卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief

Kindergarten

Effects of apps on early math and reading

While thousands of educational apps are available to students, teachers, and parents, relevant research studies on their effectiveness are still limited. A meta-analysis by Kim and colleagues reviewed findings of 6 intervention studies and 285 effect sizes to figure out the effectiveness of educational apps for children in preschool to Grade 3. Results yielded a mean effect size of +0.31 in both math and literacy. Although outcomes varied across studies, results from this meta-analysis summarized the overall impact of educational apps and examined potential moderator effects.   Source (Open Access): Kim, J., Gilbert, J., Yu, Q., & Gale, C. (2021). Measures matter: A meta-analysis of the effects of educational apps on preschool to grade 3 children’s literacy and math skills. AERA Open, 7, 23328584211004184. https://doi.org/10.1177/23328584211004183… Read the rest

06 01 2023
Effect of PROSPER-based intervention on mental health of preschool teachers

Given the already complex nature of the responsibilities of teachers, the anti-COVID-19 pandemic measures placed on teaching and learning activities raised further challenges and difficulties in the lives of teachers in Hong Kong. Evidence shows that the COVID-19 crisis negatively impacted teachers’ mental health resulting in outcomes such as stress and depression. Datu and colleagues conducted a randomized control trial to examine the impact of a PROSPER-based intervention on psychological outcomes among preschool teachers in Hong Kong. As an organizing tool for the implementation of Positive Education, the PROSPER framework nominates seven key elements which contribute to psychological well-being: positivity, relationships, outcomes (accomplishments), strengths, purpose, engagement, and resilience. The PROSPER-based intervention in this study was considered relevant to preventing maladaptive psychological states among teachers who are experiencing intense levels of stress during the pandemic crisis. A total of 76 participants was randomly assigned to an intervention group (n=36) and a...

23 12 2022
Mediated learning for preschoolers with developmental delay

Think Bright is an early intervention program using mediated learning to enhance the cognitive functioning of children with developmental delay. Keung and colleagues conducted a randomized control trial to investigate the effect of the program on Hong Kong preschoolers with developmental delay. The intervention included training activities that focused on three aspects of thinking skills: analogical thinking, sequential thinking, and logical reasoning. In contrast to teacher-centred direct teaching, mediated learning is a recurring four-step process of “Explore-Try-Mediate-Conclude”. In the process, teachers used mediation skills to facilitate and guide the child to perform the learning task by encouraging the child to think aloud and verbalize his/her approaches and findings. Hence, the researchers hypothesized that mediated learning not only improves thinking skills but also language skills. A total of 68 preschoolers (48 boys, 20 girls, mean age = 58 months) with cognitive and/or language delay was recruited from 15 rehabilitation service centres...

09 12 2022
How can a growth mindset intervention help students?

Mindsets or implicit theories are terms which refer to various subconscious beliefs about the malleability of human attributes (e.g., intelligence and emotion). Huang and colleagues recently conducted a pilot experiment to examine the effect of a growth mindset intervention on students’ implicit theory of intelligence, intrinsic motivation, and academic achievement. The authors extended the intervention to establish a belief about the malleability of emotion so that students can regulate their emotion and thereby enhance their sense of self-determination, which is likely to reinforce their intrinsic motivation for learning. Students of 11 primary and middle schools across 48 classes from 2 cities in Guangdong Province, China, were recruited to sign up to the program. Participating students were randomly assigned either to the intervention group or the placebo-control group. The final sample consisted of 194 students (mean age = 11.3 years) in the intervention group and 213 students (mean age = 11.5...

18 11 2022
The effects of a language-based intervention on comprehension skills

Oral language comprehension skills are foundational to building reading comprehension. Thus, early instruction designed to develop oral comprehension skills may benefit long-term reading outcomes for children in early childhood education classrooms. With that in mind, Lo and Xu conducted a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the effect of Let’s Know!, a language-focused, supplementary curriculum, on prekindergarten and kindergarten students’ vocabulary and comprehension outcomes. The intervention consisted of providing students with four 30-minute class lessons per week that focused on specific language skills. The program was designed to be administered over 25 weeks. Study participants were 69 prekindergarten classrooms (n=361 students) and 56 kindergarten classrooms (n= 328 students) randomly assigned to a treatment or control condition. Classroom teachers in the treatment condition taught one of two Let’s Know! versions: Let’s Know! Broad and Let’s Know! Deep. Both versions were designed to improve language comprehension based on the simple view of reading,...

18 11 2022
explicit+ vocabulary intervention increases vocabulary learning of DHH children

Vocabulary, a predictor of literacy outcomes, is of great significance for all students. Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing (DHH) students oftentimes lag behind their typically hearing (TH) peers in terms of acquiring vocabulary words appropriate for their age or grade level, which is a concern for many teachers of DHH students. Thus, many teachers adopt various interventions to facilitate DHH students’ vocabulary development. A recent study examined the effect of an intervention called “explicit +”, which demonstrates promising results. The study examined three types of vocabulary instruction: in-context, explicit, and explicit plus in-context (explicit +). During in-context instruction, teachers expose students to new words while reading books and in conversation. During explicit instruction, teachers provide more information about the new vocabulary and do activities that require the students to use the new words. Explicit + instruction is a combination of these two instructions. The researchers used a multiple baseline design including nine...

18 11 2022
The effects of tutoring and family engagement on reading outcomes

A recent switched-replication randomized study by Jones and Li evaluated the effect of Future Forward on school attendance, social-emotional learning, and reading outcomes. Future Forward is a program that pairs paraprofessionals with early elementary students to provide one-on-one literacy tutoring for three 30-minute sessions per week. Additionally, a family engagement coordinator organizes events and communicates with families about student progress throughout the program. The study was conducted in three schools that partnered with their local Boys and Girls Club to implement the intervention. Study participants included students in kindergarten through grade 3. Participants were randomly assigned to receive the Future Forward intervention (n=65) or business as usual instruction (n=62). The intervention was implemented from October 2021 to January 2022, with the average student participating in 25.5 sessions, or 2.6 30-minute sessions per week. Additionally, on average, program staff engaged with families 1.5 times each month. The results indicated: Students in...

21 10 2022
Teacher postcards to reduce absences

A recent study published in the Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness examines the effectiveness of sending teacher-written postcards home to reduce absences in preschool through second grade. The authors implemented a randomized intervention across schools and classrooms in two urban school districts involving an analysis sample of 5,552 students in preschool through second grade with no significant differences in pretreatment characteristics between the treatment and control groups. For intervention group, following an absence, school staff sent postcards to parents detailing how many days of school their child had missed, alongside a handwritten note from their teacher summarizing the academic material covered during the absence. In the control classrooms, no changes were made to how teachers addressed absences. Analysis sample included absence record of students during a 13 school-week. Results showed that the treatment reduced absences by 0.45 days (95% CI, 0.14–0.76) relative to the control mean of 5.42 days...

07 10 2022
A review on exclusionary discipline

Exclusion, encompassing various ways students can be removed from school settings (e.g., suspension and expulsion) for behavioral reasons (e.g., too disruptive or dangerous), has been adopted by educational practitioners for more than two decades. Existing studies have shown that children are more likely to be excluded from early child care and education (ECCE) settings than from K-12. Zinsser and colleagues did a systematic review of early childhood exclusionary discipline to synthesize its current state, causes, negative consequences, and interventions to reduce its use. Findings of the review: Current studies have not reached a consensus on the terminology and definition of exclusion. Future studies should incorporate terminology that enables them to include all types of exclusionary practices and discuss connections between them. Factors of exclusionary discipline: teachers’ wellness and emotional health, the role of parents, and the parent-teacher relationship. Exclusion from ECCE settings might have severe negative consequences, such as lowering...

07 10 2022