卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief

Maths and Science Learning

Understanding math anxiety

While mathematics is often considered a hard subject, not all difficulties with the subject result from cognitive difficulties. Many children and adults experience feelings of anxiety, apprehension, tension or discomfort when confronted by a math problem. Research conducted by the Centre for Neuroscience in Education at the University of Cambridge examined the math performance of more than 2,700 primary and secondary students in the UK and Italy who were screened for math anxiety and general anxiety. Researchers then worked one-to-one with the children in order to gain deeper understanding of their cognitive abilities and feelings towards math using a series of cognitive tasks, questionnaires, and interviews. Emma Carey and colleagues found that A general feeling that math was more difficult than other subjects often contributed to feelings of anxiety about the subject, and that teachers and parents may inadvertently play a role. Girls in both primary and secondary school were found to...

08 05 2019
How do young children develop agency, literacy, and numeracy?

A new resource from Deans for Impact summarizes current cognitive-science research related to how young children - from birth to age eight - develop skills across three domains: agency, literacy, and numeracy. It aims to give guidance to anyone working in education who is interested in understanding the science of how young children develop control of their own behavior and intentions, how they learn to read and write, and how they develop the ability to think mathematically. For each domain, the report identifies key questions about learning and provides a short list of the principles from learning science that inform the answers to these questions. The resource then connects these principles to a set of practical implications for specific teaching strategies. For example, the report identified children regulate their behaviors by achieving the following:   Remember their goalsSuppress impulses and not respond to distractionsBe able to change how they think and react...

10 04 2019
Children’s temperament and teachers as mediators

An article in Child Development reports on a Finnish study of children’s temperament and their math and reading development, focusing on whether teachers’ interaction style acts as a mediator between students’ temperament characteristics and their skill development. The study followed 156 Finnish children, each from a different class, during their first year of primary school. The participating children completed math and English tests in October and April, and parents and teachers completed questionnaires about the child’s temperament. Teachers also answered daily questionnaires over a one-week period about their interaction style with the target child. There were four components of the child’s temperament: Task orientation (activity, persistence, and distractibility); inhibition; positive mood; and negative emotionality. There were three components of teacher’s interaction styles: Affection (a positive and warm daily relationship with the child); behavioral control (the degree to which the teacher aimed to directly influence the child’s behavior); and psychological control (teachers expressing disappointment and...

14 03 2019
Program considering personality traits demonstrates positive results

A studypublished in School Psychology Review investigated the effects of the program INSIGHTS into Children’s Temperament on the critical thinking, math, and reading skills of K-1 children compared to a control group of children assigned to a supplemental after-school reading program. The goal of the INSIGHTS program is to train teachers and parents to recognize students’ personality types and adjust the learning environment as needed.  The program followed 350 kindergarten students in 22 urban low-income schools during kindergarten and into first grade. While all children in the INSIGHTS program demonstrated gains, the greatest gains were made in groups of children classified as shy. The results were: Students whose teachers and parents were involved in the INSIGHTS group demonstrated greater gains in critical thinking than control studentsAlso, they did not lose math skills during the summertime as the control students did. Reading skills were comparable for both groups. Shy children can be overlooked...

14 03 2019
Are immigrant children more likely to pursue STEM careers?

Findings from a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggest that immigrant children study more math and science in high school and college, which means they are more likely to pursue STEM careers. Marcus Rangel and Ying Shi looked at the trajectories of more than 286,000 children born outside of the U.S., and who moved to the U.S. before age 16, using nationally representative datasets including the 2010-2016 waves of the American Community Survey, the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, and the National Survey of College Graduates. They found that : Among U.S.-born children, about 20% of college students major in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). However, among those born outside the US - particularly those who moved to the U.S. after age 10, and don't come from English-speaking or northern-European countries where the native language is linguistically close to English - this number is...

28 02 2019
The principles of success in math

Helping students to understand the logical principles underlying math may improve their mathematical achievement, according to the findings of a randomized controlled trial published by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) in the UK. Mathematical Reasoning lessons focus on developing students’ understanding of the logical principles underlying math, and cover principles such as place value and the inverse relation between addition and subtraction. One hundred and sixty English primary schools took part in the trial, and were randomly allocated to receive either Mathematical Reasoning or to be in the control group. The control group was given the opportunity to take part in the program the following year. Teachers in the intervention schools delivered the program to Year 2 students. over 12 to 15 weeks as part of their usual math lessons. Learning was supported by online games, which could be used by students at school and at home. The independent evaluation by a...

12 02 2019
Does a parent’s anxiety about math negatively affect their child’s math achievement?

A math app intervention may help eliminate the negative association between parents' math anxiety and children's math achievement in early elementary school, according to a study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology. The researchers tracked the math achievement of 587 students from 40 classrooms in the Chicago area from first to third grade. In the first grade, students and their families were randomly assigned tablets loaded with either a math app or a similar reading app. Parents were also given a questionnaire to complete in order to assess a variety of attitudes and behaviors related to math and reading. Math anxiety was measured using the Mathematical Anxiety Rating Scale. At the end of the first grade, they were given a second survey to complete. Children's math achievement was measured using the applied problems subset of a nationally-standardized test. The findings showed: By the end of third grade, children of math-anxious parents who...

12 02 2019
Talking in class boosts progress in math, science, and English

An intervention that trained teachers to improve and monitor the quality of classroom talk had a positive impact on primary students’ test scores in English, math, and science, a report published by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) in the UK reveals. Seventy-six primary schools with higher-than-average proportions of disadvantaged students took part in a randomized control trial of the Dialogic Teaching intervention, which is designed to improve the quality of classroom talk as a means of increasing students’ engagement, learning, and achievement. Year 5 teachers in 38 schools (2,493 students), and a teacher mentor from each school, received resources and training from the delivery team, and then implemented the intervention over the course of the fall and spring terms in the 2015/16 school year. A control group of 38 schools (2,466 students) continued with business as usual. Following the intervention, students were tested in English, math, and science. The results showed that:...

30 01 2019
Low-cost tutoring boosted struggling students’ math results

An evaluation in the UK of the Education Endowment Foundation trial of Tutor Trust’s affordable instruction project found that low-cost tutoring in small groups increased math scores for disadvantaged students who are working below age-expected levels in math. One hundred and five schools in Manchester and Leeds with double the average numbers of disadvantaged students participated in the effectiveness trial of the Tutor Trust project from September 2016 until July 2017. The aim of the project is to improve the math achievement of disadvantaged students by providing small-group tutoring sessions with trained university students and recent graduates. Year 6 students (ages 10–11) who were struggling with math were selected by their teacher to receive extra support from Tutor Trust tutors, should their school be randomly allocated to the intervention group. The selected students in the intervention schools received 12 hours of additional instruction, usually one hour per week for 12...

17 01 2019