most preschool classrooms in the United States, with the skill-targeted curricula in preparing children for promotion to elementary school education. Whole-child approach: With an emphasis on child-centered active learning, the approach encourages children to interact independently with the equipment, materials, and their peers during learning rather...

19 05 2022
Early childhood education’s positive effects on high school outcome

Early childhood education is associated with positive high school outcomes, including achievement and engagement. In a recently published article in Child Development, Amadon and colleagues reported on a longitudinal study of the effects of early childhood education on high school performance. The study tracked 4033 students enrolled in Tulsa Public Schools (TPS) kindergartens in Oklahoma from 2006 to 2007. Among them, 44% attended the public universal pre-K program, 14% attended Tulsa’s Community Action Project (CAP) Head Start program, and the rest did not attend either program. The study tracked students’ attendance, academic skills, course selection and completion, and grade retention. The results show that students who attended the TPS pre-K program missed 1.5 fewer days (d = −.10) and were less likely to be chronically absent or retained in grade. And students who attended Head Start missed three fewer days than the other two groups (p = .053) but with...

19 05 2022
Texting families to improve student vocabulary

Emily K. Snell and colleagues recently conducted a randomized controlled trial to assess the effectiveness of a texting-based vocabulary program for prekindergarten students within an urban school district. The study consisted of 346 students (173 assigned to the treatment group and 173 assigned to the control group) in 49 classrooms (24 assigned to the treatment group and 25 assigned to the control group) and took place over 7 months, with 5 of those months devoted to the intervention and 1 month at both the beginning and end devoted to testing. Teachers in the treatment group received training and were instructed to send text messages to parents each week with four vocabulary words being targeted for the week, as well as links to child-friendly definitions, images, and ideas for activities. A comparison of post-test and pre-test scores revealed that children in the treatment group demonstrated significantly greater vocabulary learning than those...

01 04 2022
Effectiveness of volunteer tutoring

Markovitz and colleagues recently reported on a replication and expansion of a previous randomized controlled trial focused on volunteer tutoring in reading for at-risk early elementary school students. The study focuses on the effectiveness of the Minnesota Reading Corps and the Wisconsin Reading Corps, which are both programs within AmeriCorps. The initial 2014 study focused solely on Minnesota and was limited in its ability to assess impacts for second and third grade students. The authors suggest the study is useful because aspects of the tutoring programs have changed, they are now evaluating the effects of tutoring in two separate programs, and they are now able to have a longer evaluation of the effects on second and third grade students. The study used a matched-pairs design in which students were matched based upon their baseline fall test scores, and then one student was assigned to the control group while the other...

25 03 2022
Does one more year in kindergarten matter?

In 2009, the China Development Research Foundation of the State Council launched the One Village One Preschool (OVOP) initiative which aims to guarantee free early childhood education (ECE) access to all young children in China. According to statistics in 2017, almost all children (98%) in urban areas have access to ECE while only 30% of children from poor and rural areas have the access. OVOP is a variously sourced funded program that encompasses facilities, teaching components, and policy and organizational operations, through which children of a village can access preschool education without spending hours of commuting time.  Using students’ data during the years 2015 to 2018 from Songtao county in Guizhou, one of the poorest provinces in China, Chen and colleagues explored the effect of an ECE education experience on academic performance in grade 1 to grade 4.  Five types of ECE education experiences were compared: Township public ECE centres:...

11 03 2022
Smartphone and tablet use in early childhood

A recent meta-analysis conducted by Mallawaarachchi and colleagues analyzed studies focused on the association of smartphone and tablet usage with psychosocial, cognitive, and sleep-related developmental factors in early childhood. The meta-analysis was conducted on 19 articles from a variety of countries. The mean ages for the children in these studies ranged from 1.43 years to 5.42 years. The overall findings of the meta-analysis suggest there is a weak, negative association (r = −.08, p = .001) between smartphone or tablet usage and child-specific factors. However, when individually analyzing these child-specific factors, most do not demonstrate significant associations with smartphone or tablet usage. Following factors show non-significant associations with smartphone or tablet usage: Psychosocial factors (r = −.07, p = .115) Self-regulation (r = −.03, p = .65) Cognitive factors (r = −.07, p = .14) Language development (r = −.09, p = .09) Executive function (r = −.09, p =...

11 03 2022
Using songs to teach vocabulary

A recent study published in Early Childhood Research Quarterly by Lawson-Adams and colleagues explores the value of sung songs and rhythmically spoken songs in teaching vocabulary to preschool students. The researchers used a within-subjects design with a total of 56 students (mean age = 4.8 years old) from 4 preschool classrooms within a district. The intervention was administered 3 times to each class over the course of 2 weeks, with each intervention lasting approximately 15 minutes. Each intervention consisted of 3 activities: a picture-card only activity a picture-card plus sung song activity a picture-card plus rhythmically spoken song activity Each activity consisted of 6 targeted vocabulary words that were spoken by the teacher 4 times each during the activity. For the song activities, each word was spoken twice and then appeared in the song twice, while in the picture-card only activity each word was spoken 4 times. The students took...

25 02 2022
Is the extent of self-overestimation different between Chinese and Dutch children?

In the past few decades, there have been multiple studies showing that children often feel overconfident about their own competencies regarding handling new tasks and challenges. A recent study published in Child Development investigated the extent of self-overestimation among youngsters growing up in China and children in the Netherlands. Using both a memory task and a motor task, the researchers tracked the discrepancies between students’ estimated and actual performance across task trials. Two psychological explanations were explored: monitoring deficiency: young children are not yet capable of reliably monitoring and retaining information about their abilities and past performances. wishful thinking: young children often fail to reliably distinguish between their wishes and their expectations. Participants were children around aged 4 to 5. The study analyzed data from about 100 Chinese children from an urban area (Wenzhou City) and about 91 to 94 children from the Netherlands.  Children estimated the distance regarding ball...

25 02 2022
School improvement meta-analysis

In a recent meta-analysis, Schueler and colleagues investigated the effects of school improvement initiatives spanning four major categories: turnaround, labeling, charter conversion, and closure. The search covered the years 2000-2019, effectively capturing the school improvement landscape from No Child Left Behind up until the COVID-19 pandemic school closures. Following a literature search and inclusion review, 67 studies were utilized in the analysis as the authors sought to determine the general effects of school improvement initiatives on low-performing K-12 student achievement along with specific effects associated with features of these initiatives. The general impacts of school initiatives were shown below. For effects on high-stakes achievement test scores: a significant positive effect was found (ES = + 0.06) on math achievement and an insignificant effect on English achievement. For effects on low-stakes achievement test scores: a significant positive effect was found in both STEM (ES = +0.07) and the humanities (ES =...

11 02 2022