卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief

Secondary School Education

Interleaved practice improves math test scores

The results of a randomized controlled trial, published in Journal of Educational Psychology, suggest that a greater emphasis on interleaved practice may dramatically improve math test scores for seventh graders. Whereas most mathematics worksheets consist of a block of problems devoted to the same skill or concept, an interleaved worksheet is arranged so that no two consecutive problems require the same strategy. Doug Rohrer and colleagues conducted the study with 54 classes in a large school district in Florida during the 2017–2018 school year. Over a period of four months, the classes periodically completed either interleaved or blocked worksheets, and then both groups completed an interleaved review worksheet. All students completed the same problems. One month later, students took an unannounced test which was set by the researchers. The study found that: Students who had completed the interleaved assignments performed much better on the unannounced test than those in the blocked assignment...

02 07 2019
How engaged are teachers with research?

A research briefing published by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) in the UK looks at what progress has been made in embedding evidence-informed practice within teaching in England. As part of the brief, researchers from the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) summarized findings from a nationally representative survey of 1,670 schools and teachers. The survey was conducted between September and November 2017, and investigated teachers’ research use. The results of the survey suggest that: Research evidence continues to play a relatively small role in influencing teachers’ decision-making. Eighty-four percent of those surveyed said that their continuing professional development was based on information other than academic research. Most teachers report that their schools offer supporting environments, which enablesevidence-informed practice to flourish. Seventy-three percent ‘agreed’ or ‘strongly agreed’ that their school provided a positive culture for professional development and evidence use. Teachers report generally positive attitudes towards research evidence, despite the fact that research evidence had...

02 07 2019
Using Expressive Writing to Reduce Test Anxiety

Test Anxiety can have negative impacts on students’ performance and psychological health. This study published in PLOS ONE examined whether expressive writing could be beneficial to alleviate test anxiety. Lujun Shen and colleagues conducted a randomized controlled trial among senior high school students in China who were facing The National Higher Education Entrance Examination (Gaokao), which is considered the most important exam of a student’s life. The study randomly selected 200 students from three senior-high schools in Xinxiang city. Students were first assessed for eligibility. A sample of 75 students was recruited into the study for having a high level of test anxiety. Then, 38 of them were allocated into an expressive writing group, and 37 of them were allocated to a control writing group. Students in the expressive writing group were instructed to write for 20 minutes about the positive emotions they had each day, consecutively for 30 days....

02 07 2019
What works for struggling readers?

Amanda Inns and colleagues from Johns Hopkins Center for Research and Reform in Education have completed a research review on effective programs for struggling readers in elementary schools. A total of 61 studies of 48 programs met study inclusion standards. 84% were randomized experiments and 16% quasi-experiments. Results showed that: There were positive outcomes for one-to-one tutoring and positive but not as large for one-to-small group tutoring. There were no differences in outcomes between teachers and teaching assistants as tutors. Whole-class approaches (mostly cooperative learning) and whole-school approaches incorporating tutoring obtained outcomes for struggling readers as large as those found for one-to-one tutoring, and benefitted many more students. However, technology-supported adaptive instruction did not have positive outcomes. The article concludes that approaches mixing classroom and school improvements with tutoring for the most at-risk students have the greatest potential for the largest numbers of struggling readers.   Source (Open Access): Inns, A. J.,...

19 06 2019
How do students in China and the U.S. perceive school climate differently?

School climate includes factors that serve as conditions for learning and support physical and emotional safety, connection, support, and engagement, as the U.S. Department of Education suggests. In this study published in School Psychology Quarterly, Bear and colleagues examined how students in China and the U.S. perceive school climate differently and how it relates to their engagement in schools. 3,716 Chinese students from 18 schools in Guangzhou and 4,085 American students from 15 schools in Delaware were compared in this study. All schools were suburban schools or urban schools. The sample of American students was randomly selected from a larger dataset consisting of 37,255 students prepared by the Delaware Department of Education to match the student numbers of the Chinese student sample. Students who participated in this study were from grades 3-5, 7-8 and 10-12. Grade 6 and grade 9 were excluded from this study since students in these two...

19 06 2019
Promoting positive youth development in afterschool programs

Researchers at Child Trends, the Claremont Evaluation Center, and LA’s BEST—a large afterschool program in Los Angeles—have developed a white paper for program leaders, policymakers, and other afterschool stakeholders that examines promising practices for promoting positive youth development in afterschool programs. The research team conducted a review of the literature (limited to meta-analyses) on protective and promotive factors that (1) support positive developmental outcomes among youth, (2) are malleable through intervention, and (3) have direct relevance to the afterschool context. The literature review highlighted four categories of actionable, evidence-informed practices that afterschool program leadership and staff can implement to build protective and promotive factors. The four categories are as follows: Intentional organizational practices: practices that afterschool leadership can purposefully utilize to support the implementation of high-quality programming in afterschool programs (e.g., leadership engages in thoughtful staff hiring, onboarding, and training practices; leadership fosters collaboration among staff and across settings). High-quality learning environments:...

19 06 2019
Does anxiety affect performance, or poor performance cause anxiety?

Math anxiety is the state of discomfort around the performance of mathematical tasks. Does math anxiety cause poor performance in mathematics, or is it poor performance in mathematics that causes math anxiety? The question is important, because it affects the “treatment” that results. Should the focus be on improving students’ confidence, or their math ability? A review in Frontiers in Psychology considers the evidence supporting the two models – The Deficit Theory, which claims that poor performance leads to high anxiety, or The Debilitating Anxiety Theory, which claims that anxiety reduces performance by affecting the pre-processing, processing, and retrieval of information. The review reveals that the evidence is conflicting – There is research to support the Deficit Theory, with the strongest evidence coming from longitudinal studies and studies of mathematical disabilities. Similarly, there is support for the Debilitating Anxiety Model from studies across all ages that have manipulated anxiety to reveal either...

05 06 2019
Improving mathematical problem solving in grades 4 through 8

This practice guide from the What Works Clearinghouse provides five recommendations for improving students’ mathematical problem solving in grades 4 through 8. The guide is geared toward teachers, math coaches, other educators, and curriculum developers who want to improve the mathematical problem solving of students. Recommendations include: Assist students in monitoring and reflecting on the problem-solving process. Teach students how to use visual representations. Expose students to multiple problem-solving strategies. The guide presents evidence-based suggestions for putting each recommendation into practice and describes roadblocks that may be encountered, as well as possible solutions. Each recommendation is rated based on the strength of the research evidence that has shown the effectiveness of the recommendation. The recommendations listed above have strong to moderate evidence of effectiveness.   Source (Open Access): Woodward, J., Beckmann, S., Driscoll, M., Franke, M., Herzig, P., Jitendra, A., …Ogbuehi, P. (2012). Improving mathematical problem solving in grades 4 through 8:...

05 06 2019
Traditional teaching methods may be putting off math students

Traditional teaching methods, where the teacher stands at the front and dictates to the class, may be affecting students’ attitudes toward math, suggested by researchers at the University of Manchester. More than 13,000 11- to 16-year-old students and 128 teachers at 40 secondary schools across England were asked to complete questionnaires detailing the kind of activities they experienced in math lessons. The study found that: Traditional activities such as copying the teacher’s notes from the board and being asked questions by the teacher were most frequently cited, ahead of alternative learning approaches such as using media-like magazines and videos in class. Students who reported a more traditional teaching experience in their lessons also named math as their least favorite subject. The results of a review in 2009 from the Johns Hopkins School of Education’s Center for Research and Reform in Education, Effective Programs in Middle and High School Mathematics: A Best-Evidence...

05 06 2019