卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief

Primary School Education

The best of two worlds: A systematic review on combining real and virtual experiments in science education

A recent study published in the Review of Educational Research examined the relative effectiveness of combining real and virtual experiments versus a single type of experimentation, and which sequence of real and virtual experiments was most effective for the acquisition of scientific literacy. In contrast to previous reviews focusing on a comparison of real experiments (RE, hands-on with actual materials) versus virtual experiments (VE, interactive computer simulation), in this review the authors focused on the effects of combining RE and VE. The results were based on a sample of 42 studies meeting the inclusion criteria set. In relation to the relative effectiveness of combining real and virtual experiments compared with a single type of experimentation, the results showed that: Twenty-five of the 30 studies reported a significant advantage of the experimental groups that used RE and VE in combination, compared to control groups that used only one single experiment type...

23 09 2022
Addressing students’ needs to avoid assignment to special education

Research shows that students of color and students from low socioeconomic backgrounds are disproportionately represented among those receiving special education services. Although special education is meant to provide students with individualized support, qualifying for special education services may negatively impact student outcomes. For example, teachers and parents may hold students in special education to low academic and behavioral standards. Further, students may perceive a stigma associated with receiving special education services. Thus, it is important to provide students with the proper support to decrease the likelihood that they will be incorrectly assigned to special education. Hingstman and colleagues conducted a systematic review of programs that tested whether they decreased the number of elementary school students assigned to special education. The review included 12 studies evaluating nine programs: four targeted academic and behavioral skills, three focused on academics, and two focused on behavior. The authors found that programs that included following...

23 09 2022
A study of arts integration

A recent study done by Kisida and colleagues examined the effects of integrating arts into students’ learning by measuring elementary-aged students’ learning outcomes after receiving a lesson on Arkansas state history through a theater performance. The authors suggest that arts integration has positive effects on a variety of subjects. This study recruited 1,892 students in grade 3-5 from 12 schools. Students were randomly assigned into experimental and control groups. The experimental groups were taken to see a theater performance on Arkansas state history produced by the Walton Arts Center. After the performance, all students took a test that included 13 multiple choice questions on the history content, a Likert-type survey to measure students’ interest in future theatre and performance arts consumption, and a 4-point Likert-type scored question to measure their interest in learning history and history empathy. The study found that experimental groups performed statistically significantly better in all aspects...

09 09 2022
The power of scaffolding in digital game-based learning

Digital game-based learning (DGBL) has become a popular instructional approach in recent years. Some researchers have suggested that scaffolding integrated in games can provide timely support that better facilitates students’ learning process and improves learning outcomes. On the contrary, other researchers have argued that an inappropriate scaffolding mechanism might result in negative impact. Cai and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis  to examine the effects of scaffolding in educational digital games on students’ learning achievement and to explore possible factors (moderators) which might contribute to the inconsistency of research findings. A total of 49 studies and 154 effect sizes used in the meta-analysis fulfilled the inclusion criteria, namely experimental trial with treatment group playing DGBL with scaffolding and control group playing DGBL without scaffolding. Seven types of scaffolding were classified in the study. Reflection: learners asked to explain or reflect on their behaviour Feedback: Some information given to evaluate students’ performance Hints:...

09 09 2022
Sustaining content through literacy instruction to improve reading comprehension outcomes in the early grades

A recent longitudinal randomized controlled trial (RCT) by Kim and colleagues evaluated the effect of the Model of Reading Engagement (MORE) intervention on the reading comprehension of early elementary students. The MORE intervention consisted of providing students in Grade 1 with 20 thematic content literacy lessons in science, providing related informational texts to read during the summer, and then building on the thematic content literacy with 45 additional lessons in Grade 2. The intervention was developed to expose students to increasingly complex information about a topic over time. Thus, students develop schemas, or ways of storing and retrieving knowledge, to comprehend new topics. The RCT was conducted over 12 months in 30 elementary schools with a sample of 1,176 students receiving the MORE intervention and 980 students assigned to business-as-usual literacy instruction. Teachers in the treatment condition received professional development and ongoing support from site-based literacy facilitators. Using audio recordings...

09 09 2022
The effectiveness of teacher specialization in elementary school

Hwang and Kisida looked to develop a causal model using quasi-experimental methods to assess the effectiveness of subject-area specialization for teachers in elementary school. The authors compared the effectiveness of a teacher in a year when the teacher had a specialization role to a year when the teacher did not have a specialization role. This limited the study to those teachers who were both specialists (teach 1 or 2 subjects out of 4 major subjects) and generalists (teach 3 or 4 subjects) within the timeframe of the study (12% of all math teachers and 36.7% of all reading teachers fit this description). However, given the relatively large sample from the Indiana Department of Education, containing 15,895 math teachers and 17,102 reading teachers, the authors were able to use this model to estimate effects related to teacher specialization. The findings were shown below. A teacher’s effectiveness was lower when teaching math...

12 08 2022
Sensibly distribute resources: Prior-year statewide achievement test data is sufficient

Universal screening for identifying students at risk for future reading problems is important, but inaccurate and costly approaches are not worth investing in. Paly and colleagues recently conducted a retrospective research project to analyze four approaches to reading risk screening in terms of their accuracy and costs, including: prior-year state test (STAAR Reading) aimswebPlus: a web-based assessment suite which designed for screening and progress monitoring in reading and math for PreK-12 students multiple-gate model: prior-year STAAR was used in the first screening and aimswebPlus was administered as additional screening for a subgroup of students, who scored below a cut-point on first universal screen multivariate model: prior-year STAAR and aimswebPlus tests results were combined in multivariate analyses Using data from Grades 4-8 students (n = 19,417) in a mid-size urban district in Texas, the researchers examined classification accuracy and the cost-effectiveness relation of the four approaches.  The results suggest that aimswebPlus...

12 08 2022
Preventing summer slide through the mail

Summer slide, or the loss of student learning progress over the summer months, is of concern to parents and educators. While summer school has been offered as a possible solution, it can be expensive and difficult to serve all students.  Lighter touch strategies such as engaging students to read and complete book activities through the summer months are popular alternatives.  One such program, Kids Read Now (KRN), engages K-5 students with both school-based and home-based activities while mailing them up to nine self-selected high-quality books. Additionally, parents receive weekly voice or text messages with nudges and tips for reading to and with their children. Students who report reading their selected books receive certificates and a prize. KRN has completed two quasi-experimental studies by Borman and colleagues.  In both studies, students who chose to participate in the program were matched with students who did not choose to participate. The five schools...

12 08 2022
Evaluation of a social skills program for early elementary students: We Have Skills

A study from Smolkowski et al. (2022), published in January 2022 reported on an evaluation of We Have Skills and its impact on both students and teachers. We Have Skills (WHS) is a short, universal curriculum that focuses on improving early elementary students’ academic and social skills, in the meantime increasing teacher classroom management effectiveness.   From 2015 to 2019, 127 early elementary teachers and their 2,817 students from multiple states were randomly assigned to either an immediate-intervention condition or a no-additional-intervention condition. Teachers assigned to the intervention condition received the WHS curriculum as a package, which included videos, skill tickets, a detailed 166-page teacher’s guide, access to the Elementary Social Behavior Assessment (an online screening system), and a brief initial training. Teachers assigned to the control condition were asked to teach students as they normally would.   The results showed that observer impressions of student behavior were positive but...

30 07 2022