卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief

Achievement

Virtual charter schools’ consistent and persistent negative impacts

As COVID-19 pushes more schools online, the call for evidence of online learning is at a premium. Virtual charter schools are one recent innovation claiming to utilize technology for more individualized and flexible learning. However, a recent article published in Educational Researcher from Fitzpatrick and colleagues used a robust quasi-experimental approach to confirm prior negative effects of the virtual charter model as a whole. Fitzpatrick and colleagues looked at state-wide end-of-year test results from Indiana in grades 3-8, including data from students in four virtual charter schools and 67 in-person (“bricks and mortar”) charter schools. The researchers set up a comparison group by matching students who transferred into a virtual charter school to a similar student in a traditional public school. They also looked at how virtual students compared to students who transferred into the more typical, in-person charter school. Results show that: Virtual charters schools negatively affected student achievement. This effect grew...

15 07 2020
Are prematurely born children at higher risk of lower academic performance?

Published in the open access journal JAMA Network Open, this systematic review and meta-analysis considers the associations between premature birth and academic achievement in reading and math. Melinda McBryde and colleagues looked at 33 unique studies comparing the academic outcomes of school-age children who were born prematurely (n=4,006) with children born full-term (n=3,317). The meta-analysis compared mean scores from standardized tests of reading and math (and associated subskills). The results showed that Children who were born prematurely scored lower on reading comprehension and applied mathematical problems than their full-term peers. Premature children also scored lower than their term-born peers in math calculation, decoding, mathematical knowledge, word identification, and mathematical fluency. Extremely premature children (those born at less than 28 weeks’ gestation) had significantly lower reading performance compared with children born full-term. However, children born at 28 to 32 weeks’ gestation did not exhibit later reading deficits compared with full-term peers. Looking at the...

17 06 2020
The relationship between well-being and achievement among Chinese elementary school students

The importance of promoting well-being in schools has been increasingly emphasized. A recent longitudinal study published in School Psychology investigated the relationships between academic achievement, self-esteem, and subjective well-being across time among elementary school students in China. Participating students, who were from Grades 3, 4, and 5, were randomly selected from classes in two elementary schools in a city in Southern China. The study assessed students’ academic achievement, self-esteem, and subjective well-being three times, at intervals of six months.  A cohort of 807 students participated in the first assessment, 790 in the second and 792 in the third. The findings showed that: Academic achievement positively predicted later subjective well-being in school. In particular, the study identified that elementary school students with better academic achievement reported a higher level of self-esteem, which later contributed to a higher level of subjective well-being in schools. However, unexpectedly, neither well-being nor self-esteem could predict...

02 06 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
How could parents effectively support children’s home learning ?

A recent meta-analysis published in Psychological Bulletin identified the importance of parental involvement in children’s adjustment. Parents should note that while their involvements were beneficial to students in many ways, their assisting in homework might have negative impacts on student’s achievements. This metanalysis was based on 448 independent studies that met the inclusion criteria, which included data from more than 480,000 families. The study analyzed the effects of parent’s school and home involvement’s on children’s adjustments. The findings showed that: In all, parents’ involvement was positively related to children’s outcomes. Parents’ involvement was beneficial not only to students’ achievement but also to students’ engagement, motivation, and social and emotional adjustments. Parents’ school involvement, which included participation in schools and governance, was beneficial. Except for homework involvement ,parents’ home involvement was beneficial to children’s adjustments in all aspects. These beneficial home involvement included discussion, encouragement, and provision of cognitively stimulating activities...

24 04 2020
Does quality of instruction improve outcomes in early childhood education?

The Education Endowment Foundation in the U.K. has published an evaluation of a program that trains preschool teachers to improve children’s language outcomes. The Using Research Tools to Improve Language in the Early Years (URLEY) intervention is an evidence-based professional development program for preschool teachers. It is designed to improve teacher’s knowledge of how children learn and develop oral language skills, and how to support that learning through evidence-based practice. Teachers take part in five day-long professional development workshops in which they are introduced to evidence-based learning principles and research tools to evaluate and refine pedagogy and practice. In particular, teachers are taught to use Environment Rating Scales (ERS) —research-validated observational rating scales known to predict aspects of children’s development, with higher scores linked to improved math and English achievement. Teachers watched videos of effective practice and were supported to use the language principles and ERS to “tune in” to language-supporting practice....

07 04 2020
What are the effects of increased learning time?

The Institute of Education Sciences has released a report that examines the effects of increased learning time on student academic and nonacademic outcomes. A meta-analysis was conducted on the topic in which over 7,000 studies were screened, but only 30 met the research team’s standards for rigorous research (including meeting evidence standards established by the What Works Clearinghouse). A review of those 30 studies found that increased learning time can be positive under some conditions. Some forms of instruction tailored to the needs of specific types of students were found to improve their circumstances. Specific findings included: Increased learning time promoted student achievement in mathematics and literacy when instruction was led by a certified teacher and when teachers used a traditional instructional style (i.e., the teacher is responsible for the progression of activities and students follow directions to complete tasks). Increased learning time improved literacy outcomes for students performing below standards. Increased...

24 03 2020
The benefits of peer learning

Harriet R. Tenenbaum and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis to examine results from 71 studies about the effects of peer interaction on learning. To be included in the review, studies had to include a comparison group. Peer interaction was defined as small groups of students working together to achieve common goals of learning. Approaches using more formal training, such as cooperative learning or peer tutoring, were excluded. The majority of the studies were conducted in the U.S. and U.K. and included more than 7,000 children between ages 4 and 18. Published in Journal of Educational Psychology, their findings suggest that: Peer interaction was effective in promoting learning in comparison with other types of learning conditions (effect size = +0.40) across different gender and age groups. In contrast, children working in peer groups were not more effective than children working individually with adults. There was also no effect for group size, with findings suggesting that...

10 03 2020
Classroom management interventions made a difference

A meta-analysis of classroom management interventions has found that they improved academic, behavioral, and social-emotional outcomes. Published in the Review of Educational Research, the study included 54 classroom management interventions in 47 studies published between 2003 and 2013. It included some interventions that had been evaluated several times (including Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies (PATHS), the Good Behavior Game, and Zippy’s Friends). About three-quarters of the studies were carried out in the U.S., with the remainder in Europe and Canada. Most interventions were focused on changing students’ behavior (85%), improving students’ social-emotional development (74%), or changing teachers’ behavior (54%). Only two interventions were specifically targeted to improving teacher–student relationships. The analysis found that: There was an overall effect size of +0.22 for the interventions, with a slightly higher effect on behavior (+0.24), and less on social-emotional (+0.21) and academic (+0.17) outcomes. There was no significant effect on motivational outcomes. The analysis also indicated that...

12 02 2020