卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief

Primary School Education

Peer Assisted Learning Strategies and math achievement

Math PALS (Peer Assisted Learning Strategies) is a supplemental program designed to support mathematics learning through structured peer tutoring activities. Student dyads are created by matching students with similar level of math skills. The program also includes initial professional development to support teachers to deliver the intervention. A recent evaluation published in the Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness assessed the effectiveness of Math PALS in elementary school. The study randomly assigned  28 first grade classrooms (n=454 students)  in northern rural Florida to the intervention or control group. After one school year, results showed that: There were no significant effects on Woodcock-Johnson III math assessment for both subtests: Math Fluency (ES = +0.16; n.s.) and Applied Problems (ES = +0.06; n.s.), However, the intervention effectiveness varied based on initial mathematics skills. For students with higher initial skills (at the 75thpercentile of the sample) there was a positive effect of Math PALS on Fluency...

22 10 2020
Evaluation of Maths Counts

A paper published in Educational Research and Evaluation presents the findings of a one-year efficacy trial of Maths Counts – an intensive, individualized program to support children who struggle with basic math skills at Key Stage 2 (age 7 to 11) in the U.K. The participants were 291 upper-elementary students from 35 schools in England. Students were randomized within school and allocated to an intervention (Maths Counts) or control (business-as-usual) group. The program was delivered to intervention students by specially trained teaching assistants three times per week, for 10 weeks, during curriculum time but outside the regular classroom. The first ten minutes of each session focused on revision of prior learning, and the next 20 minutes introduced new knowledge and skills. The results of the trial suggest that: Maths Counts is effective for students who struggle with basic math skills (effect size = +0.12 for general math skills, and +0.18 for math attitude)....

22 10 2020
How does paternalistic leadership influence teachers in Chinese Schools?

Paternalistic leadership is a leadership style commonly found in East Asia. It "combines strong discipline and authority with fatherly benevolence and moral integrity couched in a personalistic atmosphere". An article recently published in Frontiers in Psychology examined how such leadership style influences teachers in Chinese schools when situated in the educational context.  The study was conducted among 407 elementary school teachers from southern provinces in China. Participants completed a survey measuring teachers' perception of their principals' paternalistic leadership, trust in the principal, teacher commitment to students, and teachers’ job satisfaction. The result showed that: Teachers' job satisfaction was negatively affected by principals' authoritarian behaviour but was promoted by moral leadership. However, both authoritarian leadership and moral leadership had positive indirect effects on teachers' job satisfaction through enhancement of trust in the principal. Moral leadership of the principals also had a significant positive effect on teachers' commitment to students. Benevolent leadership, on the...

07 10 2020
The Cost-Benefit Case for Tutoring

Individual preK-12 tutoring experiments, varying widely in context, approach, and cost, have shown the positive impact of tutoring and small-group programs. However, a recent meta-analysis sought to summarize the findings of experimental studies since 1980. The study is the first systematic review or meta-analysis of experimental research on preK-12 tutoring interventions of all types. The authors defined tutoring as one-to-one or small-group human instruction aimed at supplementing rather than replacing classroom-based education. No correlational or quasi-experimental studies were included in this review. Through the search and screening process, 96 studies were included. The authors found that: Tutoring programs yield substantial positive impacts on learning outcomes, with an overall pooled effect size estimate of +0.37. Furthermore, effects are stronger on average for teacher and paraprofessional tutoring programs as opposed to nonprofessional and parent tutoring. Effects also tend to be strongest among the earlier grades. The main takeaways from this review are nothing new....

07 10 2020
Chinese and Finnish students’ praises to peers reflected their mindset

Growth mindsets and academic motivations have been increasingly valued. A recent study published in Frontiers in Psychology examines how mindsets and academic motivations are reflected in how students praise their peers. The study was conducted among Chinese and Finnish students to examine any potential differences. The study collected data from 992 Chinese and 870 Finnish fourth to ninth graders from two Chinese and two Finnish public schools. Students completed a questionnaire which measured how they gave feedback to their peers, their mindset and academic motivation. Their feedback was assessed in terms of three kinds of praise, namely neutral praise (e.g., "Great!"), person praise (e.g., "You are so gifted" or "You were really lucky!") and process praise (e.g., "You must have worked hard to achieve this score"). The authors analysed how the use of praise predicted mindset and academic motivation. The findings were as follows: Giving person-focused praise was associated with a fixed mindset and negative academic motivation,...

22 09 2020
Some Bad News for The Good Behavior Game

The Good Behavior Game (GBG) is a school intervention that motivates students to have better behavior through winning rewards on a team for positive behaviors. Many prior studies have found significant positive impacts of GBG on student and school outcomes. However, a recent study from Ashworth and colleagues found no effects on behavior from this intervention. Ashworth and colleagues specifically studied GBG in a 2-year randomized control trial among 3,084 6-7 year old children in 77 UK primary schools. The results showed that: This study found no overall effects on student disruptive behavior, concentration problems, nor pro-social behavior (as observed by teachers). Additionally, the study found no subgroup effects either on demographic factors (such as being male) or based on cumulative risk. The study also found no effect based on how much the program was implemented by teachers. The authors hypothesize that this lack of an effect may be due to the...

22 09 2020
Representational pictures or decorative pictures for testing students

A recent study investigated the cognitive and affective-motivational effects of adding a representational picture (RP) or a decorative picture (DP) to text-based science and mathematics tests. 404 fifth and sixth grade students participated in the computer-based test administration divided into three multimedia conditions – text-only, RP, or DP – and in two test domains –mathematics or science. Each item of the test had a short text, a separate question, and four answer options, plus a picture in RP and DP conditions. RPs were gray pictures and illustrated important information to build a mental representation of the item situation. DPs were colorful, attractive pictures broadly related to the item content. The results showed that: Results on students’ solution success showed a significant positive effect for RP items compared to text-only items in science (ES = +0.25), while no significant effects were found for DP items compared to text-only items (ES = +0.02)....

22 09 2020
Poor literacy skills hold poorer students back in science

A report, published by the Education Endowment Foundation in the UK and the Royal Society, has reviewed existing studies to identify interventions and teaching approaches that have a positive impact on student learning in science, particularly for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. The researchers from the University of Oxford analyzed data in the National Pupil Database in England to measure the extent of the gap in the performance between economically disadvantaged students (students who have been entitled to free school meals at least once in the last six years) and students from higher socioeconomic status (SES) backgrounds on national science tests. This analysis confirmed that disadvantaged students had much lower scores and made poorer progress in science, at every stage of their school career, than students from higher SES backgrounds. The gap first becomes apparent at Key Stage 1 (ages 5 – 7) and only gets wider throughout primary and secondary school....

09 09 2020
Should we be differentiating literacy instruction?

A recent meta-analysis explored the impact of differentiated instruction in elementary literacy.  Differentiated instruction is when teachers “modify content, process, and/or products in response to individual student differences in readiness, learning profiles, and interests.”  These modifications may be designed before the instruction takes place, or happen organically as teachers react to students’ learning.  Instruction may also be differentiated by adjusting the content (what students learn), the process (how students learn), and the product (how student demonstrate learning).  This meta-analysis attempted to systematically examine whether differentiation in the general (Tier 1) classroom by a general education teacher is effective, and whether there are any factors that explain differences in that effectiveness.  A total of 18 studies were included in the review. The results were as follows: Across all studies, outcomes were significantly positive for comprehension (ES = +0.09) and letter-word reading (ES = +0.20), but did not reach significance for fluency or...

09 09 2020