卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief

Educational Administration and Leadership

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
Setting up in-class libraries in rural China

A study published in Reading Research Quarterly examined the effects of installing an in-class library providing students with age-appropriate books on student reading outcomes and achievements in rural China. Most previous studies of the effects of age-appropriate books have been conducted in developed regions. However, in rural China, not only are age-appropriate reading materials scarce, but schools, teachers and parents also believe independent reading will negatively affect students’ performance in high-stakes college entrance examinations. To examine the actual effects in rural China, Yi and colleagues conducted a randomized controlled trial consisting of 11,083 fourth- and fifth- grade students from 120 schools in Jiangxi province in China. In the treatment schools, an in-class library stocked with 70 extracurricular books was installed in each classroom in the treatment schools. The books were carefully selected based on recommendations of reading specialists and educators. Students received a baseline survey before the intervention and a...

24 04 2019
Using teaching assistants to improve language skills and reading

Two evaluations from the Education Endowment Foundation in England have found that two interventions using paraprofessional teaching assistants (TAs) have positive effects. REACH is a targeted reading support program designed to improve the reading accuracy and comprehension of students with reading difficulties in middle school. It is delivered by specially trained TAs. The evaluation tested two interventions – one based on the original Reading Intervention developed by the University of York, and the other with supplementary material on language comprehension. The evaluation was carried out in 21 schools around Leeds, with 202 students (70 and 69 receiving each intervention; 63 control). Results showed that: There was a positive effect on reading skills for both the Reading Intervention (E.S.= +0.33) and the Reading Intervention with additional material on language comprehension (E.S.= +0.51). The evaluations did not provide evidence that the interventions improved reading comprehension in particular, as opposed to other skills such as...

24 04 2019
What does good professional development for teaching language look like?

Research published in AERA Open examines the features needed for effective teacher professional development (PD) aimed at preparing teachers to support their students in mastering language expectations across the curriculum. Eva Kalinowski and colleagues conducted a systematic review of studies of PD programs, published between 2002 and 2015, which aimed to support teachers to improve their students’ academic language ability in different subject areas. Of the 38 studies they reviewed, all but one were carried out in the US. Eighteen studies used quantitative data only, three used a mainly qualitative approach, and 17 used mixed methods. Although the researchers were unable to conclude which elements actually influenced the effectiveness of the programs analyzed, they found that all of the studies were effective to some extent, and shared many characteristics considered to be important in successful teacher PD across different subject areas. The forms of PD likely to show some effect for teachers...

10 04 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
Ethnic minority pupils disproportionately identified with special educational needs

Pupils from ethnic minority groups are over-represented for some types of special educational needs (SEN) and under-represented for other types compared to white British pupils, according to new research led by Steve Strand and Ariel Lindorff at the University of Oxford. Using data from the England National Pupil Database from 2005–2016, the report looks at all children age five to 16 in England who have been identified with different types of SEN. As well as identifying ethnic disproportionality, the report also considered whether socio-economic factors, such as poverty and neighbourhood deprivation, or children’s early attainment, had any impact on pupils being identified as having SEN. The key findings of the report suggest: Black Caribbean and mixed white and black Caribbean pupils are twice as likely to be identified with social, emotional and mental health needs as white British pupils.Asian pupils are half as likely to be identified with autistic spectrum disorders as...

10 04 2019
Neuromyths in education

Possessing greater general knowledge about the brain does not appear to protect teachers from believing in “neuromyths” – misconceptions about neuroscience research in education.  A study reported in Frontiers in Psychology found that teachers who are interested in the application of neuroscience findings in the classroom find it difficult to distinguish pseudoscience from scientific facts. They tested 242 primary and secondary school teachers in the UK and the Netherlands with an interest in the neuroscience of learning, using an online survey containing 32 statements about the brain and its influence on learning, of which 15 were neuromyths. Results showed that On average, teachers believed 49 percent of the neuromyths, particularly myths related to commercialized education programs. One of the most commonly believed myths was “Individuals learn better when they receive information in their preferred learning style (e.g., auditory, visual, kinesthetic),” which was believed by over 80 percent of teachers in the study....

14 03 2019
Teachers and students don’t always agree on learning styles

A study published in Frontiers in Education investigates whether there is an association between students’ self-reported preferred learning styles and teachers’ evaluation of each student’s learning style, and whether teachers’ assessments are informed by their students’ intellectual ability. The term “learning styles” is used to account for differences in the way that individuals learn, and the idea that students learn better if teachers can tailor their teaching to a student’s preferred style of learning, often described as either visual, auditory, or kinesthetic. In the study conducted by Marietta Papadatou-Pastou and colleagues, 199 fifth and sixth grade students from five schools in Athens, Greece, chose which was their preferred learning style (visual, auditory, or kinesthetic). They also completed a short IQ test (the Raven’s matrices). Their teachers were asked to identify each of their student’s preferred learning style. Each student’s learning style was judged by one teacher. It was found that: There was no...

14 03 2019