卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief

Kindergarten

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
How do young children develop agency, literacy, and numeracy?

A new resource from Deans for Impact summarizes current cognitive-science research related to how young children - from birth to age eight - develop skills across three domains: agency, literacy, and numeracy. It aims to give guidance to anyone working in education who is interested in understanding the science of how young children develop control of their own behavior and intentions, how they learn to read and write, and how they develop the ability to think mathematically. For each domain, the report identifies key questions about learning and provides a short list of the principles from learning science that inform the answers to these questions. The resource then connects these principles to a set of practical implications for specific teaching strategies. For example, the report identified children regulate their behaviors by achieving the following:   Remember their goalsSuppress impulses and not respond to distractionsBe able to change how they think and react...

10 04 2019
What does good professional development for teaching language look like?

Research published in AERA Open examines the features needed for effective teacher professional development (PD) aimed at preparing teachers to support their students in mastering language expectations across the curriculum. Eva Kalinowski and colleagues conducted a systematic review of studies of PD programs, published between 2002 and 2015, which aimed to support teachers to improve their students’ academic language ability in different subject areas. Of the 38 studies they reviewed, all but one were carried out in the US. Eighteen studies used quantitative data only, three used a mainly qualitative approach, and 17 used mixed methods. Although the researchers were unable to conclude which elements actually influenced the effectiveness of the programs analyzed, they found that all of the studies were effective to some extent, and shared many characteristics considered to be important in successful teacher PD across different subject areas. The forms of PD likely to show some effect for teachers...

10 04 2019