卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief

Programme Evaluation

Say hello, wave goodbye to behavior problems

A small-scale study by Clayton Cook and colleagues, published in the Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, investigated the impact of a Positive Greetings at the Door (PGD) strategy. Ten language arts and math classrooms (from sixth to eighth grade) in two schools in the Pacific Northwest of the United States were identified that had low levels of academic engaged time (AET) and a high rate of disruptive and off-task behavior. In total, 203 students took part. A randomized block design was used to allocate the classes to intervention and control groups. Teachers of intervention classes were provided with training sessions and follow-up coaching on a PGD strategy (greeting the students by name, reminding students individually and collectively of behaviors for success, having a structure learning activity ready, and positively recognizing on-time behavior). Teachers in the control classes were given the same amount of time to talk with other teachers about their classroom...

20 11 2018
How much is enough?

There have now been many controlled studies of preventive mental health interventions for young people. For these studies to be useful, practitioners need to know whether the effects shown for a particular intervention are modest, moderate, or large. Emily Tanner-Smith and colleagues summarized more than 400 mean effect size estimates from 74 meta-analyses that synthesized findings from many trials. All the trials were of programs aimed at preventing problematic behavior or emotional problems for young people aged 5-18. The results, published in Prevention Science, indicate that: With few exceptions, the median average effect sizes on various outcomes fell within the range of +0.07 to +0.16. Prevention programs yielded larger effects on knowledge than on actual behavior. Providing information to increase knowledge (e.g., about the risks of drug use) is an important component of many programs, but knowledge does not always correlate strongly with actual behavior. The authors advise that the effect sizes...

10 10 2018
Evidence supports The BSCS Inquiry Approach

With the increasing interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) curricula comes the need for evidence backing these programs. One such science program in the U.S. is The BSCS Inquiry Approach, a comprehensive high school science approach based on three key concepts: constructivism, coherence, and cohesiveness. The materials are built around the 5E process (engage, explore, explain, elaborate, and evaluate). Teaching focuses on evaluating students' current understanding and using inquiry methods to move them to higher understandings. Each of the science disciplines (physical science, life science, earth science, and science and society) is composed of four chapters that repeat common themes, which advance over a three-year period. Designing and carrying out experiments in small groups is important in all topics. Teachers receive seven days of professional development each year, including a three-day summer institute and four one-day sessions, enabling sharing of experiences and introducing new content over time. To determine the...

10 10 2018
Grouping students by achievement

The Education Endowment Foundation in the UK has published an evaluation of two trials of programs developed by the University College-London (UCL) Institute of Education investigating approaches to grouping students: Best Practice in Setting and Best Practice in Mixed Attainment Grouping. The main trial, "Best Practice in Setting," tested an intervention that aimed to get schools to improve their setting practice (grouping students in classes by their current achievement levels). A total of 127 schools took part in the trial, which ran over the course of two academic years. Teachers were randomly allocated to sets to prevent "lower" sets from being disproportionately assigned less-experienced teachers, while students in Years 7 and 8 were assigned to sets based on independent measures of achievement, rather than more subjective judgments such as behavior and peer interactions. There were opportunities throughout the year to re-assign students to different sets based on their current level of achievement. The evaluation showed: No evidence...

10 10 2018
Spectacular results using self-regulation to improve writing

A study has used memorable visits and self-regulation to improve the writing of children in Year 6 and 7 in the UK. The Education Endowment Foundation project involved 23 primary schools and their Year 6 teachers in West Yorkshire. Eleven schools were randomly allocated to receive training, from an external consultant, in the Self-Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD) approach. Twelve schools were allocated to the comparison. SRSD provides a clear structure to help pupils plan, monitor, and evaluate their writing. It aims to encourage pupils to take ownership of their work. Memorable experiences, such as trips to local landmarks or visits from World War II veterans, were used as a focus for writing lessons. The project appeared to have a large positive impact on writing outcomes: The overall effect size for writing, comparing the progress of pupils in the project to similar pupils who did not participate, was +0.74. This was statistically...

25 09 2018
Positive progress for math, but not reading, for a thinking-skills intervention

The Education Endowment Foundation evaluated the impact of the ReflectED programme using a randomised controlled trial involving 1,858 pupils across 30 schools in five areas throughout England over the academic year 2014/15. The evaluation examined the impact on the math and reading achievement of Year 5 pupils, and also their attitudes toward reading and math. The ReflectED programme was developed by Rosendale Primary School to improve pupils’ metacognition — their ability to think about and manage their own learning. This includes the skills of setting and monitoring goals, assessing progress, and identifying personal strengths and challenges. The evaluation findings showed: Year 5 pupils who took part in the trial made an average of four months’ additional progress in math (ES = +0.30) compared to those in the control groups. There was also evidence that pupils in the programme developed a more positive attitude toward math. However, in reading they made two fewer...

25 09 2018
The impact of a classroom management program on children’s mental health

Tamsin Ford and colleagues evaluated the effectiveness of the Incredible Years Teacher Classroom Management (IYTCM) program. The IYTCM program aims to improve teachers' classroom management skills and build strong relationships with students and their parents. Teachers are trained to ignore low-level bad behavior that often disrupts classrooms and instead develop effective behavior plans that encourage and promote emotional regulation skills. The study, published in Psychological Medicine, used a cluster randomized controlled trial, in which children ages four to nine from schools across the southwest of England were randomly allocated to undertake the TCM program or continue their usual practice over a 30-month period (with outcomes assessed at 9, 18, and 30 months). One class in each of 80 schools (40 TCM, 40 usual practice; 2,075 children in total) participated. Effects of the intervention on students' mental health were assessed via the Total Difficulties score from the teacher-report version of the Strengths and Difficulties...

13 09 2018
Effect of preschool home visiting on school readiness

A study published in JAMA Pediatrics examines the sustained effects of a preschool home visiting program on child outcomes in third grade. Karen L. Bierman and colleagues conducted a randomized controlled trial of the Research-Based and Developmentally Informed Parent home visiting program (REDI-P) on 200 families with preschool children recruited from 24 Head Start centers in Pennsylvania. Families were assigned to either receive the REDI-P intervention or be sent math learning games in the mail (control group). The intervention focused on improving academic performance and social-emotional adjustment, and reducing children's problems at home. Families received 10 visits from home visitors during preschool and six follow-up visits in kindergarten. Parents received coaching to enhance parent-child relationships and home learning materials to support children's development and school readiness. Overall, REDI-P produced sustained benefits four years after the intervention, with children in the REDI-P intervention group needing and using fewer school services than children in the...

13 09 2018
How prevalent is publication bias in educational research?

Research syntheses combine the results of all qualifying studies on a specific topic into one overall finding or effect size. When larger studies with more significant effect sizes are published more often than smaller studies with less significant or even null findings, but are of equal study quality, this is referred to as publication bias. The danger of publication bias is that it does not accurately represent all of the research on a given topic, but instead emphasizes the most dramatic. In Educational Psychology Review, an article by Jason Chow and Erik Eckholm of Virginia Commonwealth University examines the amount of publication bias present in education and special education journals. They examined the differences in mean effect sizes between published and unpublished studies included in meta-analyses (one kind of research synthesis), whether a pattern emerged regarding individual characteristics common in published vs. unpublished studies, and the number of publication bias tests carried...

13 09 2018