卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief

Types of Evidence

Chinese students in learner-centered instruction

Although learner-centered instruction has become increasingly popular, some may wonder what its effects on students from the non-western cultural group have been. A recent study published in European Journal of Psychology of Education investigated the effects of learner-centered instruction on the learning behaviors and academic motivation of Chinese students. Three hundred and ninety-four junior-high-school students from two schools in South-eastern China formed the experimental-group in this study, while 368 junior-high-school students from another two schools of matched background participated as the control group. Teachers in the experimental group received two months’ training in learner-centered instruction from university specialists, while teachers in the control groups continued teaching as usual, using the traditional teacher-centered approach. Students were assessed by measuring the perceived instruction behaviors of their teachers, their academic motivations and learning behaviors before and after the two-months’ training. Students in the experimental group were no different from the control-group students in...

19 05 2020
A meta-analysis of writing in social studies, science, and math

Is writing about classroom content an effective way to learn? Arizona State University's Steven Graham and colleagues at the University of Utah recently performed a meta-analysis on the effects of writing about classroom content in social studies, science, and math. Specifically, they examined if writing increased student achievement, if the results differed among subjects, and if any relationships existed by grade level, activity type, or any other factors.  To be included, studies had to meet quality-indicator criteria including true or quasi-experimental research design, reliability of measures, controlling for teacher effects, multiple classes in the experimental and control conditions, experimental and control group pretest equivalence, and both groups experiencing equal amounts of time learning the same topics. This search yielded 56 studies in 53 documents meeting criteria for inclusion, involving 6,235 students in grades 1-11. Students in experimental groups wrote about classroom content, while most controls did not write at all. Forty-six percent...

19 05 2020
Parents as Teachers in Switzerland

A randomized controlled trial published in Early Childhood Research Quarterly examines the effectiveness of the Parents as Teachers (PAT) program in Zurich, Switzerland. PAT is a parent teaching program that begins during pregnancy, or shortly after birth, and continues until the child’s third birthday. Among its goals, PAT aims to increase parental knowledge of early childhood development and improve parental practice and, in the long term, increase the child’s school readiness and success. A total of 261 children from 248 families took part in the trial. Families in the intervention group (n=132) were supported with regular home visits from qualified parent educators with a degree in early education, and attended group meetings. The 116 families in the control group had access to the normal community services but were not supported by PAT. The results showed that: After three years of the PAT program, children showed more age-appropriate adaptive behavior, with small effect sizes in...

19 05 2020
The effects of high-quality PD on teachers and students

A report from the Education Policy Institute (EPI) in the U.K. reviews the evidence on the impact of professional development (PD) for teachers, and finds that high-quality PD can play a role in improving teaching quality. Commissioned by Wellcome, the rapid review and meta-analysis examined 52 randomized controlled trials evaluating PD programs for teachers in order to establish their impact on student and teacher outcomes. These were trials of interventions that went beyond current practice in school, and might include training courses, mentoring, seminars, and peer review. The findings of the report suggest that High-quality PD has a positive effect on students’ learning outcomes (ES = +0.09). The review also suggests that the availability of high-quality PD may have a positive impact on teacher retention, particularly for early-career teachers.   Source: Fletcher-Wood, H., & Zuccollo, J. (2020). The effects of high-quality professional development on teachers and students – A rapid review and meta-analysis....

19 05 2020
Keeping teachers engaged is key to retention

There is a strong interaction between how engaged and supported teachers feel and intention to remain or leave the profession, an analysis by Sarah Lynch and colleagues for the UK’s National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER)  has found. The research is based on data collected from four rounds of NFER’s nationally representative Teacher Voice survey between June 2015 and May 2016, and 21 in-depth interviews with teachers who have recently left or are considering leaving the state sector. It explores how engaged and supported teachers feel and how this has changed over the last year, and analyzes how it relates to their intention to remain in the profession or to leave. The findings were as follow: Half of the teachers surveyed were “engaged,” and of these, 90% said that they were not considering leaving, compared with 26% of “disengaged” teachers. Math teachers and senior leaders were found to have high levels of...

05 05 2020
Burnout among Chinese kindergarten teachers

Teaching stress has become a well-confirmed problem among teachers over recent decades. Recently, a study conducted in Tianjin, China, also investigated the prevalence and correlates of burnout among Chinese kindergarten teachers. The study randomly selected and invited 1795 kindergarten teachers to participate in a survey study conducted from July to October 2018. The teachers invited were from 16 districts in Tianjin, where more than 1200 kindergartens were based. The response rate was 97%. Maslach Burnout Inventory-General Survey scale was used to access the burnout level in terms of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and diminished professional accomplishment. The study found that: The prevalence of burnout in Chinese kindergarten teachers was 53.2%. Respectively, 38.6%, 23.8%, and 21.8% of teachers reported a high level of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and a low level of professional accomplishment. Teachers who were dissatisfied with their income were more likely to experience burnout than their counterparts. Kindergarten teachers who...

05 05 2020
Training versus coaching to improve teaching

A study by Jacobus Cilliers and Stephen Taylor reports the results of a randomized controlled trial of two different approaches to improving the teaching of reading in primary schools in South Africa. More than two hundred schools took part and were randomly assigned to three treatment groups: a training intervention group, a coaching intervention group, and a control group. Teachers in the first intervention group received a one-off training session. Teachers in the second intervention group were visited on a monthly basis by a specialist reading coach who monitored their teaching, provided feedback, and demonstrated teaching practices. Both interventions provided teachers with structured lesson plans. Teachers in the control group received the usual level of government support and in-service training. The study measured the impact of the intervention on both student learning and teaching activity in the classroom. They found that: Coaching improved students’ reading by 0.24 standard deviations compared to students...

05 05 2020
Do teacher pay incentives improve student test scores?

A meta-analysis published in the American Educational Research Journal looks at the association between teacher pay incentives and students’ test scores, and suggests that teacher pay incentives have the potential to improve student test scores in some contexts. Lam D. Pham and colleagues analyzed effect sizes across 37 studies, 26 of which were conducted in the U.S. To be included in the meta-analysis, studies had to include a sample comprising K-12 teachers and students located in a district or state that had a teacher pay incentive program. Studies also had to use a randomized controlled trial with a business-as-usual comparison group, and report on student outcomes on standardized tests. The results were: Overall, among the U.S.-based studies, the effect of teacher pay incentives on student test scores was positive (ES= +0.043). However, this varied across subjects and settings. The average effect size of pay incentives on students’ math test scores (ES= +0.050) was...

05 05 2020
Online Learning: Is it Effective?

There has been unprecedentedly large-scale amount of online learning or distant learning conducted every day during the COVID-19 outbreak, making people curious about the effectiveness of it. However, in 2010, the U.S. Department of Education had already conducted a meta-analysis of online learning studies. The report examined the effectiveness of online learning compared with face-to-face instruction and explored the practices and conditions that were associated with more effective online learning. The meta-analysis screened 50 effect sizes that fulfilled its inclusion criteria, providing a contrast between online learning and face-to-face learning or blended learning and face-to-face learning. However, given there were only a few rigorous studies of K-12 students at that time, 43 out of  the 50 effect sizes were drawn from research with older learners. In all, the results suggested that: Students in online conditions performed modestly better than students who learned the same material through traditional face-to-face instruction. However,...

24 04 2020