卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief

Maths and Science Learning

Mathematics interventions for adolescents with mathematics difficulties: A meta-analysis

A meta-analysis published in the Learning Disabilities Journal has synthesized the findings of interventions designed to improve the mathematics achievement of secondary school students with mathematics difficulties (MD). A group of nine researchers performed a systematic literature review focusing on mathematics interventions targeting two categories of students having a MD: students with a documented disability under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) (i.e., math LD) and students with persistent low mathematics achievement at the secondary level. The authors identified 45 studies that met their inclusion criteria reporting findings for 49 interventions from which 139 effect sizes were extracted and used for the meta-analysis. They obtained a positive, statistically significant mean effect of +0.52 (p < .001), suggesting that the math interventions were generally effective. In terms of moderators of treatment effects, the results of meta-regression found significant effects for two intervention characteristics (i.e., including content domain and intervention duration),...

23 12 2022
Does an early algebra intervention have a sustained effect?

Most RCT studies stop at the post-test stage, without follow-up observations. Stephens and colleagues conducted a study to examine if an early algebra intervention influenced later learning. Participants were 1,455 students from 46 elementary schools. Seven hundred and sixteen students were from 23 treatment schools that used an early algebra intervention for 18 one-hour lessons per year from third through fifth grade during regular math class. The rest were from 23 control schools. All the students moved to a new middle school in grade 6. Students completed an 11-item written assessment before and after the intervention. Overall, the treatment group (M = 47.51% correct, SD = 21.54%) did better than the control group (M = 37.93% correct, SD = 19.74%) in the initial year of the intervention. However, the gap between the two groups narrowed from Grade 5 to Grade 6. Control students experienced an overall increase in performance from...

23 12 2022
Which factors influence the effect of math interventions?

A recent meta-analysis published in the Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness studied the effects of PreK-12 mathematics interventions in the U.S. from the 1990’s to 2017 with the aim of examining the characteristics of the studies that contribute to the effect heterogeneity. The criteria to select the studies were broad in order to do a comprehensive review of randomized studies on mathematics intervention, written in English, and conducted in the U.S. Therefore, the authors included studies with different methodological qualities (e.g., types of measure, attrition rate, baseline equivalence) and attempted to control for these factors in the analysis. A total of 191 studies met the inclusion criteria, with a mean effect size of +0.31. There was substantial heterogeneity, with a 95% prediction interval (range of 95% of true effect sizes) of -0.60 to +1.23. To explain the heterogeneity, the authors tested blocks of moderators. After testing each block independently,...

09 12 2022
Six letters to change parents’ math expectation towards their children

Gender stereotypes in math, which refers to the belief that men have superior math ability than women, can harm female students' math competence beliefs. Similarly, students’ beliefs that math ability is inborn and does not change much with effort (fixed mindset) can weaken their competence beliefs. Lee and colleagues investigated the impact of two interventions on parents and students’ math beliefs. A sample of 467 grade three and grade four students (mean age = 9.43 years, 53.3% girl) in 20 classes and their parents (over 88% mothers) at three elementary schools in Korea were randomly assigned in class units to intervention (11 classes) and control conditions (9 classes). The intervention was divided into two parts, one for parents (Intervention-P) and the other for students (Intervention-S). In Intervention-P, parents of the intervention group received two letters each week for three consecutive weeks from August to September, while parents in the control...

07 10 2022
Cardinal number knowledge and finger counting

A recent pretest-training-posttest study of three-year-old numerical development by Orrantia and colleagues provides insight on the role of finger patterns in the acquisition of cardinality. The study consisted of 51 children randomly assigned to one of two separate classrooms, each with a similarly qualified teacher. The instructional technique practiced in the first classroom consisted of the teacher first labeling a set’s quantity on flashcard for the class, then having the class count the set aloud while the teacher pointed to each item, and finally having the children point to their own cards, count, and label. The authors identified this as the label-count-label (LCL) condition and effectively used this classroom as the control group. The technique in the second classroom followed the same pattern, but each step was supplemented with the teacher and students holding up the corresponding number of fingers for each quantity, which the authors identified as the LCL-plus-finger...

23 09 2022
Evaluation of an online computer programming training approach with precision feedback

Due to the rapid development of information technology, acquiring programming knowledge is growing in prominence, and computation thinking becomes a fundamental skill for children just like reading and math. Using the Two-Tier Test-Based Programming Training (T3PT) approach, Hwang and Tung developed an online learning system for beginners and conducted a quasi-experiment to examine the effect of the system on secondary school students’ computer programming learning. The Two-Tier Test-Based Programming Training (T3PT) consists of two tiers of questions: The first tier assesses students’ understanding of the programming concept The second tier investigates the reasons for students’ choice in the first tier test to detect whether students have misconceptions about the programming. The learning system then, based on students’ responses, provides timely precise feedback to students to enhance their understanding of the correct concepts of programming logic. Two classes of 99 eighth grade students (mean age = 14.2) from Taiwan were divided...

23 09 2022
The best of two worlds: A systematic review on combining real and virtual experiments in science education

A recent study published in the Review of Educational Research examined the relative effectiveness of combining real and virtual experiments versus a single type of experimentation, and which sequence of real and virtual experiments was most effective for the acquisition of scientific literacy. In contrast to previous reviews focusing on a comparison of real experiments (RE, hands-on with actual materials) versus virtual experiments (VE, interactive computer simulation), in this review the authors focused on the effects of combining RE and VE. The results were based on a sample of 42 studies meeting the inclusion criteria set. In relation to the relative effectiveness of combining real and virtual experiments compared with a single type of experimentation, the results showed that: Twenty-five of the 30 studies reported a significant advantage of the experimental groups that used RE and VE in combination, compared to control groups that used only one single experiment type...

23 09 2022
Mathematics summer learning

A recent meta-analysis by Lynch and colleagues provides fresh insight on contemporary research focused on the effects of summer programs for mathematics. The authors noted that studies cited in previous meta-analyses of the effects of summer programs on mathematics achievement are now approximately 20 years old, and thus a new meta-analysis on the topic was warranted. The authors used data from 37 studies to analyze the effects of summer programs on mathematics achievement, the characteristics of summer programs which moderate their effectiveness, and the relationship between summer learning programs and noncognitive outcomes. The primary finding of the meta-analysis was shown below. Summer programs demonstrated an overall positive effect (ES = +0.10) on all mathematics outcomes A positive effect (ES = +0.10) also found on standardized mathematics test scores. For context, this is equivalent to approximately a 4 percentile point difference on a standardized test. Delving more into the details of...

09 09 2022
Doubling down to improve school climate

A recent study by Grant and colleagues evaluated the effect of implementing Restorative Practices and Diplomas Now on school climate and teachers’ intentions to leave their school. Restorative Practices refers to a schoolwide shift away from punitive disciplinary methods and toward open dialogue that allows students to make amends by processing how their behavior affects others. Diplomas Now, another schoolwide reform model, focuses on building collaborative teacher teams, providing professional development, using early warning systems to provide students with tiered supports, and incorporating all supports by providing additional human resources to accomplish the work. It was hypothesized that when implemented together, the interventions would have a positive effect on school climate by improving student-teacher relationships, providing students with relevant and engaging learning opportunities, and increasing teacher retention. The analytic sample for the study included 25 schools from large urban school districts that were randomly assigned to either implement both interventions...

26 08 2022