卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief

Programme Evaluation

Play-based curriculum benefits young children and teachers

Findings from a randomized controlled trial of Tools of the Mind (Tools) suggest that the program improves kindergarten students’ academic outcomes in reading and writing, enhances children’s joy in learning and teachers’ enjoyment of teaching, and reduces teacher burnout. The Tools program is a play-based preschool and kindergarten curriculum that emphasizes self-control, language, and literacy skills. The study, published in the journal PLoS One, analyzed the effectiveness of Tools on kindergarten teachers and 351 children (mean age 5.2 years at entry) with diverse socioeconomic backgrounds in 18 public schools in Canada. Schools were paired with closely matched schools and then randomized to either the intervention group or control group. Teachers in the intervention group received a three-day workshop on Tools before the school year began, along with funds for resources. Control group teachers were offered the same amount of training hours and funds for whatever training and resource materials they wanted. The results showed...

30 12 2019
Texting parents helped with early literacy

A study of a program that sent literacy-related advice via text messages to parents of preschool children showed that it improved both the parents’ literacy behavior and the children’s early literacy. READY4K! is an eight-month-long text messaging program for parents of preschool children. Parents receive texts that cover literacy skills, encourage them to participate, and provide follow-up tips. In the study by the National Bureau of Economic Research, 519 parents in California were randomly assigned to receive the program or a series of “placebo” texts (e.g., about school enrollment) during the 2013-14 school year. The results indicated: The texts increased the frequency with which parents read books to children and other literacy activities (effects up to 0.35 standard deviations higher). According to teachers, texted parents asked more questions about their child’s learning (up to 0.19 standard deviations higher) than placebo parents, and their children performed better on early measures of literacy...

30 12 2019
Computer games to improve children’s math and science achievement

An independent evaluation in the UK of Stop and Think: Learning Counterintuitive Concepts has found evidence of a positive impact in math and science outcomes for students in Key Stage 2 . The Learning Counterintuitive Concepts project, funded by the Education Endowment Foundation and Wellcome, aimed to improve science and math achievement for Year 3 (7-8 year olds) and Year 5 (9-10 year olds) using an intervention called Stop and Think. When learning new concepts in science and math, students must be able to inhibit prior contradictory knowledge and misconceptions to acquire new knowledge successfully. Stop and Think is a computer-assisted learning activity that aims to improve a learner’s ability to adapt to counterintuitive concepts by training them to inhibit their initial response, and instead, give a slower and more reflective answer. The randomized controlled trial involved 6,672 children from 89 schools across England. The intervention was delivered to the whole class...

18 12 2019
Does enhancing teacher expectation benefit students?

Teachers’ expectations are believed to affect students, but teacher expectation intervention studies that compare an intervention group to a control group are rare. A recent study published in Learning and Individual Differences investigated the effects of an intervention in China that enhanced teachers’ behaviour of conveying high expectations to students. The study randomly selected two schools in the urban area of a city in south China. Four Grade 8 English teachers in each school were randomly chosen and evenly allocated to either the intervention or control group. While the control group teachers did not receive training, the intervention group teachers were provided with training workshops focusing on three strands of high expectation behaviour, namely, giving students challenging tasks, providing affirmation or suggestions to students about their performance, and enhancing how teachers impart personal regard to students.  Teachers were asked to estimate the final exam score they believed each student would achieve for...

04 12 2019
Digital feedback in Primary Maths

The Education Endowment Foundation in the UK has published an evaluation of Digital Feedback in Primary Maths, a program that aims to improve primary school teachers’ feedback to students. The intervention uses a tablet application called Explain Everything, diagnostic assessments, and training on effective feedback. The app allows teachers to provide students with digitally recorded feedback on a tablet, rather than written feedback. Students have the opportunity to review their feedback and develop their work further. By improving teachers’ diagnostic and feedback skills when teaching math in primary schools, the intervention aims to ultimately improve student outcomes in math. To estimate the impact of Digital Feedback on math achievement, the evaluation used a randomized controlled trial involving 2,564 students in 108 classes across 34 English primary schools. While the intervention took place in each school, classrooms were randomly assigned to the treatment or control group, which carried on with business-as-usual teaching. The...

04 12 2019
Long-term effects of social-emotional learning

A study published in AERA Open looks at the long-term effects of the INSIGHTS program – a social-emotional learning intervention that supports children’s ability to self-regulate by enhancing their attention and behavior management. Between 2008 and 2012, a total of 22 elementary schools from three New York City school districts were randomly assigned to participate in the INSIGHTS program or to an attention-control condition (an after-school reading program). A previous study found that the INSIGHTS program reduced children’s disruptive behavior and increased behavioral engagement by the end of first grade. This study uses administrative data for those students to examine whether receiving the intervention in kindergarten and first grade had any impact on provision of special education services or grade retention by the end of fifth grade. The study also considers whether impacts varied for low- versus high-income students. The findings suggest that: Students in the INSIGHTS program were less likely to receive special education services between kindergarten...

20 11 2019
Using technology to facilitate personalized learning in China

An article recently published in Frontiers in Psychology reported how technology is used to facilitate personalized learning in China. Xiaofeng You and colleagues examined the Chinese Learning Diagnosis System (CLDS) developed by a Chinese educational evaluation company designed for providing timely feedback to students and teachers.  The CLDS analyzes students’ assignments for their mastery of various attributes and generates feedback to students and teachers. Consequently, students can identify their strengths and weakness and teachers can modify their instruction using the information. To examine the CLDS’s effectiveness, the achievements, self-efficacy, and academic motivation of 547 high school students enrolled in an experimental school in 2012 were compared to 396 high school students in a school where CLDS was not used. Achievement in the pretest was measured by high school entrance examination scores, and achievement in the posttest 3 years later was measured by the college entrance examination scores; both are high stakes tests...

06 11 2019
Results of a large randomized controlled trial of growth mindset

A randomized controlled trial published in the journal Nature has found that a short, online, self-administered growth mindset intervention may improve achievement among lower-achieving students and increase overall enrollment in advanced math courses. The study, conducted by David S. Yeager and colleagues, was the largest ever randomized controlled trial of growth mindset in U.S. schools, with 12,000 ninth graders in 65 schools involved. Students were individually randomized to either a control or intervention group. The intervention group was asked to complete two 25-minute online courses, taken three weeks apart. Students were given information about how the brain works and the latest research on growth mindset, then they completed activities such as explaining what they had learned from the course to students in the year below. Students in the control group were given a similar program with information on how the brain worked, but no information on growth mindset. Following the intervention, students' grade point average (GPA)...

11 09 2019
Effects of Positive Emotion Interventions on Chinese Adolescents

In recent years, interventions that apply positive psychology principles have become increasingly popular, providing an alternative approach to promoting students’ well-being. A recent research published in Frontiers in Psychology examined a positive education program in China focusing on positive emotion for middle school students” Participants were drawn from a public middle school in the city of Chengdu, China. A total of 173 eighth graders from six classes participated in this study, of which 84 were randomly allocated to the experiment group, and 89 were assigned in the control group. Students in the experiment group received a 10-session positive education program delivered by their head-teachers who received training in positive psychology from the researchers. The program consisted of three main modules, namely understanding emotions, fostering positive emotions and managing negative emotions. Each session lasted 45 minutes. Students in the control group spent the same time taking a moral education class that...

11 09 2019