卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief

Programme Evaluation

Positive results for school-readiness intervention

A study published in Early Childhood Research Quarterly reports on a randomized controlled trial of an intervention designed to improve the quality of teaching in early childhood settings and increase children’s school readiness. “Play and Learn” is a low-cost, 20-week, teacher-delivered early childhood program that targets skills for both teachers and children. For teachers, the intervention aims to improve their teaching and interactive skills. The aim of the intervention for children is to improve their language and math skills and increase school readiness. The randomized controlled trial involved 1,116 children ages 18 to 36 months who were enrolled in 87 childcare centers in Denmark. Childcare centers were randomized to either an intervention or control group, with childcare centers in the intervention group implementing the Play and Learn program. Teachers implementing the program received training materials and tools to support their teaching and help them to be more explicit and intentional in their interactions...

17 06 2020
Results of a content literacy intervention to improve pupils’ reading comprehension and subject knowledge

A study published in Journal of Educational Psychology investigates the effectiveness of a content literacy intervention – the Model of Reading Engagement (MORE) – on first grade students’ science subject knowledge, reading engagement, and reading comprehension. The MORE intervention aims to help young children acquire conceptually-related vocabulary while learning subject-specific content. In this study, classroom teachers taught first-grade children about science knowledge while they conducted literacy lessons. MORE lessons consisted of one unit on the life science topic of Arctic animal survival, taught over ten 60-minute lessons. Prior to the intervention, teachers participated in two-hour after-school professional development workshops.  A total of 674 pupils from 38 classrooms across 10 elementary schools took part in a randomized controlled trial. Classrooms were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: MORE at school (MS); MORE at school plus home condition (MS-H), which included reading at home in addition to the MS lessons; or usual lessons....

02 06 2020
Parents as Teachers in Switzerland

A randomized controlled trial published in Early Childhood Research Quarterly examines the effectiveness of the Parents as Teachers (PAT) program in Zurich, Switzerland. PAT is a parent teaching program that begins during pregnancy, or shortly after birth, and continues until the child’s third birthday. Among its goals, PAT aims to increase parental knowledge of early childhood development and improve parental practice and, in the long term, increase the child’s school readiness and success. A total of 261 children from 248 families took part in the trial. Families in the intervention group (n=132) were supported with regular home visits from qualified parent educators with a degree in early education, and attended group meetings. The 116 families in the control group had access to the normal community services but were not supported by PAT. The results showed that: After three years of the PAT program, children showed more age-appropriate adaptive behavior, with small effect sizes in...

19 05 2020
Training versus coaching to improve teaching

A study by Jacobus Cilliers and Stephen Taylor reports the results of a randomized controlled trial of two different approaches to improving the teaching of reading in primary schools in South Africa. More than two hundred schools took part and were randomly assigned to three treatment groups: a training intervention group, a coaching intervention group, and a control group. Teachers in the first intervention group received a one-off training session. Teachers in the second intervention group were visited on a monthly basis by a specialist reading coach who monitored their teaching, provided feedback, and demonstrated teaching practices. Both interventions provided teachers with structured lesson plans. Teachers in the control group received the usual level of government support and in-service training. The study measured the impact of the intervention on both student learning and teaching activity in the classroom. They found that: Coaching improved students’ reading by 0.24 standard deviations compared to students...

05 05 2020
Review of professional learning and development in early childhood education

Approaches to professional development that combine coaching or mentoring with new knowledge and opportunities for reflection on practice may be the most effective in improving outcomes in early childhood settings, according to a study published in Review of Education. Sue Rogers and colleagues conducted the systematic review, which was funded by the Nuffield Foundation, in order to examine the impact of professional learning and development. The studies included in the review identify approaches to professional learning that demonstrate impact on early childhood education on one or more outcomes across three main areas: literacy knowledge and skills, math and science knowledge, and social-emotional and behavioral development.  The findings from the review suggested that: Coaching models, and approaches that help develop pedagogical knowledge, may be the most effective in improving outcomes in early childhood settings. The evidence on duration, frequency, and intensity of the professional learning, although likely to be important factors, was inconclusive.  ...

07 04 2020
In-person vs. online collaboration in science

In an article published in the Journal of Research in Science Teaching, researchers studied whether online collaborative learning was more effective than in-person collaborative learning in middle school science classes in relation to students’ understanding of science concepts. In the study, 90 eighth graders from five classes taught by two teachers at a Virginia public school participated over nine weeks. One teacher taught the experimental group and the other taught the control group. Following a pre-test using the Misconceptions-Oriented Standards-Based Assessment Resources for Teachers (MOSART), both groups were given traditional in-class instruction on the same science topics. At least twice a week, collaborative assignments were then given to the classes, the only difference being that the experimental group collaborated online and did not receive immediate teacher feedback on their theories, unlike the control group who collaborated in person. After nine weeks, the groups were post-tested using MOSART. Results showed that the online...

24 03 2020
English vocabulary learning using a mobile app with a self-regulated learning mechanism

Technology-supported learning tools have become more popular in recent years. An article recently published in Computer Assisted Language Learning examined whether a vocabulary learning mobile app with a self-regulated learning (SRL) mechanism can help students with vocabulary learning, as well as improving their self-regulated learning abilities. Forty-six fifth graders from an elementary school in Taiwan participated in this study. They are all EFL (English as a foreign language) students. Twenty-one of them were randomly assigned to the experimental group, while 25 students were designated as the control group. Experimental group students received a vocabulary learning app with a self-regulated learning mechanism containing five components, namely a SRL setting module, an English vocabulary learning module, a quiz module, a note module, and a goal reminder module. Students could set self-regulating goals, acquire vocabulary data and pronunciation files, take notes, take quizzes, and check their goals. Control group students also received a...

10 03 2020
Writing supported by virtual reality

In a recently published article in the British Journal of Educational Technology, Hwang & Chang (2019) examined how the spherical video-based virtual reality (SVVR) approach can support descriptive article writing in Taiwan senior high school writing classes. In traditional language learning activities, as the authors identified, there is usually no chance for students to develop in-depth feelings about the context of topics, resulting in low learning motivations and limited expression in the writing process. To provide in-depth experiences and to facilitate students’ descriptive article writing, the study introduced an SVVR system that used 360-degree photos or videos in a VR environment supporting students before they started to write. Two classes of 11th graders participated in the study, 30 students being allocated to the experimental group and 35 students to the control group. After students understood the writing tasks and read a descriptive article text about the Jade Mountain in Taiwan,...

25 02 2020
High hopes for good behavior

A review, published in Review of Educational Research, analyzes the evidence on The Good Behavior Game (GBG), a classroom management program that has been used (and studied) for 40 years. Strategies in the program include acknowledging appropriate behavior, teaching classroom rules, providing feedback about inappropriate behavior, verbal praise, and providing rewards as reinforcement. A total of 22 studies met the authors’ inclusion criteria. In these, the program was mainly being used in mainstream elementary schools with externalizing, challenging behaviors (e.g., disruptive behavior, off-task behavior, aggression, talking out, and out-of-seat behaviors). The review aimed to describe and quantify the effect of the GBG on various challenging behaviors in school and classroom settings. The findings suggested that: The GBG had moderate to large effects on a range of challenging behaviors, and that these effects were immediate. Correct application of reward procedures was found to be important for intervention effectiveness. The authors note that...

12 02 2020