卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief

Kindergarten

Efficacy of Zoology One, a science and literacy program for kindergartners

  Gray and colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania examined the effects of Zoology One, an integrated science and literacy curriculum, on Philadelphia kindergarteners’ literacy skills and reading motivation. As shortages of students entering STEM careers grow larger, an emergent body of literature supports the need for engagement in science instruction early on in schooling. Young students who naturally show an appetite for scientific inquiry, this motivation for science tends to be weakened as they get older. As such, early science exposure offers the roots for scientific understanding that can be developed in later grades and serve as a motivating force for science learning. The researchers employed a randomized control trial design in 71 classrooms of 21 schools, randomly assigning classrooms to treatment or control conditions. Treatment classrooms implemented Zoology One in place of regular literacy instruction for 2 hours per day throughout the entire school year. The curriculum’s four...

03 12 2021
Which type of spatial skill predicts future academic achievement?

Numerous studies provide evidence that spatial skills are strong predictors of children’s future academic performance. Wang and colleagues conducted a longitudinal study to further explore which type of spatial skill of kindergarteners contributed to predicting math and Chinese reading performance in second grade. Three types of spatial skills were included in the study. Spatial perception is a basic spatial skill involving ability to distinguish shapes from other shapes. In contrast, spatial visualization and mental rotation are higher-level spatial skills which involve complicated multi-step cognitive processing. This study is part of a longitudinal research project started in 2014 to investigate the quality of early childhood education in Guangdong province in China. The data used in this study were collected in 2016 (K3) and in 2018 (second grade). A sample of 182 children (mean age in 2016 = 6.3; 93 girls) was randomly selected from an economically mid-level city. Math achievement in...

03 12 2021
Long-term effects of early childhood educational intervention

The Chicago School Readiness Project (CSRP) is an early childhood education (ECE) intervention targeting low-income children’s school readiness. It is a cluster-randomized controlled trial that included four key components: professional development sessions for teachers on reducing behavioral problems and supporting self-regulated learning behaviors, mental health consultants’ regular visits to coach teachers, stress-reduction workshops for teachers, direct services to families with children with special learning needs. Watts and colleagues evaluated the effects of the CSRP on school choice over 10 years after the intervention ended. Data were collected from 442 students who participated in the program at ages 3, 4 or 5 in 2004 – 2005 or 2005 – 2006. The students were attending high school at different grade levels during the 2016 – 2017 academic year (grade 9: 26%; grade 10: 43%; grade 11: 30%; grade 12: 1%). To estimate the program’s impact, the researchers regressed each outcome variable relating...

03 12 2021
How to sustain Reading Corps intervention benefits?

Reading Corps is a Tier-2 tutoring program for K-3 students. Its intervention benefits are established by empirical evidence and rigorous evaluation methods, but little is known about how to sustain these benefits in the long run. A recent publication in Journal of School Psychology adopted a cluster randomized controlled trial to explore intervention maintenance. Researchers recruited students from kindergarten (n = 177), second grade (n = 149), and third grade ( n = 204 ) who successfully completed and exited Reading Corps in the previous fall semester. Through random assignment of schools, students assigned to the treatment group received weekly 5-minute oral practice sessions during the spring semester and students in the control group received no additional on-going monitoring or practice sessions. The 5-minute practice session was composed of a 1-minute grade-level progress monitoring probe and performance comparison to their previous literacy performance. The literacy outcome was measured by three...

03 12 2021
The effects of co-teaching for students with disabilities

A recent meta-analysis by King-Sears and colleagues compared the achievement of students with disabilities in special education classes to those learning in co-taught classrooms.  The researchers identified 26 studies for inclusion in the analysis, with all but one of the studies being conducted in the United States.  Overall, the researchers found a moderate positive effect on academic achievement (ES = +0.47) for students educated in co-taught classrooms when compared to students educated in special education classrooms. Further analysis demonstrated the effect of co-taught classrooms varied by student age, with elementary school outcomes showing a weaker effect (ES = +0.25) than middle school outcomes (ES = +0.56) and high school outcomes (ES = +0.52). The analysis also indicated slightly stronger effects for co-taught classrooms in language arts (ES = +0.60) than in mathematics (ES = +0.42). However, the researchers were concerned that the students assigned to co-taught classrooms may have had...

19 11 2021
When is grade retention helpful?

Goos and colleagues recently conducted a meta-analysis of the effectiveness of grade retention practices in OECD countries.  This adds to an already extensive list of meta-analyses on the subject by accounting for both the frequency of grade retention practices within a country and the level of support provided to students who are retained.  After restricting the analysis to studies with a clearly defined experimental group and control group, the researchers eventually included 84 studies of grade retention practices for students who were not keeping pace with their peers or who did not meet predefined levels of academic success. An analysis of the full sample of studies indicated no significant differences on academic achievement for grade repeaters compared with grade non-repeaters.  However, an examination of the moderators found significant effects of how retention is used, outcome timing, and comparison approach. A significant negative effect of grade retention (ES = −18) was...

19 11 2021
Enhancing expressive language of second-language learners in kindergarten

A study published in the Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness reports on the efficacy of an intervention to improve kindergarten second-language learners’ general language skills (vocabulary, grammar, language expression, and comprehension) in their second language (L2). The study included 115 children (mean age = 5.5) for whom Norwegian was their second language (L2) and who attended kindergartens in Norway. Eligible children were randomly assigned to control group (n=57) and intervention group (n=58). Students in the intervention group attended 54 instruction sessions over a total of 18 weeks (3 session per week) conducted by kindergarten teachers. The instruction program targeted general language skills using a broad scope of activities, including training in vocabulary, grammar, and narratives, and focusing more on expressive rather than receptive language due to second-language learners’ higher needs on the former. The intervention was constructed so that the levels of difficulty could be adapted to the initial...

05 11 2021
Scaling Up Early Childhood Interventions

A recent cluster-randomized controlled trial conducted by Bleses and colleagues expanded a previously tested intervention called “We Learn Together.”  This program is designed to target language and math skills in toddlers between the ages of 18-35 months.  It emphasizes high-quality conversation, strategies for learning new words, and scaffolded learning.  Teachers tasked with implementing this intervention were provided with a sequence of instruction spanning 20 weeks but were also granted a high degree of autonomy in developing activities and a curriculum that would promote the desired learning strategies. The present study included 2,170 children at 255 childcare centers in Denmark that were separated into a treatment group and a control group, with children in both groups completing a pretest prior to the intervention and a posttest approximately 7 months after the start of the intervention.  A comparison of the groups demonstrated Significant effects for the treatment group in receptive vocabulary (ES...

05 11 2021
Effects of language comprehension interventions on language and literacy outcomes

Language comprehension is an important component of reading that allows readers to derive meaning from oral or written language. Instructions on the components of language comprehension, including vocabulary, semantics, morphology, and syntax, may support language and reading comprehension. A meta-analysis published in Reading Research Quarterly investigated the effects of language comprehension interventions on K-5 students’ language and literacy outcomes. Three experimental designs, including RCTs, quasi-experimental control group designs, and within-subjects designs, were included in this analysis. 43 unique studies were identified and coded for design, outcome, participant (e.g., sample size, demographics, and grade levels), and intervention characteristics (e.g., duration, strategies, and components). To avoid biased estimates, effect sizes of multiple outcomes were aggregated – one synthesized effect size for each study. Findings showed that: Intervention effects were statistically significant and large for vocabulary (ES=+0.85), while modest to listening comprehension (ES=+0.10) and reading comprehension (ES =+0.19). However, the positive effects were...

05 11 2021