卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief

Language Development

Poor literacy skills hold poorer students back in science

A report, published by the Education Endowment Foundation in the UK and the Royal Society, has reviewed existing studies to identify interventions and teaching approaches that have a positive impact on student learning in science, particularly for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. The researchers from the University of Oxford analyzed data in the National Pupil Database in England to measure the extent of the gap in the performance between economically disadvantaged students (students who have been entitled to free school meals at least once in the last six years) and students from higher socioeconomic status (SES) backgrounds on national science tests. This analysis confirmed that disadvantaged students had much lower scores and made poorer progress in science, at every stage of their school career, than students from higher SES backgrounds. The gap first becomes apparent at Key Stage 1 (ages 5 – 7) and only gets wider throughout primary and secondary school....

09 09 2020
Should we be differentiating literacy instruction?

A recent meta-analysis explored the impact of differentiated instruction in elementary literacy.  Differentiated instruction is when teachers “modify content, process, and/or products in response to individual student differences in readiness, learning profiles, and interests.”  These modifications may be designed before the instruction takes place, or happen organically as teachers react to students’ learning.  Instruction may also be differentiated by adjusting the content (what students learn), the process (how students learn), and the product (how student demonstrate learning).  This meta-analysis attempted to systematically examine whether differentiation in the general (Tier 1) classroom by a general education teacher is effective, and whether there are any factors that explain differences in that effectiveness.  A total of 18 studies were included in the review. The results were as follows: Across all studies, outcomes were significantly positive for comprehension (ES = +0.09) and letter-word reading (ES = +0.20), but did not reach significance for fluency or...

09 09 2020
Are early reading programs helping young struggling readers?

Does early reading instruction really deliver important outcomes for struggling readers? A review in the Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness addressed this question by focusing on students in Grades 1-3 who struggle with reading. Researchers systematically reviewed 33 studies conducted between 2002 and 2017 to investigate the effects of reading intervention on word and pseudoword reading, reading comprehension, and passage fluency. In total, 128 effect sizes (n=11,737) ranging from -0.20 to +1.37 were collected: The mean effect size of +0.39 (p<0.001) confirmed the hypothesis that early reading interventions were generally effective, with encoding and writing interventions more effective than phonological awareness interventions. Meta-analytic results also indicated that one-to-one instruction (ES=+0.46) was more effective than small-group instruction (2-5 students) (ES=+0.31). Research results suggest that the position of instructors – researchers, certified teachers, university students, or paraprofessionals – does not have a significant impact on outcomes.   Source: Gersten, R., Haymond, K., Newman-Gonchar, R., Dimino,...

09 09 2020
Technology-mediated vocabulary instruction

The importance of vocabulary for reading comprehension is widely accepted. Evidence-based approaches for improving vocabulary are needed in schools, yet few exist.  Vocabulators, an online tool that can be integrated into the school day to teach students the vocabulary needed to process text, was developed to fill that gap. A new study published in the Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness assessed the effectiveness of Vocabulators. The study included third grade students across seven schools in the northeast and southwest United States, six of which received Title I funding. Students identified as reading below average with some risk of reading failure within each class were randomly assigned to either the Vocabulators intervention or to continue their teachers’ normal literacy instruction. The Vocabulators group participated in the program for half an hour a day, three days per week. Students used the program as determined by their teacher, such as during center/station time, intervention block, or...

09 09 2020
High-dosage reading tutoring in public schools as an alternative to charter schools

Amid the heated policy debate on whether to lift the cap on the number of charter schools, people often cite charter schools’ more intensive tutoring and better academic performance to lobby for lifting the cap. A recent paper indicated that public schools with high-dosage after-school tutoring have the potential to be a politically neutral solution to increase student achievement without lifting the cap. Researchers at Harvard University conducted a school-level randomized evaluation to examine the effects of high-dosage reading tutoring on New York City’s middle school students. Using matched-triple randomization procedures, 60 traditional New York City public schools were divided into a treatment group, a control group, and a ‘pure’ control group. During three years of the project, selected students in the treatment group attended one-to-four reading tutoring for 2.5 hours every day, while students in the control and the ‘pure’ control groups had neither tutoring nor other after-school services. Meanwhile, the New York...

27 08 2020
How effective are book giveaway programs in improving children’s literacy?

Preschool intervention programs have been of great interest to educational researchers, since early childhood investments can yield robust long-term benefits. A recent research article, published in the current issue of Review of Educational Research, investigated the effectiveness of book giveaway programs for infants’ families. Researchers focused on three major book giveaway programs: Bookstart in the UK, Reach Out and Read in the USA, and Imagination Library in the USA. Each program has different treatment dosages: Before a child turns five, Bookstart provides up to two books; Reach Out and Read provides up to ten books; and Imagination Library supplies up to 60 books. After filtering through the inclusion criteria, researchers included 44 studies in their meta-analysis: 11 concerning  Bookstart, 18 concerning  Reach Out and Read, and 15 concerning  Imagination Library. By providing easily accessible and age-appropriate books, book giveaway programs aim to motivate parents to begin reading to their children from infancy, which...

12 08 2020
The danger of classifying “reading” or “math” people

Academic self-concept is a central factor that affects various psychological and behavioral outcomes. Students compare their academic achievement across social (How good am I at this compared to my classmates?), temporal (How good am I compared to how I was?), and dimensional (How good am I in math compared to English?) domains. A meta-analysis of 505 datasets (n=572,718) gathered findings on social and dimensional comparisons concerning achievement and academic self-concept in mathematical and verbal subjects. An important consequence of the dimensional construct is that as students develop positive self-concepts around particular subjects, they may develop negative self-concepts around those on the other end of the math-verbal continuum. Strengthening self-concept in math or science leads to weaker self-concept in reading and writing, and vice versa. Students who realize they excel in math may mentally diminish their skill in reading–they become ‘math’ people. Interestingly, this balancing act of math-verbal abilities does not align with...

12 08 2020
The relation between student motivation and reading performance

The latest issue of Review of Educational Research presents a meta-analysis on the relationship between reading achievement and motivation. The review examined whether ability to decode and understand text, goal orientation, students’ at-risk status, or grade level moderated the relationship, as well as whether motivation and reading are related over time. Jessica Toste and colleagues at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Iowa included 132 peer-reviewed articles with 1,154 effect sizes. Most of the studies took place in the United States (41%). Other studies were from Canada or Europe. Results suggested that: The relation between motivation and reading achievement is moderate (ES = +0.22). For specific reading domains, average correlations with motivation were moderate as well: ES = +0.19 for the ability to read in an accurate and fluent way, ES = +0.21 for the ability to understand and learn from reading text, and ES= +0.23 for general reading. Further...

29 07 2020
Teaching Students to Recognize Expository Text Structures

Students tend to struggle understanding informational text more than narrative text. What instructional strategies for fostering informational (expository) text comprehension are backed by strong evidence of effectiveness? One intervention strategy is teaching students to recognize expository text structures. Text structure is the organization of ideas, the relationship among the ideas, and the vocabulary used to convey meaning to the reader. The thought is that if readers can understand that authors purposely use various structures to organize text, then readers are assisted to construct an integrated mental representation of key ideas similar to the text’s organization. In a systematic review of 21 studies, Pyle and colleagues examined the effects of expository text structure interventions on comprehension outcomes of typically achieving students, at-risk students, and students with learning disabilities in grades K–12. Supporting the findings of previous reviews, Pyle found that teaching students to recognize text structures produced large effects on reading comprehension....

01 07 2020