卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief

Primary School Education

What makes for an effective student reward?

A National Bureau of Economic Research working paper explores the short-term effects of incentives on student effort and performance, varying the size and type of the rewards as well as how they are presented. As part of the study, field experiments were conducted across multiple years in over 7,000 elementary and high schools. Findings were as follows: Incentives framed as losses (i.e., a reward that is given before an assessment begins that the student can keep if they meet the goal, or will have to give back if they don’t) have more robust effects than comparable incentives framed as gains (i.e., receiving a reward only after the goal is met). Non-financial incentives (e.g., a trophy) are considerably more cost-effective than financial incentives for younger students, but are not effective with older students. All motivating power of the incentives vanishes when rewards are handed out with a delay rather than immediately. For this...

29 07 2020
The relation between student motivation and reading performance

The latest issue of Review of Educational Research presents a meta-analysis on the relationship between reading achievement and motivation. The review examined whether ability to decode and understand text, goal orientation, students’ at-risk status, or grade level moderated the relationship, as well as whether motivation and reading are related over time. Jessica Toste and colleagues at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Iowa included 132 peer-reviewed articles with 1,154 effect sizes. Most of the studies took place in the United States (41%). Other studies were from Canada or Europe. Results suggested that: The relation between motivation and reading achievement is moderate (ES = +0.22). For specific reading domains, average correlations with motivation were moderate as well: ES = +0.19 for the ability to read in an accurate and fluent way, ES = +0.21 for the ability to understand and learn from reading text, and ES= +0.23 for general reading. Further...

29 07 2020
Student motivation and school reform

The Center on Education Policy in the US offers a series of papers that examines topics related to students’ academic motivation. The summary paper, Student Motivation: An Overlooked Piece of School Reform, pulls together findings from a wide array of studies by scholars in a range of disciplines, as well as lessons from programs intended to increase motivation. Topics include: why motivation is important and how it might be defined and measured; whether rewarding students can result in higher motivation; whether students can be motivated by goal-setting; the role of parental involvement, family background, and culture; strategies schools might use to motivate students; and non-traditional approaches to motivating otherwise unenthusiastic students. A few of many suggestions that the authors offer for schools to consider are: Programs that reward academic accomplishments are most effective when they reward students for mastering certain skills or increasing their understanding rather than rewarding them for reaching a performance...

29 07 2020
Virtual charter schools’ consistent and persistent negative impacts

As COVID-19 pushes more schools online, the call for evidence of online learning is at a premium. Virtual charter schools are one recent innovation claiming to utilize technology for more individualized and flexible learning. However, a recent article published in Educational Researcher from Fitzpatrick and colleagues used a robust quasi-experimental approach to confirm prior negative effects of the virtual charter model as a whole. Fitzpatrick and colleagues looked at state-wide end-of-year test results from Indiana in grades 3-8, including data from students in four virtual charter schools and 67 in-person (“bricks and mortar”) charter schools. The researchers set up a comparison group by matching students who transferred into a virtual charter school to a similar student in a traditional public school. They also looked at how virtual students compared to students who transferred into the more typical, in-person charter school. Results show that: Virtual charters schools negatively affected student achievement. This effect grew...

15 07 2020
Teaching Students to Recognize Expository Text Structures

Students tend to struggle understanding informational text more than narrative text. What instructional strategies for fostering informational (expository) text comprehension are backed by strong evidence of effectiveness? One intervention strategy is teaching students to recognize expository text structures. Text structure is the organization of ideas, the relationship among the ideas, and the vocabulary used to convey meaning to the reader. The thought is that if readers can understand that authors purposely use various structures to organize text, then readers are assisted to construct an integrated mental representation of key ideas similar to the text’s organization. In a systematic review of 21 studies, Pyle and colleagues examined the effects of expository text structure interventions on comprehension outcomes of typically achieving students, at-risk students, and students with learning disabilities in grades K–12. Supporting the findings of previous reviews, Pyle found that teaching students to recognize text structures produced large effects on reading comprehension....

01 07 2020
Balanced reading and writing programs: More than the sum of their parts

While many reviews already examine the impact of either reading or writing interventions, a recent meta-analysis took an alternative approach by analyzing studies focused on programs balancing writing and reading instruction to determine if these programs had greater success in developing these skills. Including 47 studies, Graham and colleagues analyzed 46 unique programs, each with no more than 60% of instruction dedicated to either reading or writing, arguing that programs focused on both skill sets could improve skills in both reading and writing, and that while research shows that reading instruction improves writing and vice versa, studies had not determined the impact of balanced programs. The included programs were divided into 9 categories: cooperative learning, content literacy, early literacy, home based, literature based, remedial, strategy instruction, whole language, and IBM’s Writing to Read (a computer-based program). Of these, cooperative learning approaches were the most common type of program, followed by Writing to...

01 07 2020
The relationship between well-being and achievement among Chinese elementary school students

The importance of promoting well-being in schools has been increasingly emphasized. A recent longitudinal study published in School Psychology investigated the relationships between academic achievement, self-esteem, and subjective well-being across time among elementary school students in China. Participating students, who were from Grades 3, 4, and 5, were randomly selected from classes in two elementary schools in a city in Southern China. The study assessed students’ academic achievement, self-esteem, and subjective well-being three times, at intervals of six months.  A cohort of 807 students participated in the first assessment, 790 in the second and 792 in the third. The findings showed that: Academic achievement positively predicted later subjective well-being in school. In particular, the study identified that elementary school students with better academic achievement reported a higher level of self-esteem, which later contributed to a higher level of subjective well-being in schools. However, unexpectedly, neither well-being nor self-esteem could predict...

02 06 2020
COVID-19 academic losses: Predictions and recommendations

More than 55 million students in the U.S. are not in school due to COVID-19, and many won’t return until fall. Knowing what academic losses to expect can help teachers and administrators better plan for students’ return. Using summer learning loss data as a reference, The Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) has released a report, The COVID-19 slide: What summer learning loss can tell us about the potential impact of school closures on student academic achievement.   Megan Kuhfeld and Beth Tarasawa at NWEA examined a national sample of more than 5 million 3rd-8th graders who took the 2017-18 Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessment, which tracks academic growth and is aligned to the Common Core Standards. They used typical summer learning loss rates to predict potential COVID-19 learning loss rates. Results showed that students are projected to return in the fall with 70% of the expected reading gains they would have otherwise made,...

02 06 2020
Results of a content literacy intervention to improve pupils’ reading comprehension and subject knowledge

A study published in Journal of Educational Psychology investigates the effectiveness of a content literacy intervention – the Model of Reading Engagement (MORE) – on first grade students’ science subject knowledge, reading engagement, and reading comprehension. The MORE intervention aims to help young children acquire conceptually-related vocabulary while learning subject-specific content. In this study, classroom teachers taught first-grade children about science knowledge while they conducted literacy lessons. MORE lessons consisted of one unit on the life science topic of Arctic animal survival, taught over ten 60-minute lessons. Prior to the intervention, teachers participated in two-hour after-school professional development workshops.  A total of 674 pupils from 38 classrooms across 10 elementary schools took part in a randomized controlled trial. Classrooms were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: MORE at school (MS); MORE at school plus home condition (MS-H), which included reading at home in addition to the MS lessons; or usual lessons....

02 06 2020