卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief

Secondary School Education

Printed vs digital text: A meta-analysis

A recent meta-analysis in The Journal of Research on Reading has synthesized the findings of studies comparing print and digital text regarding time required to read, reading comprehension, and readers' perceptions of their comprehension. Researcher Virginia Clinton performed a systematic literature review, only including studies using random assignment and that were published between 2008 and 2018, yielding 29 reports of 33 studies for analysis. She found that: Readers require equal amounts of time to read print and digital text, although screen reading negatively impacted reading comprehension (ES= -0.25). Readers were more accurately able to judge their comprehension on paper (ES= +0.20) than on screen. The negative effect on performance for reading text from screens rather than paper did not vary for readers who were adults or children (under 18). However, the author suggests this finding should be interpreted with caution because there were more studies with adult participants (26) than child...

11 09 2019
Results of a large randomized controlled trial of growth mindset

A randomized controlled trial published in the journal Nature has found that a short, online, self-administered growth mindset intervention may improve achievement among lower-achieving students and increase overall enrollment in advanced math courses. The study, conducted by David S. Yeager and colleagues, was the largest ever randomized controlled trial of growth mindset in U.S. schools, with 12,000 ninth graders in 65 schools involved. Students were individually randomized to either a control or intervention group. The intervention group was asked to complete two 25-minute online courses, taken three weeks apart. Students were given information about how the brain works and the latest research on growth mindset, then they completed activities such as explaining what they had learned from the course to students in the year below. Students in the control group were given a similar program with information on how the brain worked, but no information on growth mindset. Following the intervention, students' grade point average (GPA)...

11 09 2019
Effects of Positive Emotion Interventions on Chinese Adolescents

In recent years, interventions that apply positive psychology principles have become increasingly popular, providing an alternative approach to promoting students’ well-being. A recent research published in Frontiers in Psychology examined a positive education program in China focusing on positive emotion for middle school students” Participants were drawn from a public middle school in the city of Chengdu, China. A total of 173 eighth graders from six classes participated in this study, of which 84 were randomly allocated to the experiment group, and 89 were assigned in the control group. Students in the experiment group received a 10-session positive education program delivered by their head-teachers who received training in positive psychology from the researchers. The program consisted of three main modules, namely understanding emotions, fostering positive emotions and managing negative emotions. Each session lasted 45 minutes. Students in the control group spent the same time taking a moral education class that...

11 09 2019
Teaching secondary students to write effectively

The Institute of Education Sciences has released a What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) Educator’s Practice Guide. The guide, Teaching Secondary Students to Write Effectively, provides evidence-based recommendations for improving the writing skills of middle and high school students. The WWC and a panel chaired by Steve Graham at Arizona State University synthesized existing research on the topic and combined it with insight from the panel to identify the following recommendations, which include a rating of the strength of the research evidence supporting each recommendation: Explicitly teach appropriate writing strategies using a Model-Practice-Reflect instructional cycle (strong evidence) Integrate writing and reading to emphasize key writing features (moderate evidence) Use assessments of student writing to inform instruction and feedback (minimal evidence) To help teachers put the recommendations into practice, the guide describes over 30 specific strategies for the classroom, including sample writing prompts, activities that incorporate both writing and reading, and ways to use...

29 08 2019
How UK students’ writing has changed since 1980

A Research published by Cambridge Assessment shows how 16-year-old students’ writing in exams has changed since 1980. Aspects of Writing has been published by Cambridge Assessment approximately every 10 years, initially using a sample from 1980. This latest phase of the study focuses on writing samples from 2014. Key findings include: The percentage of spelling errors at the lowest level of achievement is higher in 2014 than in most years. The incidence of spelling errors has changed very little among the mid- and higher-achieving students. There is some evidence that use of “other” punctuation marks such as semi-colons has increased among higher-achieving students but decreased sharply among the lowest-achieving students. There is a cautious indication of a general improvement in the use of commas. There is an increase in the use of simple sentences among higher-achieving students. The researchers observe that these students tended to use simple sentences for literary effect....

29 08 2019
Writing activities and reading comprehension: What’s the link?

An article in Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal presents a meta-analysis on the effects of different writing activities on reading comprehension. A total of 19 studies involving students in grades 1-12 met inclusion criteria, resulting in four comparisons between different writing activities: summary writing versus answering questions, summary writing versus note taking, answering questions versus note taking, and answering questions versus extended writing activities. Results indicated that there were no statistically significant differences for any of the comparisons when effects were averaged over all reading comprehension measures, excluding treatment-inherent measures. However, statistically significant differences were found for two of the comparisons on specific measures: Extended writing enhanced reading comprehension better than question answering on measures where comprehension was assessed via an extended writing activity. Also, summary writing enhanced reading comprehension better than question answering on a free recall measure. According to the authors, these results “provide limited support for the theoretical viewpoint...

29 08 2019
Better schools for all?

The Better Schools for All? report, published by the Nuffield Foundation, examines the role that schools play in students’ education and suggests that the school reforms in the UK in the past two decades have failed to bridge the gap in student achievement. Researchers from University College London and the National Institute of Economic and Social Research looked at data from around 3,000 secondary schools in England between 2003 and 2016 and compared student outcomes and teachers’ experiences with those of employees elsewhere. They found that: Attending a “good” secondary school adds only a small amount more value than attending a “bad” secondary Overall, schools were found to contribute around 10% of variance in student achievement. State schools are better at managing staff than private schools. Using Workplace Employment Relations Survey data, the study shows that state schools were more likely to have rigorous hiring practices and employee participation programs than private...

13 08 2019
Career education in secondary schools

Attending career talks with people in employment may change the attitudes of UK Key Stage 4 (ages 14–16) students regarding their education, according to new research published by the UK charity, Education and Employers. Year 11 students in five schools took part in the trial and were randomly assigned at class level into an intervention group (n=307) and a control group (n=347). Students in the intervention group received three extra career talks by employee volunteers on top of usual career activities organized by their schools. These talks took place either in a homeroom-type setting or private study time rather than during class. The results of the study indicated that: Students who attended the career talks reported feeling more confident in their own abilities, feeling more positive about school, and having greater faith in their ability to fulfill their career aspirations. It also seemed to provide the incentive for increased study time. Students...

13 08 2019
An evaluation of QuickSmart Numeracy

QuickSmart Numeracy is a 30-week math tutoring program from Australia that uses teaching assistants as tutors. Its goal is to increase basic math fact automaticity/fluency in students in Year 4 and Year 8 who perform in the bottom third of their national cohort as measured on standardized testing, the premise being that increased math fluency allows students to devote their concentration to math concepts instead of fact recall. Researchers from the Teachers and Teaching Research Centre in the School of Education at the University of Newcastle, Australia, recently examined the effects of the program on student achievement in a randomized controlled trial. Subjects were 288 Year 4 and Year 8 students from 70 classrooms in 23 Sydney Catholic Schools in New South Wales who scored below the bottom 30th percentile on national standardized testing. Baseline testing was done in March 2017 using the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) Progressive Achievement...

13 08 2019