卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief

Educational Administration and Leadership

Better schools for all?

The Better Schools for All? report, published by the Nuffield Foundation, examines the role that schools play in students’ education and suggests that the school reforms in the UK in the past two decades have failed to bridge the gap in student achievement. Researchers from University College London and the National Institute of Economic and Social Research looked at data from around 3,000 secondary schools in England between 2003 and 2016 and compared student outcomes and teachers’ experiences with those of employees elsewhere. They found that: Attending a “good” secondary school adds only a small amount more value than attending a “bad” secondary Overall, schools were found to contribute around 10% of variance in student achievement. State schools are better at managing staff than private schools. Using Workplace Employment Relations Survey data, the study shows that state schools were more likely to have rigorous hiring practices and employee participation programs than private...

13 08 2019
Small class size vs. evidence-based interventions

The Ministry of Education in France instituted a policy in 2002 that reduced class size to no more than 12 students in areas determined to have social difficulties and high proportions of at-risk students, called Zones d’Education Prioritaire (ZEP). In order to evaluate the effectiveness and usefulness of this policy, researcher Jean Ecalle and colleagues in France examined the results of the policy-mandated class size reduction on the reading achievement of first graders (Study 1), and compared them to the effects of an evidence-based literacy intervention on the reading achievement of at-risk children in regularly sized classes (20 students) (Study 2). Study 1, reducing class size, involved assigning classrooms to either small (12 students/class n=100 classes) or large (20-25 students/class, n=100 classes) class sizes (with the support of the Ministry). At the start of the 2002-03 school year, 1,095 children were pretested on pre-reading skills and matched at pretest. In Study 2,...

13 08 2019
Career education in secondary schools

Attending career talks with people in employment may change the attitudes of UK Key Stage 4 (ages 14–16) students regarding their education, according to new research published by the UK charity, Education and Employers. Year 11 students in five schools took part in the trial and were randomly assigned at class level into an intervention group (n=307) and a control group (n=347). Students in the intervention group received three extra career talks by employee volunteers on top of usual career activities organized by their schools. These talks took place either in a homeroom-type setting or private study time rather than during class. The results of the study indicated that: Students who attended the career talks reported feeling more confident in their own abilities, feeling more positive about school, and having greater faith in their ability to fulfill their career aspirations. It also seemed to provide the incentive for increased study time. Students...

13 08 2019
Is there a gender gap in IT?

Previous studies have revealed gender differences in attitudes towards information technology (IT) literacy, with boys generally considering their IT literacy to be higher than that of girls. A new meta-analysis, published in Educational Research Review, tests whether the same gender differences can be seen in students’ actual performance on IT literacy tasks as measured by performance-based assessments. In total, 46 effect sizes were extracted from 23 studies using a random-effects model. The main findings suggest that: Girls perform better than boys on performance-based IT literacy assessments (ES= +0.13). Gender differences in favor of girls are larger in primary schools (ES= +0.20) than in secondary schools (ES= +0.11). The overall effect size is robust across several analysis conditions. Overall, the gender differences in IT literacy are significant but small. As these findings seem to contrast those obtained from previous meta-analyses that were based on self-reported IT literacy, the researchers conclude that the IT...

31 07 2019
Study shows delayed kindergarten entry yields mental health benefits

A study out of Stanford University and the Danish National Centre for Social Research provides evidence that children who delay kindergarten entry by one year demonstrate better self-regulation skills when compared to children who start kindergarten on time. These benefits persisted as the students progressed through elementary school. The data were obtained from a national Danish mental-health screening tool completed by more than 54,000 parents of 7-year-olds and a follow-up of almost 36,000 parents when these same children were 11 years old. Given that increased ability to control behavior and pay attention in class leads to improved academic performance, researchers examined school assessment scores and found that students who delayed kindergarten entry demonstrated higher scores than those who did not. The authors found that the one-year delay resulted in a 73% reduction in inattention and hyperactivity by the time the average student was 11 years old. Children in the U.S. have...

17 07 2019
Do sleep problems in early childhood predict performance at school?

A study published in the British Journal of Educational Psychology looks at whether problems with sleep and self-regulation might be used to predict how children settle in at school. The study involved 2,880 children from Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children. Child sleep problems and emotional self-regulation were assessed via reports from mothers at three time points between birth and age five. Child attentional regulation was assessed by the mothers at two time points, and school adjustment was measured by teacher reports of classroom self-regulation and social, emotional, and behavioral adjustment at school, when the children were aged 6-7 years. Three profiles were found: A normative profile (69% of children) had consistently average or higher emotional and attentional regulation scores and sleep problems that steadily reduced from birth to five. The remaining 31% of children were members of two non-normative profiles, both characterized by escalating sleep problems across early...

17 07 2019
Does exercise improve children’s cognitive performance?

Research published in Frontiers in Psychology looks at the effects of a nine-week program of daily exercise on children’s cognitive performance, aerobic fitness, and physical activity levels. Vera van den Berg and colleagues conducted a cluster randomized controlled trial in 21 classes in eight Dutch primary schools. A total of 512 children aged 9 to 12 participated. The intervention consisted of daily classroom-based exercise breaks of moderate to vigorous intensity. Each break lasted approximately ten minutes, and children were asked to mimic dance moves from a video. Children in the control group watched 10- to 15-minute information and educational videos related to the body, exercise, and sports. Before and after the intervention, children were asked to perform four cognitive tasks to measure their cognitive performance in selective attention, inhibition, and memory retrieval. Children’s aerobic fitness was measured with a shuttle run test, and accelerometers were used to measure physical activity throughout the day....

17 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
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