卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief

Programme Evaluation

Is nutrition education enough to help students choose healthier lunch options and reduce plate waste?

To nourish children so that learning can happen, federal lunch programs offer meals to students across the country every single day. However, many students remain deficient in their food consumption patterns and end up wasting mass quantities of these subsidized meals. Serebrennikov and colleagues of Purdue University sought to evaluate the effectiveness of a classroom intervention aimed at bolstering healthy food selection and reducing plate waste in school lunch rooms. The nutrition education intervention aims to improve student knowledge surrounding the benefits of fruit and vegetable intake. Through bi-weekly lessons that run 15 minutes each, students are guided through activities aligned with science and health teaching standards that help to define healthy eating, why it’s important, and how to do it. Through a randomized control trial implemented in ten second grade classes from three public schools in a Midwestern state, 62 students (5 classes) who received the nutrition education intervention...

17 09 2021
A service-learning program in science to improve academic achievement and civic engagement

A recent randomized evaluation conducted by Rimm-Kaufman and colleagues investigated the effects of Connect Science on student academic achievement and civic engagement. Connect Science is a service-learning program, a form of project-based learning that aims to prepare students to tackle with social and environmental problems in their community. The content of the intervention in this study was related to energy use and social emotional skills in groupwork. The study involved 41 fourth grade classes in the South-Central US randomly assigned to receive the intervention over 14-22 weeks or to continue with their regular practice. Science achievement and civic engagement were measured using quantitative tests developed by the researchers who conducted the study. Researcher-made measures may overestimate the effect of the intervention compared to independent tests, such as standardized or state tests. For this reason, the results presented below should be used with caution. Results showed Significant positive effects for science...

03 09 2021
The effect of smaller classes on infection-related school absence

In an effort to reduce viral transmission, many schools are planning to reduce class size if they have not reduced it already. Yet the effect of class size on viral transmission is unknown. In a recent working paper published by the Annenberg Institute at Brown University, the authors assessed the impact of the Project STAR class size study from the 1980s on infection-related school absence. Project STAR was a randomized trial that followed 10,816 Tennessee schoolchildren from kindergarten in 1985-86 through third grade in 1988-89. Children were assigned at random to small classes (with a target size of 13 to 17 students), regular-sized classes (with a target size of 22 to 26 students), and regular-sized classes with a teacher’s aide. The authors merged data from Project STAR with influenza and pneumonia data from the 122 Cities Mortality Reporting System on deaths from pneumonia and influenza, a surveillance study run by...

20 08 2021
Students with learning difficulties in inclusive education

A recent meta-analysis published in Review of Educational Research examined the cognitive and psychosocial outcomes of students with general learning difficulties (GLD) in inclusive education. Students with GLD are those with general difficulties in learning that affect their performance in most school subjects. The purpose of the review was to answer: Do students with GLD and their peers benefit from inclusive education? The review included studies that compared students with GLD and their peers in inclusive settings and segregated settings. The studies had to evaluate the effects on cognitive outcomes, such as performance on standardized tests and metacognition, as well as psychosocial outcomes, such as social, attitudinal, emotional, and motivational aspects. Forty studies met the inclusion criteria. Results showed that: On average, students with GLD in inclusive education had larger cognitive outcomes compared to similar students in segregated settings (ES = +0.35, p < .001). With regard to psychosocial outcomes,...

20 08 2021
Effects of principals and teachers’ feedback on their practice

A recent randomized evaluation conducted by Song and colleagues investigated the effects of feedback to teachers and principals. The intervention under evaluation lasted two school years and consisted of feedback on classroom practice, student growth, and principal leadership. Feedback on classroom practice included in-person classroom observations and a report with ratings and narrative feedback to be discussed with teachers. Feedback on student growth compared a target school’s student test scores to those of similar students in the same district. Finally, principal leadership was measured twice a year and results were discussed with the principals. The study took place in 126 elementary and middle schools. Sixty-three schools were randomly assigned to the treatment group and the same number to the control group. After two years, the researchers measured the effect on teachers’ classroom practice by video-recorded lessons using CLASS (Classroom Assessment and Scoring System) and FFT (Danielson’s Framework for Teaching). Principal...

20 08 2021
STEM enhancement program prevents decline in math and science achievement

High quality STEM education remains evasive in American public school systems, and disproportionately so in districts serving minority and/or students from low-income families. Jagannathan and her colleagues from Rutgers University examined the impacts of one STEM enhancement program, Nurture thru Nature (NtN), in a randomized controlled study of more than 600 elementary school students over an 8 year period of program implementation. NtN was created through a partnership between Rutgers University, Johnson & Johnson (headquartered in New Brunswick, NJ), and the New Brunswick Public School district. It provides enrichment activities to students randomly selected by lottery to participate in the STEM program from fourth grade until high school graduation. NtN focuses on natural and environmental sciences in order to support students’ interest in STEM careers. Students meet twice per week for 3 hours during the year and 3 days per week for 7.5 hours during summer recess, incorporating garden and...

05 08 2021
Cognitive development through children’s museum visits

Children’s museums provide a stimulating environment for young kids to learn through play. A recent publication in the International Journal of Educational Research investigated the effects of children’s museums on kindergarten children’s cognitive development. Researchers designed a randomized controlled trial with two treatment groups and two control groups to investigate this topic. The first treatment group (n1= 130) was given 18 tickets to visit a museum with parents over the course of two semesters. The second treatment group (n2 = 107) toured the same museum 18 times under the guidance of kindergarten teachers. Participants in both treatment groups first had a 30-minute interactive activity organized by the museum staff and then played freely within the museum. Children who were assigned to the control groups (n1 = 98 and n2 = 100) by lottery were not provided with any free tickets. Before the intervention, both demographic measurements and cognitive scores between...

05 08 2021
Student achievement level and teacher expectations

Numerous studies have shown that high teacher expectations are positively associated with better student academic and sociopsychological outcomes.  A longitudinal study was published in Learning and Individual Differences, in which Wang and colleagues examined the stability and trajectories of teacher expectations within a school year in the Chinese junior high school context.   The study involved 48 teachers and their 1199 seventh grade students from 32 classrooms in 10 schools in northern China. Students’ achievement scores in Chinese, Mathematics, and English were collected four times in a school year. Teachers rated their expectations of their students’ results in the final examination three times across the school year. In the study, teacher expectations were conceptualized as the discrepancies between teacher expectation scores and student achievement, therefore, teacher expectations represented the expectation bias that teachers held for their students.  The results indicated that:  Students in the high-achieving group were systematically overestimated, and the...

05 08 2021
Communicating accurate and informative research results to teachers

Educational research findings on effective teaching practices must be accurately communicated to teachers to impact classroom teaching. However, little research exists to indicate how teachers perceive different effect size metrics commonly presented to educators. Lortie-Forgues and colleagues recently conducted two studies to examine teacher perceptions of informativeness and effectiveness when presented with information using different metrics. They tested five effect size metrics commonly presented in literature directed toward teachers: Months of Progress, Percentile Gain, Cohen’s U3, Threshold (the additional proportion of students attaining a specific threshold mark), and Test Scores. The findings suggest that researchers can make their research more engaging for teachers by using certain metrics, but that they also must use caution to ensure that effectiveness is accurately communicated. In the first study: Teachers found Threshold metrics to be significantly more informative than Test Score (ES = +0.30; p ≤ .01), Percentile Gain (ES = +1.25; p ≤...

05 08 2021