卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief

Effective Teaching Approach

Should we be differentiating literacy instruction?

A recent meta-analysis explored the impact of differentiated instruction in elementary literacy.  Differentiated instruction is when teachers “modify content, process, and/or products in response to individual student differences in readiness, learning profiles, and interests.”  These modifications may be designed before the instruction takes place, or happen organically as teachers react to students’ learning.  Instruction may also be differentiated by adjusting the content (what students learn), the process (how students learn), and the product (how student demonstrate learning).  This meta-analysis attempted to systematically examine whether differentiation in the general (Tier 1) classroom by a general education teacher is effective, and whether there are any factors that explain differences in that effectiveness.  A total of 18 studies were included in the review. The results were as follows: Across all studies, outcomes were significantly positive for comprehension (ES = +0.09) and letter-word reading (ES = +0.20), but did not reach significance for fluency or...

09 09 2020
Metacognition and Self-Regulated Learning: What works and what does not

Developing metacognition and self-regulated learning (SRL) skills improves educational performance and attainment. There is evidence that interventions focused on these skills may help students from low SES backgrounds, but we are still learning how best to facilitate this development. A recent review by Daniel Muijs and Christian Bokhove of the University of Southampton in England synthesized studies to determine the programs and characteristics that have the greatest impact on metacognitive and SRL development. Effective instruction included direct approaches via explicit instruction and modeling of metacognition and SRL practices by teachers, and indirect approaches such as the presence of a learning environment with relevant practice opportunities, dialogue, and scaffolded inquiry with student autonomy. Teachers felt more successful programs lasted more than two semesters, included leadership support, training and mentoring, and a receptive environment for the intervention. Some practices appeared to have more of an impact than others. Intrinsic to the process of SRL and...

27 08 2020
What makes for an effective student reward?

A National Bureau of Economic Research working paper explores the short-term effects of incentives on student effort and performance, varying the size and type of the rewards as well as how they are presented. As part of the study, field experiments were conducted across multiple years in over 7,000 elementary and high schools. Findings were as follows: Incentives framed as losses (i.e., a reward that is given before an assessment begins that the student can keep if they meet the goal, or will have to give back if they don’t) have more robust effects than comparable incentives framed as gains (i.e., receiving a reward only after the goal is met). Non-financial incentives (e.g., a trophy) are considerably more cost-effective than financial incentives for younger students, but are not effective with older students. All motivating power of the incentives vanishes when rewards are handed out with a delay rather than immediately. For this...

29 07 2020
Teaching Students to Recognize Expository Text Structures

Students tend to struggle understanding informational text more than narrative text. What instructional strategies for fostering informational (expository) text comprehension are backed by strong evidence of effectiveness? One intervention strategy is teaching students to recognize expository text structures. Text structure is the organization of ideas, the relationship among the ideas, and the vocabulary used to convey meaning to the reader. The thought is that if readers can understand that authors purposely use various structures to organize text, then readers are assisted to construct an integrated mental representation of key ideas similar to the text’s organization. In a systematic review of 21 studies, Pyle and colleagues examined the effects of expository text structure interventions on comprehension outcomes of typically achieving students, at-risk students, and students with learning disabilities in grades K–12. Supporting the findings of previous reviews, Pyle found that teaching students to recognize text structures produced large effects on reading comprehension....

01 07 2020
A review of reading and math interventions for struggling secondary students

Through a systematic review published by Campbell Collaboration, Jen Dietrichson and colleagues examined the effect of school-based reading and math interventions on struggling and at-risk secondary students. The study examined programs focused on skill areas in reading and math, including reading comprehension, fluency, algebra, and fractions. They also reviewed studies that addressed certain instructional methods—student peer-assisted learning, introducing incentives, small group instruction, progress monitoring, computer-assisted instruction (CAI), and subject-specific coaching for teachers. Dietrichson and colleagues reviewed the effect sizes of 71 studies, primarily randomized control trials (52 or 75%), 59 of which were from the United States. Included studies targeted school-based academic skills for struggling or at-risk students in Grades 7-12, used treatment and control groups (either through a randomized control trial or a quasi-experimental design), and relied on standardized tests in math or reading as their output. The results were as follows: Interventions that included peer small group instruction (ES =...

01 07 2020
A review of pre-school SEL interventions

Dana Murano and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis to summarize the effects of social and emotional learning (SEL) interventions on the development of social and emotional skills and the reduction of problem behaviors in pre-schoolers. The review, published in Review of Educational Research, considered 48 studies that looked at the effects of either universal (delivered to all students) or targeted (delivered to students who were identified as being in need of additional support) SEL interventions. The interventions in these studies were delivered to pre-school-age children (mean age = 4.31 years), and a total of 207 effect sizes were extracted. Overall, the results of the meta-analysis suggest that pre-school children benefit from SEL interventions, and in particular those receiving targeted interventions, details are as follows: Compared with students in control conditions, students who received a universal SEL intervention showed overall improvements in social and emotional skills (effect size = +0.34) and reductions in...

17 06 2020
How does teachers’ feedback change when secondary school students grow? How does this relate to students’ self-regulated learning?

Feedback was identified as a key factor in improving students’ learning. A recent article published in Frontiers in Psychology found that teachers’ use of feedback varied in different grades and had different relationships with students’ self-regulated learning (SRL). This study was conducted in a secondary school in Shanghai, China. Students were asked to report how often their teachers used different types of feedback, and were assessed by the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire for their SRL strategies. A total of 1,260 valid questionnaires were collected, of which 430, 460, and 370 were from students of Grades 10, 11, and 12, respectively. The findings showed that: Praise was used most frequently by teachers of 10th It was found to have the strongest correlations with students’ SRL strategies across grade levels. Criticism was used most frequently by 12th-grade teachers. It only had a weak correlation with SRL strategies regardless of grade levels....

02 06 2020
Chinese students in learner-centered instruction

Although learner-centered instruction has become increasingly popular, some may wonder what its effects on students from the non-western cultural group have been. A recent study published in European Journal of Psychology of Education investigated the effects of learner-centered instruction on the learning behaviors and academic motivation of Chinese students. Three hundred and ninety-four junior-high-school students from two schools in South-eastern China formed the experimental-group in this study, while 368 junior-high-school students from another two schools of matched background participated as the control group. Teachers in the experimental group received two months’ training in learner-centered instruction from university specialists, while teachers in the control groups continued teaching as usual, using the traditional teacher-centered approach. Students were assessed by measuring the perceived instruction behaviors of their teachers, their academic motivations and learning behaviors before and after the two-months’ training. Students in the experimental group were no different from the control-group students in...

19 05 2020
A meta-analysis of writing in social studies, science, and math

Is writing about classroom content an effective way to learn? Arizona State University's Steven Graham and colleagues at the University of Utah recently performed a meta-analysis on the effects of writing about classroom content in social studies, science, and math. Specifically, they examined if writing increased student achievement, if the results differed among subjects, and if any relationships existed by grade level, activity type, or any other factors.  To be included, studies had to meet quality-indicator criteria including true or quasi-experimental research design, reliability of measures, controlling for teacher effects, multiple classes in the experimental and control conditions, experimental and control group pretest equivalence, and both groups experiencing equal amounts of time learning the same topics. This search yielded 56 studies in 53 documents meeting criteria for inclusion, involving 6,235 students in grades 1-11. Students in experimental groups wrote about classroom content, while most controls did not write at all. Forty-six percent...

19 05 2020