卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief

Programme Evaluation

Getting children ready for school: whole-child or skill-targeted?

Education children receive in their early childhood has been shown to have long-term impacts on their achievements in school, career and even physical health at the later stage of life. Jenkins and her team explored how the design of preschool curricula (including the content and style of instruction) would influence children’s school readiness – measured by their skills in literacy, math, and socioemotional domain at the end of preschool. By evaluating 11 early childhood education curricula funded by the Preschool Curriculum Evaluation Research (PCER) Initiative Study, the team was particularly interested in comparing the effectiveness of the whole-child approach, which is widely adopted in most preschool classrooms in the United States, with the skill-targeted curricula in preparing children for promotion to elementary school education. Whole-child approach: With an emphasis on child-centered active learning, the approach encourages children to interact independently with the equipment, materials, and their peers during learning rather...

19 05 2022
Early childhood education’s positive effects on high school outcome

Early childhood education is associated with positive high school outcomes, including achievement and engagement. In a recently published article in Child Development, Amadon and colleagues reported on a longitudinal study of the effects of early childhood education on high school performance. The study tracked 4033 students enrolled in Tulsa Public Schools (TPS) kindergartens in Oklahoma from 2006 to 2007. Among them, 44% attended the public universal pre-K program, 14% attended Tulsa’s Community Action Project (CAP) Head Start program, and the rest did not attend either program. The study tracked students’ attendance, academic skills, course selection and completion, and grade retention. The results show that students who attended the TPS pre-K program missed 1.5 fewer days (d = −.10) and were less likely to be chronically absent or retained in grade. And students who attended Head Start missed three fewer days than the other two groups (p = .053) but with...

19 05 2022
The effects of early college opportunities on English learners

A recent study in the American Educational Research Journal examined a developing program started in 2017 that offers Early College (EC) opportunities in high schools serving large English learner (EL) populations in California. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of an EC program on high school graduation and subsequent college enrollment for EL students. Data for this study were collected from seven cohorts of high school students (N = 15,090) in a large, urban school district in California. As EC was rolled out in the district in three of the high schools first, the researchers compared the post-EC outcomes of treated and control groups (i.e., the three high schools that started EC first vs. other high schools in the district who had not yet started EC). This study expands current knowledge of EC effects on historically underserved student populations such as ELs. Findings from this study showed that although...

19 05 2022
Improvements to evidence standards

The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) has recently released their latest draft of changes to their procedures and standards. There are many changes in this latest version, and this will continue to improve the expectations of what counts as “good” research.  The WWC is a federally-funded clearinghouse of education programs, products, practices, and policies. Since its creation in 2002, the WWC has set a bar for research quality.  Intervention studies in the United States are often designed in order to meet WWC standards (either with or without reservations).  For this reason, their standards have substantial influence over the quality of research being conducted in the United States. There are a few revisions to the latest version of the WWC Procedures and Standards Handbook of interest to supporters of evidence-based education.  First, the standards will be applied uniformly across topics, resulting in more consistent ratings and decisions across topics.  The WWC will...

19 05 2022
Does a preschool intervention work?

In 2003 and 2004, a team of researchers implemented a year-long social and emotional learning (SEL) intervention with 192 children within 22 classrooms within 12 Head Start programs. This intervention, called Head Start REDI, was an integration of PATHS, which is a well-known SEL intervention, and a daily interactive reading program using books aligned with PATHS’ social and emotional themes. Teachers in the intervention group received a four-day training and weekly mentoring. An additional 164 children within 22 classrooms within 13 Head Start programs served as a control group. Karen Bierman and her team followed these children after 8 to 10 years to estimate the long-term effects of the intervention. Among the original 356 children, 281 children (81%) were reassessed in this study. Children who were 4 years old at the time of intervention were in grades 7 and 9 when they were assessed again. The researchers found that children...

02 05 2022
An intervention for high school chemistry and physics

Designed by a group of Finnish and American interdisciplinary researchers, the Crafting Engaging Science Environment (CESE) intervention aims to increase both students’ interest and performance in secondary-level science subjects. The intervention, containing 3 lessons each in Chemistry and Physics, constructs its lessons using Project-Based Learning (PBL). By challenging students in the lessons, the intervention seeks to elevate students’ engagement and pursuit of meaningfulness. Lessons center on “real-world phenomena” to enhance students’ ability to plan and investigate by themselves. Schneider et al. conducted research with 61 schools, 119 teachers, and 4,238 students in California and Michigan, looking into the possible effects of CESE. Participating teachers and students were evenly divided into two groups–one followed the instructions of the CESE intervention while the other continued with business as usual. A 2-level Hierarchical Linear Model was used to evaluate the intervention effects between the groups among different races and ethnicity while adding on...

02 05 2022
Texting families to improve student vocabulary

Emily K. Snell and colleagues recently conducted a randomized controlled trial to assess the effectiveness of a texting-based vocabulary program for prekindergarten students within an urban school district. The study consisted of 346 students (173 assigned to the treatment group and 173 assigned to the control group) in 49 classrooms (24 assigned to the treatment group and 25 assigned to the control group) and took place over 7 months, with 5 of those months devoted to the intervention and 1 month at both the beginning and end devoted to testing. Teachers in the treatment group received training and were instructed to send text messages to parents each week with four vocabulary words being targeted for the week, as well as links to child-friendly definitions, images, and ideas for activities. A comparison of post-test and pre-test scores revealed that children in the treatment group demonstrated significantly greater vocabulary learning than those...

01 04 2022
Online tutoring? You get what you pay for

In-person and high-dosage tutoring is gaining popularity among practitioners as an evidence-based approach to accelerate learning in the post-pandemic education system. Facing the challenge of insufficient funding and lack of local tutors to provide in-person tutoring, some practitioners regard online tutoring as an alternative outlet. However, there is limited research to establish the effectiveness of online tutoring programs. To investigate this topic of increasing interest, Dr. Kraft and his colleagues conducted a pilot study and found answers align with conventional wisdom. This pilot study recruited 230 volunteer college student tutors from 47 highly selective universities to deliver one-to-one online tutoring using Zoom. All tutors participated in a three-hour training session before the intervention and weekly peer-mentoring sessions during the intervention. The 560 participants were 6th-8th grade students from Chicago. Almost all of them come from low-income households. The study randomly assigned students to treatment condition or control condition within each...

01 04 2022
Understanding the dynamics of dosage response on reading interventions

A recent meta-analysis published in the Review of Educational Research intends to identify and understand the intervention characteristics associated with the largest reading effect sizes. To support students’ reading outcomes, current models of intervention delivery have utilized multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS), also referred to as Response to Intervention (RtI). Within current MTSS and RtI frameworks, intervention levels are organized around three tiers. Tier 1 consists of delivering general education classroom instruction. Tier 2 consists of small group or 1:1 tutoring. Tier 3 consists of 1:1 instruction, with higher dosage and personalization. However, despite the promise of early reading interventions, about 18% to 55% of K–3 students with reading disabilities (SWRD) under Tier 2 intervention have continued to struggle in reading. Therefore, it remains critical to better understand how and when to intensify reading interventions. Since linear models in intervention research and meta-analyses have been unable to substantiate the claim...

25 03 2022