卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief

Programme Evaluation

Using Expressive Writing to Reduce Test Anxiety

Test Anxiety can have negative impacts on students’ performance and psychological health. This study published in PLOS ONE examined whether expressive writing could be beneficial to alleviate test anxiety. Lujun Shen and colleagues conducted a randomized controlled trial among senior high school students in China who were facing The National Higher Education Entrance Examination (Gaokao), which is considered the most important exam of a student’s life. The study randomly selected 200 students from three senior-high schools in Xinxiang city. Students were first assessed for eligibility. A sample of 75 students was recruited into the study for having a high level of test anxiety. Then, 38 of them were allocated into an expressive writing group, and 37 of them were allocated to a control writing group. Students in the expressive writing group were instructed to write for 20 minutes about the positive emotions they had each day, consecutively for 30 days....

02 07 2019
Mindfulness for Left-behind Children in China

A randomized controlled trial published in Child: Care, Health and Development examined whether a mindfulness training programme was beneficial to left-behind students in China, who stayed in their hometown with extended family members because their parents left to work in other cities. 63 left-behind children who agreed to participate in this study were screened from a sample of 320 grade 5 to 6 students from a primary school in an urban area in Nanjing. Thirty students were randomly allocated to a mindfulness training group, where they participated in an eight-week mindfulness training programme that emphasized focusing on the present and practicing non‐judgmental awareness. The programme consisted of one-hour group sessions once a week. Thirty-three students were allocated to a control group. Students completed a pre-test before participating in the trainings and a post-test after the eight-week training which included scales measuring their mindfulness, social anxiety, suicide ideation, and self-esteem. However,...

02 07 2019
Learning Chinese through picture book reading for ethnic minority children in China

Si Chen and colleagues examined the efficacy of a picture book reading intervention on Uyghur children’s first language (Uyghur) and second language (Mandarin Chinese) learning. This study, supported by the Ministry of Education of China, was the first randomized controlled language education intervention conducted in Xinjiang kindergartens. This study published in Early Childhood Research Quarterly followed Uyghur children from 31 classes in 12 kindergartens in two cities of Xinjiang in one year. Among the 265 participating Uyghur children aged 4 to 5 years old, 134 of them participated in the experimental group receiving the Xinjian Project intervention, while 131 of them were allocated to the control group. The intervention design was based on successful strategies learnt from previous book-reading interventions, including using picture books to provide high-quality second language input in reading and discussion, as well as providing a curriculum of vocabulary instruction and teacher training. Chinese-Uyghur bilingual picture books...

19 06 2019
Using teaching assistants to improve language skills and reading

Two evaluations from the Education Endowment Foundation in England have found that two interventions using paraprofessional teaching assistants (TAs) have positive effects. REACH is a targeted reading support program designed to improve the reading accuracy and comprehension of students with reading difficulties in middle school. It is delivered by specially trained TAs. The evaluation tested two interventions – one based on the original Reading Intervention developed by the University of York, and the other with supplementary material on language comprehension. The evaluation was carried out in 21 schools around Leeds, with 202 students (70 and 69 receiving each intervention; 63 control). Results showed that: There was a positive effect on reading skills for both the Reading Intervention (E.S.= +0.33) and the Reading Intervention with additional material on language comprehension (E.S.= +0.51). The evaluations did not provide evidence that the interventions improved reading comprehension in particular, as opposed to other skills such as...

24 04 2019
No impact for sleep education pilot

An evaluation of a pilot of Teensleep, a sleep education program that aims to improve outcomes for students by improving the quality of their sleep, found no evidence that the program led to improvements in students’ sleep. The Teensleep program trains teachers to promote good ‘sleep hygiene’ as part of students’ Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) lessons. Teachers deliver a series of 10 half-hour lessons highlighting the importance of sleep for effective learning, as well as providing practical advice for better sleep, such as avoiding caffeine in the evening. Ten UK secondary schools took part in the pilot funded by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) and the Wellcome Trust. All Year 10 students received the intervention as delivered by their teachers and completed a sleep quiz and sleep survey pre- and post-intervention. Parents and students were informed about the pilot study and parents could opt-out of schools sharing students’ data with...

26 03 2019
Is social-emotional learning linked to academic performance?

A study published in Contemporary Educational Psychology looks at the benefits of a school-based social and emotional learning (SEL) intervention in relation to academic achievement by examining how the four main components that underlie the SEL model (children’s social-emotional competence, school connectedness, mental health problems, and academic achievement) interact over time. Margarita Panayiotou and colleagues from Manchester Institute of Education used data drawn from a major cluster randomized trial of the Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies (PATHS) curriculum to present a three-wave (annual assessment, T1, T2, T3) longitudinal sample. The sample included 1,626 students from 45 primary schools in north-west England. They examined the relationship over time between social-emotional competence (T1), school connectedness (T2), mental health difficulties (T2), and academic achievement (T3), and whether exposure to an SEL intervention (in this case PATHS versus usual provision) had any effect on these relationships. Findings were as follows: Social-emotional competence at T1 had a positive influence...

26 03 2019
Impact of shared book reading on children’s language development

A meta-analysis conducted by Claire Noble and colleagues explores the impact of shared reading interventions (where an adult reads with a child) on children’s language skills, and whether they are equally effective across a range of different outcome variables, for children from different socioeconomic backgrounds, and across a range of study designs. The analysis included 54 studies conducted between 1989 and 2017. These studies included 316 effect sizes and 5,569 participants. Nine of the studies reported follow-up effects. Children in the studies were typically age 7 years or younger. Their findings suggest that, While there is an effect of shared reading on language development, the effect size is smaller than suggested in previous meta-analyses (ES = +0.23).Also, the effect size is moderated by the type of control groups, and when compared to active control groups, is closer to zero (ES = +0.04). In addition, the meta-analysis indicates only modest differences between types...

28 02 2019
The principles of success in math

Helping students to understand the logical principles underlying math may improve their mathematical achievement, according to the findings of a randomized controlled trial published by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) in the UK. Mathematical Reasoning lessons focus on developing students’ understanding of the logical principles underlying math, and cover principles such as place value and the inverse relation between addition and subtraction. One hundred and sixty English primary schools took part in the trial, and were randomly allocated to receive either Mathematical Reasoning or to be in the control group. The control group was given the opportunity to take part in the program the following year. Teachers in the intervention schools delivered the program to Year 2 students. over 12 to 15 weeks as part of their usual math lessons. Learning was supported by online games, which could be used by students at school and at home. The independent evaluation by a...

12 02 2019
Examining restorative practices in schools

A new research brief by Catherine H. Augustine and colleagues at the RAND Corporation examines findings from an evaluation of restorative practices as implemented in the Pittsburgh (PA) Public Schools. Restorative practices are described as inclusive and non-punitive ways to respond to conflict and build community, and in the Pittsburgh Public Schools, these practices were implemented through the SaferSanerSchools Whole-School Change program. Some key elements of the program include: Affective statements: Personal expressions of feeling in response to specific positive or negative behaviors of othersSmall impromptu conferences: Questioning exercises that quickly resolve lower-level incidents involving two or more peopleFair process: A set of transparent practices designed to create open lines of communication, assure people that their feelings and ideas have been taken into account, and foster a healthy community as a means of treating people respectfully throughout a decision-making process so that they perceive that process to be fair, regardless of...

12 02 2019