卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief

Secondary School Education

Digital divide in online learning in China

Online learning has drastically expanded in recent years. While some people believe there are certain advantages of online learning over traditional learning, others are concerned online learning will widen the inequality. Certainly, the online learning tsunami has created what is described as the “Digital divide”, which refers to the differences in access to, use of, and skills in information and communication technology (ICT) among different social groups. A study by Guo and Wan examined equity issues in online learning in China during the COVID-19 pandemic. Stratified sampling was conducted to draw sample data from the Online Learning Survey of High School Students. A total of 27,710 (49.7% boys) students’ responses from 164 high schools in 10 provinces was included in the study. Three levels of digital divide were assessed regarding students’ online learning during the pandemic: First-level digital divide refers to equipment and network conditions. Though 95% of students had...

06 01 2023
Research of the feasibility and sustainability of school-based vision programs (SBVP)

Because of the lack of health care for children in eye care, school-based vision programs (SBVP) have been implemented in 20 states across the US. These programs involve bringing mobile clinics into schools and providing comprehensive eye exams to detect the uncorrected refractive error needs of students who have not passed vision screening, and at the end of the exam, parents receive a letter of feedback on the student’s results. The purpose of this article is to summarize the clinical outcomes of an SBVP program in the Baltimore City Public Schools and the implications, and challenges faced. First, the screening results found that SBVP worked for children who failed screening questions in the first year of the Vision for Baltimore (V4B) program. By collecting refractive error profiles, it was found that those students who did not wear glasses had a more severe refractive error, and those who wore glasses and...

06 01 2023
Mathematics interventions for adolescents with mathematics difficulties: A meta-analysis

A meta-analysis published in the Learning Disabilities Journal has synthesized the findings of interventions designed to improve the mathematics achievement of secondary school students with mathematics difficulties (MD). A group of nine researchers performed a systematic literature review focusing on mathematics interventions targeting two categories of students having a MD: students with a documented disability under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) (i.e., math LD) and students with persistent low mathematics achievement at the secondary level. The authors identified 45 studies that met their inclusion criteria reporting findings for 49 interventions from which 139 effect sizes were extracted and used for the meta-analysis. They obtained a positive, statistically significant mean effect of +0.52 (p < .001), suggesting that the math interventions were generally effective. In terms of moderators of treatment effects, the results of meta-regression found significant effects for two intervention characteristics (i.e., including content domain and intervention duration),...

23 12 2022
Effects of DISE ELL instruction after one and two years

Direct Instruction Spoken English (DISE) is a curriculum designed to teach English as a second language to students in grades 4 to 12. DISE integrates students with varying native languages and groups them by English language proficiency. DISE starts with the basics in vocabulary, pronunciation, comprehension, and syntax, and increases in complexity across all areas. Teachers provide frequent, explicit instruction and feedback. In a randomized, controlled evaluation, Chapparo and colleagues compared the effects of DISE on 6th and 7th grade English language learners with beginning-intermediate English language skills to a similar group who experienced business-as-usual second language instruction, looking at their performance at the end of one and two years. Twenty-nine schools in Texas, Oregon, and Washington were randomly assigned to DISE (n=14) or to a business-as-usual control condition (n=15). Experimental students received DISE 45-55 minutes a day, every other day, which is half the recommended amount. Control groups received...

09 12 2022
How can a growth mindset intervention help students?

Mindsets or implicit theories are terms which refer to various subconscious beliefs about the malleability of human attributes (e.g., intelligence and emotion). Huang and colleagues recently conducted a pilot experiment to examine the effect of a growth mindset intervention on students’ implicit theory of intelligence, intrinsic motivation, and academic achievement. The authors extended the intervention to establish a belief about the malleability of emotion so that students can regulate their emotion and thereby enhance their sense of self-determination, which is likely to reinforce their intrinsic motivation for learning. Students of 11 primary and middle schools across 48 classes from 2 cities in Guangdong Province, China, were recruited to sign up to the program. Participating students were randomly assigned either to the intervention group or the placebo-control group. The final sample consisted of 194 students (mean age = 11.3 years) in the intervention group and 213 students (mean age = 11.5...

18 11 2022
Does school tracking increase efficiency and inequalities in educational systems?

The Review of Educational Research recently published a meta-analysis to evaluate the effects of school tracking on student achievement and inequalities. School tracking is the practice of assigning students based on their abilities and interests to different types of education, such as type of school or curricula. Within-school tracking consists of grouping students in different classrooms (e.g., ability grouping). Between-school tracking assigns students to different types of schools (e.g., vocational, academic), where the subjects taught are different and specific. The authors evaluated the effects of the two types of school tracking on student academic achievement – considering that a measure of efficiency of an educational system – as well as on inequalities, measured in two ways: dispersion of student performance, meaning the gap between high and low performers; and the interaction between social-economic background and student achievement. A positive interaction means that socio-economic background has a larger effect in tracked...

18 11 2022
The effects of project-based learning on advanced placement exam scores

A recent cluster randomized controlled trial by Saavedra and colleagues evaluated the effect of a project-based learning approach to teaching advanced placement (AP) courses on AP exam scores. More schools are now offering advanced placement courses. Still, racial and socioeconomic gaps in attaining qualifying AP scores persist. Depending on the postsecondary institution, a qualifying AP score can help students earn college credits. The authors note that project-based learning may be a more relevant and applicable approach for all students to learn complex content, perform well on AP exams, and pursue and persist in postsecondary education. The intervention provided teachers with professional development and curricular materials to teach their respective AP course with a focus on project-based learning. Professional development consisted of a four-day summer institute, four full-day coaching sessions during the academic year, online coaching, and access to a curriculum portal. This specific study focused on project-based learning in AP...

21 10 2022
A study of a communication app’s effectiveness on decreasing absenteeism

Absenteeism is negatively associated with student outcomes. It is now a problem faced by many schools in the District of Columbia. Many schools have tried various strategies of engaging families to reduce or prevent absenteeism, including two-way communications about students’ attendance. Recently, a group of researchers from the Office of the City Administrator conducted an experiment to evaluate an application, TeacherText, which is specifically designed for teachers to engage families in two-way communications. The experiment involved 57 administrators and teachers and 2,229 students randomly divided into treatment and control groups across six public secondary schools in DC. For the ethical consideration that all students and their families should have the opportunity to receive some messages, administrators in both groups could use TeacherText to send messages to students and families. Treatment teachers were also given permission to do so, while control teachers were not. The experiment lasted for one semester (2019-2020)....

07 10 2022
Evaluation of an online computer programming training approach with precision feedback

Due to the rapid development of information technology, acquiring programming knowledge is growing in prominence, and computation thinking becomes a fundamental skill for children just like reading and math. Using the Two-Tier Test-Based Programming Training (T3PT) approach, Hwang and Tung developed an online learning system for beginners and conducted a quasi-experiment to examine the effect of the system on secondary school students’ computer programming learning. The Two-Tier Test-Based Programming Training (T3PT) consists of two tiers of questions: The first tier assesses students’ understanding of the programming concept The second tier investigates the reasons for students’ choice in the first tier test to detect whether students have misconceptions about the programming. The learning system then, based on students’ responses, provides timely precise feedback to students to enhance their understanding of the correct concepts of programming logic. Two classes of 99 eighth grade students (mean age = 14.2) from Taiwan were divided...

23 09 2022