卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief

Primary School Education

Do schools serving “Breakfast After-the-Bell” have lower student absenteeism?

With the rise in the availability of absenteeism data, it is clear that students in the United States were missing much school time even prior to Covid closures. In response, researchers and policymakers have been identifying school programs that might reduce student absenteeism. “Breakfast After-the-Bell” (BAB) is a school-based program where breakfast is served after school starts (rather than the traditional breakfast model, which occurs before school), either in the classroom itself or as a grab-and-go from a cafeteria where a student eats it in the first period classroom (or in-between first and second periods). In an article published by Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Kirksey and Gottfried examined whether implementing this breakfast program might reduce school absenteeism. Exploring longitudinal statewide datasets (Colorado and Nevada) containing school breakfast information linked to national data on chronic absenteeism rates, they employed sharp and fuzzy regression discontinuity designs to examine the effects of BAB. The findings...

18 06 2021
Teacher-student relationship is especially important for Chinese students from low SES families

In a recent article published in Current Psychology, Liu and colleagues (2021) employed a multilevel analysis on the impacts of teacher-student relationships on students’ achievements. The study used data from China’s Program of Regional Education Assessment, which was a national project. The project administered a standardized assessment and survey in 2016. The current study used a set of data comprised of 129 mathematics teachers and 8,707 fourth-grade students from 164 classes. The study examined the relationships between teacher-student relationships, students’ academic self-efficacy in mathematics, socioeconomic status, and mathematics achievements. Students’ socioeconomic status was measured by parents’ highest level of education, parents’ highest occupation status, and family property, including books in the home. The analysis showed that: The effects of SES on mathematics achievements was mediated by academic self-efficacy. There was a significant interaction between teacher-student relationships and SES for self-efficacy. The teacher-student relationship moderated the indirect relationship between SES and...

18 06 2021
How do mindsets affect Chinese Primary School Students’ Math Achievement?

While the importance of STEM education has been increasingly emphasized, many still believe that mathematics ability is innate. In an article recently published in Frontiers in Psychology, Su and colleagues examined how mindsets affected Chinese primary school students’ math achievement. There were 466 fifth graders from two public primary schools in Urumqi who participated in this study. Participants completed a survey assessing their intelligence mindsets, math self-efficacy, and failure beliefs. The study also obtained their math achievement by the Urumqi’s assessment of education quality in the spring term of fifth grade. The analysis showed that: Male students’ math self-efficacy and level of growth mindsets were significantly higher than female students. However, male students were not different to female students in levels of failure beliefs and math grades. Growth mindset had a significant positive effect on math achievement, which were mediated by math self-efficacy and failure beliefs. The authors suggested that...

18 06 2021
What works for struggling readers in elementary school?

Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Research and Reform in Education has conducted a meta-analysis on effective programs for struggling readers in elementary school, which recently appeared in Reading Research Quarterly. A total of 65 studies of 51 different programs were included in the review: 83% were randomized experiments and 17% quasi-experiments. The qualified studies were organized into five categories based on the RTI (Response to Intervention) framework, a categorization widely used in the U.S. RTI provides a means of categorizing reading interventions as prevention within the general education class (Tier 1), moderately intensive intervention (Tier 2), or intensive intervention (Tier 3). Results showed that: There were significant positive outcomes for tutoring programs (ES = +0.26) with larger effects for one-to-one tutoring (Tier 3, ES = +0.41) compared to one-to-small group tutoring (Tier 2, ES = +0.24). Multitiered whole-school approaches incorporating tutoring and whole-class approaches (Tier 1) had similar effects as tutoring programs, with...

03 06 2021
How effective is the Success for All program?

It is rare that one program deserves its own systematic review or has the breadth and depth of research to warrant it, but Success for All (SFA) is not a typical program. With over 30 years of operations and services provided in around 1,000 schools, SfA has earned the attention of researchers evaluating the program’s impact. A recent study by Cheung and colleagues gathered 17 studies from the United States (narrowed down from over 60 based on the studies’ inclusion criteria) to examine the overall and differential effects of SfA on student reading achievement, as well as the study features that moderate the effects of SfA on reading achievement. The Success for All program is a whole-school approach focused on early grades with continued support intended to last into later elementary grades. The program includes a phonemic awareness and phonics-centered curriculum and provides professional development for teachers led by SfA coaches, literacy...

03 06 2021
Effectiveness of educational apps

A recent meta-analysis by Kim and colleagues sought to evaluate the effectiveness of educational apps on learning for children in preschool through third grade. In this analysis, educational apps were defined as content delivered through personal electronic devices designed to improve literacy and mathematics. The meta-analysis demonstrated that: There were positive effects on student achievement in both literacy (ES = +0.35) and math (ES = +0.29) when compared with standard school instruction. The educational apps demonstrated stronger effects in preschool (ES = +0.35) than in school-age children (ES = +0.17) and were more associated with improvement in constrained skills, which are simple drill-and-practice facts like recognizing numbers and letters (ES = +0.31), than unconstrained skills, which are more complex tasks like solving math problems (ES = +0.14).  The authors also addressed several limitations in the interpretation of the findings. Perhaps most importantly, many of the apps included in the analysis were interactive, based on...

03 06 2021
What matters to English learners’ acquisition of academic vocabulary

Vocabulary knowledge is integral to reading comprehension. A recent study published in the Reading Research Quarterly evaluated the effectiveness of a vocabulary intervention on English learners’ acquisition of academic vocabulary. The intervention, called the Acquisition of Vocabulary in English, was conducted with 424 Spanish-English speaking students in second grade who were identified as English learners. In this stratified cluster randomized control trial, 22 classrooms were randomly assigned either to the intervention group (n=12) or the control group (n=10). Students in the intervention group received four 50-minute lessons weekly for 18 weeks. Teachers in the intervention group used selected books with target vocabulary and applied activities to reinforce vocabulary learning, while teachers in the control group solely read the same books with target vocabulary. The results suggest that The intervention was effective on English learners’ acquisition of challenging, high-utility English vocabulary. Specifically, the effect size (Cohen’s d) was +1.88 for content words (i.e., meaning-carrying words),...

03 06 2021
Do teachers benefit from delivering an SEL intervention?

A Canadian study explored the impact on teachers of delivering a mindfulness-based social-emotional learning (SEL) program called MindUp with additional teacher training on trauma-informed practice. The study included 41 teachers in the control group and 71 teachers in the intervention group, composed of 45 teachers who delivered the intervention for one year, and 26 teachers who delivered the intervention for two years. Both groups included K-12 teachers and early childhood educators. Intervention teachers received a half-day in-person training on trauma-informed practice, and a full-day in-person MindUP training, in addition to another full-day extension training in the spring. The training for MindUp was offered by a trainer from the organization managing the program. After receiving the trainings, intervention teachers implemented MindUP in their classrooms throughout the school year. The intervention involved 15 weekly lessons and the implementation of core practice of the program three times a day. Comparison teachers received the same...

18 05 2021
How did different types of anxiety affect psychological well-being and academic outcomes?

An article recently published in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence investigated how different types of anxiety symptoms influence students’ psychological well-being and academic achievement. 715 third or fourth graders in China were recruited for the study. They completed measures of anxiety every six months in three years. The measure covered five dimensions of anxiety, including panic disorder, generalized anxiety, separation anxiety, social anxiety, and school anxiety. Students’ psychological well-being and academic achievement were assessed in the third year of the study. The findings showed that: Students in the moderately high with predominant generalized and social anxiety group reported the lowest level of psychological well-being as the congruent-high group did. Their life satisfaction and self-esteem levels were the lowest, while they displayed the highest levels of depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation. Students in the group of congruent-low anxiety and moderately low with predominant social anxiety showed the highest academic achievement....

18 05 2021