卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief

Maths and Science Learning

Keep it real

An article published by the American Psychological Association used data on more than 3,500 German secondary students to explore the link between parental aspirations and their children’s math achievement. It concludes that realistic aspirations are beneficial, but that unrealistic aspirations can be detrimental. The authors used data from the Project for the Analysis of Learning and Achievement in Mathematics (PALMA), a longitudinal study investigating adolescents’ development in mathematics during the secondary school years (German grades 5 to 10; 2002 to 2007).  Samples were drawn from schools in Bavaria and were representative of the child population and the three major school types within the German public school system. The project included assessments of children, teachers, and parents. The study found that: Parental aspiration and children’s mathematical achievement were linked by positive reciprocal relations over time. However, the authors also found that parental over-aspiration can be detrimental to children’s math achievement when aspiration exceeds expectation....

22 10 2020
Peer Assisted Learning Strategies and math achievement

Math PALS (Peer Assisted Learning Strategies) is a supplemental program designed to support mathematics learning through structured peer tutoring activities. Student dyads are created by matching students with similar level of math skills. The program also includes initial professional development to support teachers to deliver the intervention. A recent evaluation published in the Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness assessed the effectiveness of Math PALS in elementary school. The study randomly assigned  28 first grade classrooms (n=454 students)  in northern rural Florida to the intervention or control group. After one school year, results showed that: There were no significant effects on Woodcock-Johnson III math assessment for both subtests: Math Fluency (ES = +0.16; n.s.) and Applied Problems (ES = +0.06; n.s.), However, the intervention effectiveness varied based on initial mathematics skills. For students with higher initial skills (at the 75thpercentile of the sample) there was a positive effect of Math PALS on Fluency...

22 10 2020
Evaluation of Maths Counts

A paper published in Educational Research and Evaluation presents the findings of a one-year efficacy trial of Maths Counts – an intensive, individualized program to support children who struggle with basic math skills at Key Stage 2 (age 7 to 11) in the U.K. The participants were 291 upper-elementary students from 35 schools in England. Students were randomized within school and allocated to an intervention (Maths Counts) or control (business-as-usual) group. The program was delivered to intervention students by specially trained teaching assistants three times per week, for 10 weeks, during curriculum time but outside the regular classroom. The first ten minutes of each session focused on revision of prior learning, and the next 20 minutes introduced new knowledge and skills. The results of the trial suggest that: Maths Counts is effective for students who struggle with basic math skills (effect size = +0.12 for general math skills, and +0.18 for math attitude)....

22 10 2020
Can enrichment math clubs improve mathematics skills for kindergarten students?

High 5s is a small-group after school math enrichment program for kindergarteners who have previously been exposed to the Building Blocks preschool math curriculum. A study published by the Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness assessed the success of this program with 655 kindergarten students in 24 schools who received the program three times a week for half an hour with a trained instructor. The program was structured such that each meeting would consist of 2 short startup activities and conclude with a main activity. Every 4th day was a game day where students were allowed to choose from select activities. While student attendance was high, the quality of instruction varied across club leaders. The results of the High 5s evaluation intervention were mixed: The study showed significantly higher math scores for the intervention students on an assessment that was closely aligned with the program curriculum. However, there were no significant benefits for students...

22 10 2020
Does believing abilities are malleable affect students’ engagement in Math?

Students' engagement in Math is a topic receiving more attention now societies are emphasising the importance of STEM. An article recently published in Frontiers in Psychology explored whether students’ math engagement would be influenced by their beliefs about “implicit theory”. They did this by asking a cohort of Chinese students whether they believed math ability was fixed or malleable, then examining whether the answer affected their math engagement.  They also explored how students' self-efficacy and the intrinsic value they gave to Math influenced the relationship.  The data were collected from 370 students in Grade 8 and 369 students in Grade 11 in China in two waves of assessment. In the first wave, participating students completed the measures of their implicit theory, academic self-efficacy, and intrinsic value. Their Math engagement was then assessed twelve months later. The analysis showed that:  Believing math ability can be changed had a positive effect on students' math...

07 10 2020
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
Effects of MyTeachingPartner-Math/Science on teaching practice and child outcomes

A study published in the Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness reports on the impact of the program MyTeachingPartner-Math/Science (MTP-M/S) on teaching practice and students’ math and science skills in pre-kindergarten. MTP-M/S is a pre-k curriculum primarily composed of inquiry-based activities and supported by a high dosage of professional development for teachers before and during program implementation. For this study, 140 pre-k classrooms in the mid-western and southeastern U.S. were randomly assigned to the intervention or the business-as-usual condition. The MTP-M/S program was implemented in 33-week long units (twice a week for each subject) over 2 years. The results were as follows: At the end of year 1, teachers in the treatment group had higher levels of mathematics and science teaching quality evaluated through video-taped observations, as compared to the control group. No significant effects were found in children’s math and science outcomes at the end of the first year, but science and math skills...

27 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
Using ASSISTments to support middle school math homework

ASSISTments is an online platform that automatically generates feedback for students as they complete problems and shares this feedback with teachers, providing data on student performance to guide instruction decisions.  An evaluation published in the Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness assessed the effectiveness of ASSISTments when used for math homework in middle schools. The study was conducted with 2769 students across 43 schools in Maine over two years. Schools were randomly assigned to begin the intervention early or at a later start date. Teachers using the ASSISTments programs were given the ability to choose existing problems or upload their own to the program to tailor the technology to their particular math course plan. Students were expected to complete homework in ASSISTments at least 3 times a week. Results showed positive effects of ASSISTments on the TerraNova math assessment (ES = +0.22), with greater effects for lower-performing students. These results suggested that ASSISTments is...

12 08 2020