卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief

Achievement

Positive effects of an urban debate league

Johns Hopkins University’s Daniel Shackelford has conducted the first quantitative study examining the effects of participation in an extracurricular debate club during preadolescence on students’ later academic and engagement outcomes, including entry to selective-entrance high schools. Dr. Shackelford examined a 10-year sample of 2,263 4th to 8th graders participating in Baltimore City’s Baltimore Urban Debate League (BUDL) between the 2004 to 2013 school years, comparing their standardized math and reading scores, attendance, and entry to selective-entrance high schools to 81,906 peers who did not participate in BUDL. Ninety-one percent of both groups were African American, and 96% of both groups received free and reduced-price lunch. Results showed that: Among the debate students themselves, preadolescent debate participation yielded more than a 6% increase in reading scores and a 4% increase in math scores on standardized testing. While debate inherently involves reading and might be accountable for increased reading achievement, Dr. Shackelford observes...

08 05 2019
Parent-teacher meetings and student outcomes

Engaging parents in their children’s education, both at home and at school, can be an effective and low-cost way of improving learning outcomes for students. A study published in European Economic Review examines whether academic achievement can be improved by increasing parental involvement through scheduled parent-teacher meetings. Asad Islam conducted the randomized controlled trial in schools in two southern districts of Bangladesh. Seventy-six primary schools were chosen randomly from more than 200 in these regions, with 40 schools randomly allocated to the intervention group and 36 to the control group. Students in these schools all came from low socioeconomic backgrounds, and a quarter of parents did not complete primary school. The intervention involved monthly face-to-face meetings between parents and teachers over a period of two academic years. At each 15-minute meeting, teachers discussed with parents their child’s academic progress and provided them with a report card for their child. Student achievement outcomes were measured...

08 05 2019
Does school entry age matter?

In the UK, children usually start elementary school in the academic year in which they turn five. However, because entry rules vary across local districts, some schools may defer entry for children born later in the year until the second or third term. A new study by the Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM) at University College London looks at what impact an earlier versus later entry into Reception has on students' cognitive and non-cognitive skills up until age 11 (their final year of primary school). Christian Dustmann and Thomas Cornelissen analyzed information on more than 400,000 children born in 2000-01 who attend state schools in England and whose records are included in the National Pupil Database. This was combined with information on more than 7,000 children born in 2000-01 who took part in the Millennium Cohort study. The researchers found that Receiving an extra month of schooling before age...

10 04 2019
No impact for sleep education pilot

An evaluation of a pilot of Teensleep, a sleep education program that aims to improve outcomes for students by improving the quality of their sleep, found no evidence that the program led to improvements in students’ sleep. The Teensleep program trains teachers to promote good ‘sleep hygiene’ as part of students’ Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) lessons. Teachers deliver a series of 10 half-hour lessons highlighting the importance of sleep for effective learning, as well as providing practical advice for better sleep, such as avoiding caffeine in the evening. Ten UK secondary schools took part in the pilot funded by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) and the Wellcome Trust. All Year 10 students received the intervention as delivered by their teachers and completed a sleep quiz and sleep survey pre- and post-intervention. Parents and students were informed about the pilot study and parents could opt-out of schools sharing students’ data with...

26 03 2019
Is social-emotional learning linked to academic performance?

A study published in Contemporary Educational Psychology looks at the benefits of a school-based social and emotional learning (SEL) intervention in relation to academic achievement by examining how the four main components that underlie the SEL model (children’s social-emotional competence, school connectedness, mental health problems, and academic achievement) interact over time. Margarita Panayiotou and colleagues from Manchester Institute of Education used data drawn from a major cluster randomized trial of the Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies (PATHS) curriculum to present a three-wave (annual assessment, T1, T2, T3) longitudinal sample. The sample included 1,626 students from 45 primary schools in north-west England. They examined the relationship over time between social-emotional competence (T1), school connectedness (T2), mental health difficulties (T2), and academic achievement (T3), and whether exposure to an SEL intervention (in this case PATHS versus usual provision) had any effect on these relationships. Findings were as follows: Social-emotional competence at T1 had a positive influence...

26 03 2019
The effect of a World Cup on students’ effort and achievement

A study published in the Journal of Public Economics examines how leisure time can impact students’ effort and educational achievement by looking at the overlap of major soccer tournaments (the FIFA World Cup and the UEFA European Championship) with GCSE exams in England (GCSEs are high-stakes exams taken in the UK). Using seven years of subject data on students in England, taken from the National Pupil Database, Robert Metcalfe and colleagues estimated the overall effect of a tournament by comparing within-student variation in performance during the exam period between tournament and non-tournament years. Overall, they found a negative average effect of the tournament on exam performance, as measured by whether students achieved a grade C or higher in at least 5 subjects at GCSE. In tournament years, the odds of achieving the benchmark of a grade C or higher in at least 5 subjects fell by 12%. For students who are likely to...

26 03 2019
Behavior incentives improve exam results for low-achieving students in the U.K.

Low-achieving students respond to incentives to increase their effort and engagement at school and do better than predicted on GCSE exams as a consequence (GCSEs are national high-stakes exams given at the end of secondary school in the U.K.). That is the main finding of a research published by the University of Bristol. The project, led by Simon Burgess, Director of the Centre for Market and Public Organisation (CMPO), included more than 10,000 year 11 students (the final year of compulsory schooling leading up to the GCSE assessments) in 63 schools. The schools were recruited in the poorest parts of neighborhoods in England and were randomized to one of the following treatment groups: financial incentives, non-financial incentives, or control. Students in the incentive treatment groups earned rewards every half-term based on inputs such as attendance, conduct, homework, and classwork, rather than for outputs such as assessment results. The financial incentive rewarded students...

30 01 2019
Low-cost tutoring boosted struggling students’ math results

An evaluation in the UK of the Education Endowment Foundation trial of Tutor Trust’s affordable instruction project found that low-cost tutoring in small groups increased math scores for disadvantaged students who are working below age-expected levels in math. One hundred and five schools in Manchester and Leeds with double the average numbers of disadvantaged students participated in the effectiveness trial of the Tutor Trust project from September 2016 until July 2017. The aim of the project is to improve the math achievement of disadvantaged students by providing small-group tutoring sessions with trained university students and recent graduates. Year 6 students (ages 10–11) who were struggling with math were selected by their teacher to receive extra support from Tutor Trust tutors, should their school be randomly allocated to the intervention group. The selected students in the intervention schools received 12 hours of additional instruction, usually one hour per week for 12...

17 01 2019
Planning ahead for summer

Heather L. Schwartz and colleagues from the RAND Corporation have released a final report on a six-year study of the National Summer Learning Project, an initiative from The Wallace Foundation that was implemented in 2011 in five urban school districts. The summer programs in these districts were district-led, voluntary summer learning programs that featured both academic instruction and enrichment opportunities to improve outcomes for low-income students. The overall study combined a randomized controlled trial with correlational analysis and implementation research to examine whether voluntary, district-run summer learning programs can improve academic, behavioral, and social and emotional outcomes for low-income, urban youth in both the short and long terms. The study followed approximately 5,600 students from third to seventh grade. Data included surveys, observations, and test data. Findings showed that students who received a minimum of 25 hours of mathematics instruction in a summer performed better on the subsequent state math test, and...

17 01 2019