卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief

Maths and Science Learning

Climate change education coupled with hydroponic gardening may increase science achievement scores

As many recognize the pressing need for improved climate change education in our schools, studies evaluating the impacts of such education on science achievement scores become crucial. Kate G. Burt and colleagues explored the impacts of one particular climate change curriculum on New York City fourth graders’ year-end science achievement scores in the 2014-15 school year cycle. The New York Sun Works (NYSW) program builds classroom-based hydroponic lab systems and provides curricula addressing environmental issues in all grade K-12 schools in NYC. Based on schools’ preference, the NYSW program incorporates various hydroponic and aquaponic systems in converted classrooms or full-scale school-based greenhouses. The accompanying project-based curriculum meets New York State’s Science Scope and Sequence requirements and provides intensive training for teachers to implement twice weekly lessons for a total of 80 lessons throughout the school year. 2014-15 achievement scores on the New York State science assessment for fourth grade students (n=638) in...

04 05 2021
Assisting a gender-equal math learning journey

Gender stereotypes are harmful. Many scholars hold the view that gender stereotypic beliefs can undermine students’ math performance. A recent intervention study published in Learning and Instruction strategically combined the reinforcement of gender-equal beliefs with the inculcation of growth mindsets and found promising effects of this joint intervention. Anti-gender-stereotypic treatments emphasize that boys and girls possess the same potential and can perform equally well in math. Meanwhile, growth mindset training can bolster anti-gender-stereotypic beliefs by focusing on the importance of consistent efforts and deliberate practice. Although past literature has not yet established conclusive evidence on such joint intervention, it has been reported that the interaction between the two treatments has additional benefits for students’ learning motivations. To fill the gap in literature and provide rigorous evidence on this topic, researchers from South Korea conducted a cluster randomized trial in a public elementary school with 113 students assigned to the intervention group and 90 students...

07 04 2021
What works in mathematics for elementary school students?

A new review of research, conducted by the team at JHU’s Center for Research and Reform in Education and recently published in AERA Open, analyzes the best available international evidence on math programs for children in elementary school to find out what works in math teaching and learning. Eighty-seven studies of 66 programs were included in the review. Of these, 85% were randomized experiments and 15% were quasi-experiments. Results showed that: There were positive outcomes for tutoring programs (ES = +0.20), with larger effects for one-to-small group tutoring (ES = +0.30) compared to one-to-one tutoring (ES = +0.19). Similar outcomes were found for teachers and teaching assistants as tutors. Professional development (PD) programs were effective when they focused on classroom organization and management (ES = +0.19), such as implementation of cooperative learning, or when they were intended to support the adoption of traditional (non-digital) curricula (ES = +0.12). No impact was found...

07 04 2021
Teaching strategies to improve science learning

A new systematic review in the Journal of Research in Science Teaching analyzes the achievement outcomes of all types of approaches to teaching science in elementary schools. It concludes that science teaching methods focused on enhancing teachers’ classroom instruction throughout the year, such as cooperative learning and science-reading integration, as well as approaches that give teachers technology tools to enhance instruction, have significant potential to improve science learning. Study inclusion criteria included the use of randomized or matched control groups, study duration of at least four weeks, and the use of achievement measures independent of the experimental treatment. A total of 23 studies met these criteria. The findings were as follows:   Among studies evaluating inquiry-based teaching approaches, programs that used science kits did not show positive outcomes on science achievement measures (weighted ES=+0.02 in 7 studies), but inquiry-based programs that emphasized professional development but not kits did show positive outcomes (weighted ES=+0.36...

07 04 2021
Effect of professional development on science achievement

A recent study published in the International Journal of Science Education and funded by the Education Endowment Foundation (England) examined the impact of the Thinking, Doing, Talking Science (TDTS) program on students’ learning outcomes. TDTS is a teacher professional development (PD) program with similarities to inquiry-based science education.  The program aims to enhance teachers’ skills to facilitate students’ higher order thinking through teacher demonstration, student practical tasks and challenges, and class discussion. The study involved 1264 pupils aged 9-10 at 42 primary schools. Schools were randomly assigned to the TDTS group or the control group. Teachers in the TDTS group received five training days over a school year and implemented the program in their classes. The researchers used a measure developed by them to evaluate student science achievement with particular attention to science inquiry process, content knowledge, and conceptual understanding. The measure was based on questions extracted from standardized tests. Results showed that: ·        ...

07 04 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
Students’ emotional regulation also matters to homework completion and math achievement

Homework completion and achievement can be affected by how students handle their emotions. An article recently published in Contemporary Educational Psychology examined the reciprocal effects of emotional regulation, homework completion, and math achievement on each other using a longitudinal design. The study was conducted in four public schools in China, from which 1,480 8th graders participated. These schools were regular schools in contrast to key schools which select high-achieving students. When the study began, 69.4% of participating students did math homework four days or more in a week and, on average, spent 34.5 minutes on that per day. Students completed a questionnaire about homework emotion regulation, including emotion management and cognitive reappraisal and were assessed for their homework completion and math achievement first at the beginning of November and again seven and a half months later. Standardized tests guided by national math curriculum standards in China were used to access...

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