卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief

Educational Administration and Leadership

The importance of monitoring the success of an intervention program

Although integrating technology into education has been found to be effective means in helping students, it may fail to produce impacts because of poor implementation. A recent cluster-random controlled trial study conducted by Mo and colleagues investigated the effect of a computer-assisted learning (CAL) program on English achievement and compared the differences in implementation of the program between institutions. The CAL program was designed to provide remedial tutoring for learning English during computer class sessions organized by a computer teacher. A balanced cohort of 120 primary schools in one of China's poorest provinces was randomized into three groups: CAL implemented by a government agency, the same program implemented by a non-government organization (NGO), and no CAL program (control schools). A total of 5,253 Grade 4 students completed the program. Both treatment groups adopted the same software packages for the tutoring, and both the government agency and the NGO conducted implementation,...

15 10 2021
Efforts to improve teacher feedback

Evaluation administrators within the Boston Public School (BPS) system received a total of 15 hours training in one of four semesters across 2013-14 to 2014-15 school years. The content focused training aimed on improving the quality and frequency of providing teacher feedback.  BPS worked in conjunction with Kraft and Christian, who recently published the results of their randomized field experiment, to evaluate the effectiveness of the training.  The researchers utilized randomized block design to assign school-based evaluation teams to one of the four training sessions. Schools assigned to fall or spring of the 2013-2014 school year served as treatment group while those trained during the fall or spring of the 2014-2015 school year served as control group. While a survey of the evaluators attending the training revealed favorable reviews of the content and an intent to implement the content in practice, surveys of teachers receiving the feedback indicated only about...

15 10 2021
Effectiveness of instructional coaching on student academic engagement

A recent randomized evaluation conducted by researchers at Rutgers University investigated the effects of Classroom Strategies Coaching Mode (CSC) on teacher outcomes and student engagement. CSC is a coaching program for teachers with the aim to increase the use of evidence-based practices in teaching and classroom management. After the identification of practice needs the coaches provide teachers with formative assessments and feedback to support implementation of practices useful to respond to their needs. The study involved 106 elementary school teachers in 14 high-poverty schools in United States. Teachers were randomly assigned to receive the intervention over 12 weeks or to a waiting list. The authors evaluated the effects of CSC on teacher outcomes, quality of instruction, and behavioral management strategies. This summary does not report teacher outcomes because they were evaluated using measures made by the researchers, which can lead to inflated results. However, student engagement in academic activities is...

15 10 2021
Does participating in extracurricular activities promote academic performance of youth in China?

Previous studies have demonstrated that participation in structured extracurricular activities (EA) promotes educational outcomes in a western context. A new research study published in the Journal of Youth Studies investigated the mechanism of the impact of participating in structured EA on educational outcomes of youth in China. The authors examined whether family SES predicted students’ participation in EA which in turn related to academic performance. In addition, they explored whether participating in EA may promote supportive social networks, which contribute to learning outcomes. Two-wave data of about 8,000 7th grade students from the China Education Panel Survey (CEPS) were collected. A baseline survey was conducted in 2014 and a follow-up survey was taken in 2015. Students reported whether they joined any extracurricular activities (e.g., sports, chess, painting) after school at baseline. Academic achievement was assessed by total scores on Chinese reading, Mathematics, and English reading.  Using students’ reported survey items,...

17 09 2021
Is nutrition education enough to help students choose healthier lunch options and reduce plate waste?

To nourish children so that learning can happen, federal lunch programs offer meals to students across the country every single day. However, many students remain deficient in their food consumption patterns and end up wasting mass quantities of these subsidized meals. Serebrennikov and colleagues of Purdue University sought to evaluate the effectiveness of a classroom intervention aimed at bolstering healthy food selection and reducing plate waste in school lunch rooms. The nutrition education intervention aims to improve student knowledge surrounding the benefits of fruit and vegetable intake. Through bi-weekly lessons that run 15 minutes each, students are guided through activities aligned with science and health teaching standards that help to define healthy eating, why it’s important, and how to do it. Through a randomized control trial implemented in ten second grade classes from three public schools in a Midwestern state, 62 students (5 classes) who received the nutrition education intervention...

17 09 2021
Excessive use of electronic devices harms children’s school performance

Interactive technology (e.g., Internet, social media, video games, etc.) is an integral part of life for youth. In a recently published research paper in Computers and Human Behavior, Anthony and her colleagues report the impact of amounts of interactive technology use on school engagement and academic performance. Two-wave survey data of 9,449 middle school students (mean age = 13.5 years) were collected in 2013-2014 and 2014-15 from the China Education Panel Survey (CEPS), a national survey in China. Students reported the time spent on their electronic devices for entertainment on school days and on weekends. Academic performance was assessed with midterm scores (Chinese, English and Mathematics), cognitive competency was measured by 20 test items (verbal, figure, quantitative). Truancy, educational aspirations, concentration in class, and boredom at school were reported by students one year later as proxy for school engagement.  After a comparison with those who did not spend any time...

03 09 2021
The effect of four-day school weeks on attendance, achievement, and discipline in high school

Although the four-day school week schedule is not a new phenomenon, it has seen unprecedented growth in its adoption over the past two decades, reaching 662 public school districts in 24 states in 2019. Prior limited research shows that the schedule reduces school expenditures by a small amount but doesn’t affect the attendance among students in grades 3-8. In a recent working paper published by the Annenberg Institute at Brown University, the author assessed the impact of the four-day school week policy in Oklahoma on high school students’ attendance, achievement, and school discipline. The author employed district-level high school data from Oklahoma and a quasi-experimental research method to provide a rigorous analysis of the effect of the four-day school week on high school students’ attendance. Results indicate that Four-day school weeks have no significant effect on either math and English ACT scores as well as high school attendance rates. Findings...

03 09 2021
The effect of smaller classes on infection-related school absence

In an effort to reduce viral transmission, many schools are planning to reduce class size if they have not reduced it already. Yet the effect of class size on viral transmission is unknown. In a recent working paper published by the Annenberg Institute at Brown University, the authors assessed the impact of the Project STAR class size study from the 1980s on infection-related school absence. Project STAR was a randomized trial that followed 10,816 Tennessee schoolchildren from kindergarten in 1985-86 through third grade in 1988-89. Children were assigned at random to small classes (with a target size of 13 to 17 students), regular-sized classes (with a target size of 22 to 26 students), and regular-sized classes with a teacher’s aide. The authors merged data from Project STAR with influenza and pneumonia data from the 122 Cities Mortality Reporting System on deaths from pneumonia and influenza, a surveillance study run by...

20 08 2021
Effects of principals and teachers’ feedback on their practice

A recent randomized evaluation conducted by Song and colleagues investigated the effects of feedback to teachers and principals. The intervention under evaluation lasted two school years and consisted of feedback on classroom practice, student growth, and principal leadership. Feedback on classroom practice included in-person classroom observations and a report with ratings and narrative feedback to be discussed with teachers. Feedback on student growth compared a target school’s student test scores to those of similar students in the same district. Finally, principal leadership was measured twice a year and results were discussed with the principals. The study took place in 126 elementary and middle schools. Sixty-three schools were randomly assigned to the treatment group and the same number to the control group. After two years, the researchers measured the effect on teachers’ classroom practice by video-recorded lessons using CLASS (Classroom Assessment and Scoring System) and FFT (Danielson’s Framework for Teaching). Principal...

20 08 2021