卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief

Educational Stage

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
Does exercise improve children’s cognitive performance?

Research published in Frontiers in Psychology looks at the effects of a nine-week program of daily exercise on children’s cognitive performance, aerobic fitness, and physical activity levels. Vera van den Berg and colleagues conducted a cluster randomized controlled trial in 21 classes in eight Dutch primary schools. A total of 512 children aged 9 to 12 participated. The intervention consisted of daily classroom-based exercise breaks of moderate to vigorous intensity. Each break lasted approximately ten minutes, and children were asked to mimic dance moves from a video. Children in the control group watched 10- to 15-minute information and educational videos related to the body, exercise, and sports. Before and after the intervention, children were asked to perform four cognitive tasks to measure their cognitive performance in selective attention, inhibition, and memory retrieval. Children’s aerobic fitness was measured with a shuttle run test, and accelerometers were used to measure physical activity throughout the day....

17 07 2019
Interleaved practice improves math test scores

The results of a randomized controlled trial, published in Journal of Educational Psychology, suggest that a greater emphasis on interleaved practice may dramatically improve math test scores for seventh graders. Whereas most mathematics worksheets consist of a block of problems devoted to the same skill or concept, an interleaved worksheet is arranged so that no two consecutive problems require the same strategy. Doug Rohrer and colleagues conducted the study with 54 classes in a large school district in Florida during the 2017–2018 school year. Over a period of four months, the classes periodically completed either interleaved or blocked worksheets, and then both groups completed an interleaved review worksheet. All students completed the same problems. One month later, students took an unannounced test which was set by the researchers. The study found that: Students who had completed the interleaved assignments performed much better on the unannounced test than those in the blocked assignment...

02 07 2019
How engaged are teachers with research?

A research briefing published by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) in the UK looks at what progress has been made in embedding evidence-informed practice within teaching in England. As part of the brief, researchers from the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) summarized findings from a nationally representative survey of 1,670 schools and teachers. The survey was conducted between September and November 2017, and investigated teachers’ research use. The results of the survey suggest that: Research evidence continues to play a relatively small role in influencing teachers’ decision-making. Eighty-four percent of those surveyed said that their continuing professional development was based on information other than academic research. Most teachers report that their schools offer supporting environments, which enablesevidence-informed practice to flourish. Seventy-three percent ‘agreed’ or ‘strongly agreed’ that their school provided a positive culture for professional development and evidence use. Teachers report generally positive attitudes towards research evidence, despite the fact that research evidence had...

02 07 2019
Using Expressive Writing to Reduce Test Anxiety

Test Anxiety can have negative impacts on students’ performance and psychological health. This study published in PLOS ONE examined whether expressive writing could be beneficial to alleviate test anxiety. Lujun Shen and colleagues conducted a randomized controlled trial among senior high school students in China who were facing The National Higher Education Entrance Examination (Gaokao), which is considered the most important exam of a student’s life. The study randomly selected 200 students from three senior-high schools in Xinxiang city. Students were first assessed for eligibility. A sample of 75 students was recruited into the study for having a high level of test anxiety. Then, 38 of them were allocated into an expressive writing group, and 37 of them were allocated to a control writing group. Students in the expressive writing group were instructed to write for 20 minutes about the positive emotions they had each day, consecutively for 30 days....

02 07 2019
Mindfulness for Left-behind Children in China

A randomized controlled trial published in Child: Care, Health and Development examined whether a mindfulness training programme was beneficial to left-behind students in China, who stayed in their hometown with extended family members because their parents left to work in other cities. 63 left-behind children who agreed to participate in this study were screened from a sample of 320 grade 5 to 6 students from a primary school in an urban area in Nanjing. Thirty students were randomly allocated to a mindfulness training group, where they participated in an eight-week mindfulness training programme that emphasized focusing on the present and practicing non‐judgmental awareness. The programme consisted of one-hour group sessions once a week. Thirty-three students were allocated to a control group. Students completed a pre-test before participating in the trainings and a post-test after the eight-week training which included scales measuring their mindfulness, social anxiety, suicide ideation, and self-esteem. However,...

02 07 2019
What works for struggling readers?

Amanda Inns and colleagues from Johns Hopkins Center for Research and Reform in Education have completed a research review on effective programs for struggling readers in elementary schools. A total of 61 studies of 48 programs met study inclusion standards. 84% were randomized experiments and 16% quasi-experiments. Results showed that: There were positive outcomes for one-to-one tutoring and positive but not as large for one-to-small group tutoring. There were no differences in outcomes between teachers and teaching assistants as tutors. Whole-class approaches (mostly cooperative learning) and whole-school approaches incorporating tutoring obtained outcomes for struggling readers as large as those found for one-to-one tutoring, and benefitted many more students. However, technology-supported adaptive instruction did not have positive outcomes. The article concludes that approaches mixing classroom and school improvements with tutoring for the most at-risk students have the greatest potential for the largest numbers of struggling readers.   Source (Open Access): Inns, A. J.,...

19 06 2019
How do students in China and the U.S. perceive school climate differently?

School climate includes factors that serve as conditions for learning and support physical and emotional safety, connection, support, and engagement, as the U.S. Department of Education suggests. In this study published in School Psychology Quarterly, Bear and colleagues examined how students in China and the U.S. perceive school climate differently and how it relates to their engagement in schools. 3,716 Chinese students from 18 schools in Guangzhou and 4,085 American students from 15 schools in Delaware were compared in this study. All schools were suburban schools or urban schools. The sample of American students was randomly selected from a larger dataset consisting of 37,255 students prepared by the Delaware Department of Education to match the student numbers of the Chinese student sample. Students who participated in this study were from grades 3-5, 7-8 and 10-12. Grade 6 and grade 9 were excluded from this study since students in these two...

19 06 2019