卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief

Educational Administration and Leadership

Keep it real

An article published by the American Psychological Association used data on more than 3,500 German secondary students to explore the link between parental aspirations and their children’s math achievement. It concludes that realistic aspirations are beneficial, but that unrealistic aspirations can be detrimental. The authors used data from the Project for the Analysis of Learning and Achievement in Mathematics (PALMA), a longitudinal study investigating adolescents’ development in mathematics during the secondary school years (German grades 5 to 10; 2002 to 2007).  Samples were drawn from schools in Bavaria and were representative of the child population and the three major school types within the German public school system. The project included assessments of children, teachers, and parents. The study found that: Parental aspiration and children’s mathematical achievement were linked by positive reciprocal relations over time. However, the authors also found that parental over-aspiration can be detrimental to children’s math achievement when aspiration exceeds expectation....

22 10 2020
How does paternalistic leadership influence teachers in Chinese Schools?

Paternalistic leadership is a leadership style commonly found in East Asia. It "combines strong discipline and authority with fatherly benevolence and moral integrity couched in a personalistic atmosphere". An article recently published in Frontiers in Psychology examined how such leadership style influences teachers in Chinese schools when situated in the educational context.  The study was conducted among 407 elementary school teachers from southern provinces in China. Participants completed a survey measuring teachers' perception of their principals' paternalistic leadership, trust in the principal, teacher commitment to students, and teachers’ job satisfaction. The result showed that: Teachers' job satisfaction was negatively affected by principals' authoritarian behaviour but was promoted by moral leadership. However, both authoritarian leadership and moral leadership had positive indirect effects on teachers' job satisfaction through enhancement of trust in the principal. Moral leadership of the principals also had a significant positive effect on teachers' commitment to students. Benevolent leadership, on the...

07 10 2020
The Cost-Benefit Case for Tutoring

Individual preK-12 tutoring experiments, varying widely in context, approach, and cost, have shown the positive impact of tutoring and small-group programs. However, a recent meta-analysis sought to summarize the findings of experimental studies since 1980. The study is the first systematic review or meta-analysis of experimental research on preK-12 tutoring interventions of all types. The authors defined tutoring as one-to-one or small-group human instruction aimed at supplementing rather than replacing classroom-based education. No correlational or quasi-experimental studies were included in this review. Through the search and screening process, 96 studies were included. The authors found that: Tutoring programs yield substantial positive impacts on learning outcomes, with an overall pooled effect size estimate of +0.37. Furthermore, effects are stronger on average for teacher and paraprofessional tutoring programs as opposed to nonprofessional and parent tutoring. Effects also tend to be strongest among the earlier grades. The main takeaways from this review are nothing new....

07 10 2020
The endangered psychological well-being of students due to COVID-19

Adolescents are vulnerable to stressful events. The global pandemic and subsequent health insecurity, social isolation, and school closings have posed significant challenges to students’ psychological well-being. Researchers from China gathered online survey data from 8,079 middle and high school students to investigate COVID-19’s psychological impacts. The surveyed sample focused on 12-18 years old students from 21 provinces in China. Researchers adopted the patient health questionnaire (PHQ-9) and generalized anxiety disorder scale (GAD-7) to assess the level of depression and anxiety among Chinese adolescents in March. The survey achieved a high response rate of 99.3%. Pre-COVID-19 meta-analysis has established a baseline depression rate of 15.4% among K-12 Chinese students. This study, however, concluded that the surveyed students experienced an alarmingly high rate of 43.7% mild to severe depression and 37.4% anxiety symptoms. Regression results suggested that characteristics such as rural, female, higher grade levels, and living in Hubei are associated with more...

07 10 2020
Low-achieving students in China benefited more in a specialized teacher incentive program

A study recently published in Economics of Education Review examined how a teacher incentive program improved the math performance of students in rural China. The authors suggested that since teachers in rural China are evaluated by students’ high school entrance exam scores and the rate of matriculation into academic high schools, they might tend to focus on mid- and high-performing students and neglect the low-achieving students. With a view to overcoming this, the study examined the effectiveness of a modified pay-for-percentile incentive program that granted teachers 60% more pay incentives for improvements in the outcomes of low-achieving students. The study conducted a clustered randomized control trial using 1,825 fifth-grade students from 52 schools which implemented the program, and another 1,964 fifth-grade students from 51 control schools which did not implement the program. Students’ math performances were accessed by standardized tests before and after the one-year program. The results were as...

22 09 2020
High-dosage reading tutoring in public schools as an alternative to charter schools

Amid the heated policy debate on whether to lift the cap on the number of charter schools, people often cite charter schools’ more intensive tutoring and better academic performance to lobby for lifting the cap. A recent paper indicated that public schools with high-dosage after-school tutoring have the potential to be a politically neutral solution to increase student achievement without lifting the cap. Researchers at Harvard University conducted a school-level randomized evaluation to examine the effects of high-dosage reading tutoring on New York City’s middle school students. Using matched-triple randomization procedures, 60 traditional New York City public schools were divided into a treatment group, a control group, and a ‘pure’ control group. During three years of the project, selected students in the treatment group attended one-to-four reading tutoring for 2.5 hours every day, while students in the control and the ‘pure’ control groups had neither tutoring nor other after-school services. Meanwhile, the New York...

27 08 2020
Chinese students’ academic performance and parenting styles

Family is influential on students' learning in many ways. Recently, Yang and Zhao (2020) examined parenting practices' impacts on children's academic performance using a large sample of middle school students in China. The analysis was conducted using data from the China Education Panel Survey 2015, which was a nationally representative survey in China. The study sampled 9,920 students from 112 middle schools in China. The survey included questionnaires for the students, their parents, teachers, and the school. Moreover, students' academic achievement was measured by their exam scores in Chinese, English, and mathematics provided by their respective school administration offices. The analysis examined the relationships between academic performance and parenting styles. The findings were as follows: The most dominant parenting styles of Chinese parents were authoritarian and neglectful. Authoritarian parenting style was conducive to academic performance. The effects of parenting styles were more salient among children from a disadvantaged background and...

12 08 2020
Student motivation and school reform

The Center on Education Policy in the US offers a series of papers that examines topics related to students’ academic motivation. The summary paper, Student Motivation: An Overlooked Piece of School Reform, pulls together findings from a wide array of studies by scholars in a range of disciplines, as well as lessons from programs intended to increase motivation. Topics include: why motivation is important and how it might be defined and measured; whether rewarding students can result in higher motivation; whether students can be motivated by goal-setting; the role of parental involvement, family background, and culture; strategies schools might use to motivate students; and non-traditional approaches to motivating otherwise unenthusiastic students. A few of many suggestions that the authors offer for schools to consider are: Programs that reward academic accomplishments are most effective when they reward students for mastering certain skills or increasing their understanding rather than rewarding them for reaching a performance...

29 07 2020
Future teachers benefit from classroom management coaching

A recent study examined the effects of coaching on developing preservice teachers’ classroom management skills . Subjects were student teachers learning the Responsive Classroom framework in their program and discussing its techniques in a classroom management course during the Spring, 2018 semester.  While interacting with a computer-simulated classroom containing misbehaving avatar students, 105 teaching majors were randomly assigned  to receive either “bug-in-the-ear plus coaching” (BIC+C), which was word-for-word coaching via earpiece, 5 minutes of feedback, and a chance to re-do the simulation (n=38); “coaching only,” (CO) which was the same but without earpiece coaching (n=34); or “self-reflection,” spending 5 minutes reflecting after the interaction in lieu of coaching (n=33). During the simulations, which occurred at baseline and then 3 times during the semester, subjects were instructed to apply Responsive Classroom’s “effective redirections” techniques to re-direct disruptive avatars, with their responses recorded using a rubric based on Responsive Classroom strategies. At baseline,...

15 07 2020