卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief

Programme Evaluation

INSIGHTS into academic achievement

Social-emotional learning (SEL), such as the ability to set goals and manage frustration, have been positively associated with academic outcomes. These findings have encouraged policymakers to implement programs that help students build up their SEL competencies. However, the jury is still out on how well these programs impact academic outcomes. For example, Duncan and colleagues (2007) examined multiple large-scale national datasets and failed to find any significant associations between early SEL skills and math or reading skills in third grade. Furthermore, there are relatively few studies of the long-term impact of SEL interventions on students’ outcomes. To address these two gaps in the literature, Meghan McCormick and colleagues looked into the long-term impact of the social-emotional learning (SEL) program, INSIGHTS. INSIGHTS facilitators use temperament as a lens to teach parents and teachers how to best respond to student behavior, as well as deliver empathy and problem-solving curricula to students. Students' baseline scores were...

24 02 2021
High-risk students gain the most from an argument-based approach to elementary science teaching

University of Iowa’s Brian Hand and colleagues conducted a two-year study evaluating the effects of the Science Writing Heuristic (SWH) approach on 3rd to 5th grade students’ critical thinking and science learning in the classroom. 48 elementary schools in Iowa participated in the implementation of a science program utilizing an SWH approach (n=9,963 students, 24E, 24C) embedded in a student-centered pedagogy of dialogue and critical thinking processes reflective of the real-life practices of scientists. Teachers in the experimental group participated in professional development that immersed teachers in argument-based inquiry activities to help learn science content, emphasizing the essential use of language in science. The Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) was used to assess students’ knowledge of scientific principles pre- and post-treatment. Additionally, all 5th grade students (n=2,353) were evaluated for changes in critical thinking skills using the Cornell Critical Thinking test (CCT). Researchers found that: While the intervention had no statistically significant effect on...

10 02 2021
Long-term effects of a socio-emotional learning program

INSIGHTS into Children’s Temperament is a comprehensive school-based intervention with the aim of improving social-emotional skills and behaviors of students. This program involves teachers, parents, and children through sessions dedicated to each of these targets. In-class activities with students focus on empathy and problem-solving skills using puppets that exemplify temperament typologies. A recent article published in the Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness reported the long-term results of a group of students who participated in a two-year randomized controlled trial. Twenty-two elementary schools in New York City serving low SES students participated in the study. Students were in grades K-1 and more than 50% received free- or reduced-price lunch. Across a two-year study, the intervention was delivered for 10 weeks in kindergarten and for other 10 weeks in first grade. McCormick and colleagues focused on the follow-up outcomes of the group of students who received the intervention for two years. The authors accessed students’...

13 01 2021
Effects of an SEL and literacy development program

Harvard University’s Stephanie Jones and colleagues examined 2-year experimental impacts of a school-based intervention in social-emotional learning and literacy development, called the 4Rs, on children’s social-emotional, behavioral, and academic functioning. The 4Rs program, an intervention unique in its integration of literacy practices and social-emotional skill-building, has two components: literacy-based curriculum delivery in social-emotional learning and teacher training. Subjects were from 18 public New York City inner-city elementary schools (n= 9 treatment schools and 9 Control schools; treatment students =630 students, control students =554 students). The treatment group received both components of the intervention from 3rd to 5th grade. Results suggested that: Children in the intervention schools showed improvements in several non-cognitive domains: self-reports of hostile attributional bias, aggressive interpersonal negotiation strategies, depression, teacher reports of attention skills, and aggressive and socially competent behavior.While there were no main effects of the intervention on teacher reports of children’s academic skills, those who were at...

13 01 2021
Are computer-supported literacy interventions effective for young children?

Computer-assisted learning (CAL) is gaining popularity due to its promise of cost-effectiveness, individualized approach, and enhanced engagement. However, before incorporating CAL in traditional classrooms, it is important to understand the effectiveness of CAL. Recent research, published in Educational Research Review, presents a meta-analysis on computer-supported early literacy interventions in preschool and kindergarten settings to provide some insights into the overall effect and determinants of CAL. Including only randomized trials and quasi-experimental designs, Ludo Verhoeven and his colleagues selected 59 qualified and rigorous studies, which involved a total of 6,786 preschool and kindergarten students. The outcomes of interest were children’s phonological awareness and reading-related skills in alphabetic languages. Statistical analysis showed that Computer-supported early literacy interventions, on average, had small but positive and statistically important effects on learning outcomes (ES = +0.28). This effect size was smaller than those found in previous meta-analyses that investigated teacher-supported early literacy interventions, which lends evidence to...

13 01 2021
Supporting model-based explanations in the elementary science classroom

Zangori, Vo and colleagues explored the practice of modelling as a tool for visualization and reasoning in the elementary science classroom. A study, published by International Journal of Science Education, is part of a five-year research project in the United States, Modelling Hydrologic Systems in Elementary Science (MoHSES), aimed to support 3rd grade teachers in model-based teaching and engage students in generating model-based explanations (MBE). Through curricular and instructional support, MBE were used to encourage students’ understanding of water systems, a global phenomenon comprised of smaller, hard-to-observe components that prove challenging for learners of all ages. A quasi-experimental comparative design was employed to evaluate a baseline curricular intervention (Year 1) and a modelling-enhanced curricular intervention (Year 2) in five 3rd-grade classrooms from the same US Midwestern state. Teachers implementing the intervention were chosen based on their use of the FOSS Water module curriculum and their wide range of teaching experience. During the...

30 12 2020
Effects of an extracurricular science program on science understanding and motivation

"Young Researchers–We Work Like Scientists" is a short-term science program for elementary school students aimed at promoting the understanding of science and students' motivation. The intervention is part of a larger program used in Germany with talented elementary school students. It consists of 10 extracurricular lessons during which students are provided with challenging problem-solving activities and inquiry tasks. A study published by the Journal of Educational Psychology evaluated the effectiveness of this program with 310 third- and fourth-grade students in German schools who received the 10 lessons once a week for 90 minutes. The authors used measures closely aligned with the program curriculum to assess inquiry competencies as well as measures made by other researchers to assess student understanding of science and student motivation. Results of the study showed that: There were significantly higher inquiry competencies for the intervention students on a measure aligned with the program and made by the authors. No...

16 12 2020
The power of texting: combating student absenteeism

With the prevalence of smartphones, text messaging has become a promising tool for connecting schools with parents more closely. A recent paper by the Institute of Education Sciences investigated the effects of an adaptive text messaging strategy on chronic absenteeism. The authors confirmed the potential of text messaging by demonstrating how it decreased chronic absence rates for all students by 2.4% to 3.6%. Using a randomized controlled trial, the study experimented with four versions of adaptive text messaging among 26,000 elementary school students. During the fall semester, groups one and two received messages about the benefits of attendance while groups three and four received messages about the consequences of absenteeism. During the spring semester, chronically absent students in groups one and three received extra personalized outreach messages from school staff but those in groups two and four received extra goal commitment messages. Goal commitment messages asked parents to set attendance goals for...

16 12 2020
Does growth-mindset intervention at scale work?

Students with growth mindsets believe their abilities are malleable through hard work, which in turn, will positively influence their school performance. A recent study by Ganimian evaluated the effects of a “growth-mindset” intervention at scale with Grade 12 students from 202 public secondary schools in Salta, Argentina. The intervention invited participants to read a passage showing evidence that one’s intelligence can be developed through practicing challenging tasks, followed by a brief exercise to help them internalize the idea. In this study, the participating schools were randomly assigned to a treatment group (n=102) and a control group (n=100). The treatment group received a single-session growth-mindset intervention during a non-academic period. Then, the survey and scores of the national assessment taken two months after the intervention were used as indicators of the Grade 12 students’ beliefs and school achievements. The study finds that: There is no significant evidence that the growth-mindset intervention can affect...

18 11 2020