卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief

Maths and Science Learning

More time in class benefits the best

Spending more time at school benefits the best-performing students disproportionately, according to a study. The researchers used data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study – Kindergarten Cohort (ECLS-K). The ECLS-K followed the cohort class of 1998-1999 from kindergarten to their eighth grade, while the present study used the data from the autumn and spring semesters in the 1998-99 school year during kindergarten for analysis. This included more than 20,000 children from 1,000 kindergarten programs in schools for children who entered kindergarten in 1998. Children were given math and reading tests in the fall and spring. Because there was essentially random variation in when these tests were delivered, there were variations in the amount of instructional time between the two tests. The researchers used this to analyze the progress made, but also the difference in progress among the different percentiles within the class. They found that: On average, reading scores increase by...

24 03 2020
In-person vs. online collaboration in science

In an article published in the Journal of Research in Science Teaching, researchers studied whether online collaborative learning was more effective than in-person collaborative learning in middle school science classes in relation to students’ understanding of science concepts. In the study, 90 eighth graders from five classes taught by two teachers at a Virginia public school participated over nine weeks. One teacher taught the experimental group and the other taught the control group. Following a pre-test using the Misconceptions-Oriented Standards-Based Assessment Resources for Teachers (MOSART), both groups were given traditional in-class instruction on the same science topics. At least twice a week, collaborative assignments were then given to the classes, the only difference being that the experimental group collaborated online and did not receive immediate teacher feedback on their theories, unlike the control group who collaborated in person. After nine weeks, the groups were post-tested using MOSART. Results showed that the online...

24 03 2020
Math homework effort: Increasing autonomous motivation through support from family and school

An article published in Frontiers in Psychology examined how math homework effort among middle school students is influenced by adult support from family and school. The authors hypothesized that support from parents and teachers could promote the autonomous motivation of students by providing a sense of having free choice, and by generating interest.   A questionnaire was distributed to 666 seventh and eighth graders from three schools in Hubei Province of China. The questionnaire sought information about students’ math homework effort, autonomous motivation, math teacher support, and parental autonomy support. The results were as follows: Students perceived that parental autonomy support and math teachers’ support facilitated students’ autonomous motivation, which in turn enhanced their effort in homework. Furthermore, students perceived that parental autonomy support directly promoted their math homework effort. The authors concluded that parents and teachers should provide more support for middle school students’ math learning. Specifically, they provided three...

10 03 2020
Computer games to improve children’s math and science achievement

An independent evaluation in the UK of Stop and Think: Learning Counterintuitive Concepts has found evidence of a positive impact in math and science outcomes for students in Key Stage 2 . The Learning Counterintuitive Concepts project, funded by the Education Endowment Foundation and Wellcome, aimed to improve science and math achievement for Year 3 (7-8 year olds) and Year 5 (9-10 year olds) using an intervention called Stop and Think. When learning new concepts in science and math, students must be able to inhibit prior contradictory knowledge and misconceptions to acquire new knowledge successfully. Stop and Think is a computer-assisted learning activity that aims to improve a learner’s ability to adapt to counterintuitive concepts by training them to inhibit their initial response, and instead, give a slower and more reflective answer. The randomized controlled trial involved 6,672 children from 89 schools across England. The intervention was delivered to the whole class...

18 12 2019
The reciprocal effects of homework self-concept, interest and effort on math achievement

Math achievement has been thought to be interrelated with self-concept, interest and effort. In a recent longitudinal study published in Contemporary Educational Psychology, researchers examined how they influence each other over time using a sample of Grade 8 students in China.  702 students in Grade 8 from 14 classes in two public schools in East and South China completed an assessment of their math achievement, homework self-concept, interest, and effort at six weeks after the start of the school year and at the end of the school year. The analysis showed that:  Reciprocal effects were found between math self-concept and achievement, effort and achievement, as well as interest and effort.  In particular, the authors found that higher homework interest led to a higher subsequent effort, and higher prior effort could promote higher homework interest.  Moreover, self-concept had no significant effect on subsequent interest, but prior interest led to higher self-concept, possibly reflecting...

18 12 2019
Digital feedback in Primary Maths

The Education Endowment Foundation in the UK has published an evaluation of Digital Feedback in Primary Maths, a program that aims to improve primary school teachers’ feedback to students. The intervention uses a tablet application called Explain Everything, diagnostic assessments, and training on effective feedback. The app allows teachers to provide students with digitally recorded feedback on a tablet, rather than written feedback. Students have the opportunity to review their feedback and develop their work further. By improving teachers’ diagnostic and feedback skills when teaching math in primary schools, the intervention aims to ultimately improve student outcomes in math. To estimate the impact of Digital Feedback on math achievement, the evaluation used a randomized controlled trial involving 2,564 students in 108 classes across 34 English primary schools. While the intervention took place in each school, classrooms were randomly assigned to the treatment or control group, which carried on with business-as-usual teaching. The...

04 12 2019
Family and Progress in Mathematics

Using a large sample from a longitudinal national Chinese survey, an article recently published in Learning and Instruction investigated how socioeconomic status (SES) and the academic expectation of the primary caregivers predicted students’ attainment in mathematics. The study used data from China Family Panel Studies, a longitudinal survey launched in 2010 and conducted every two years in 162 counties in China. In total, 1,407 adolescents were examined with data collected in 2010, 2012, and 2014, years in which the cohort grew from aged 10-15 to aged 14-19. In these years, students took three mathematics tests, the results of which were analyzed with their SES at the baseline and their primary caregivers’ academic expectations. It was found that: Both SES and primary caregivers’ academic expectation exerted positive effects on the mathematics attainment of the students in the study. Higher academic expectation from primary caregivers at ages 10-15 supported students to make...

24 09 2019
A review of classroom-based mathematical interventions

The Nuffield Foundation in the UK recently published a report from researchers at Ulster University that analyzes the outcomes of classroom-based mathematical interventions, and gives teachers access to a body of evidence that can assist them in helping primary school children with math. The systematic review included studies that assessed the outcomes of interventions aimed at improving math achievement in elementary children. Forty-five randomized controlled trials were included along with thirty-five quasi-experimental studies. The studies were published between 2000 and 2017, and were mostly conducted in the U.S. and Europe. The results of the review suggest that: There are effective strategies teachers can use to help with learning math and being fluent with mathematical facts. It also found there are many different ways teachers can support children to have a wide bank of strategies to complete mathematical problems, and for children to know when is best to apply them. Technology in the classroom can also be helpful...

11 09 2019
An evaluation of QuickSmart Numeracy

QuickSmart Numeracy is a 30-week math tutoring program from Australia that uses teaching assistants as tutors. Its goal is to increase basic math fact automaticity/fluency in students in Year 4 and Year 8 who perform in the bottom third of their national cohort as measured on standardized testing, the premise being that increased math fluency allows students to devote their concentration to math concepts instead of fact recall. Researchers from the Teachers and Teaching Research Centre in the School of Education at the University of Newcastle, Australia, recently examined the effects of the program on student achievement in a randomized controlled trial. Subjects were 288 Year 4 and Year 8 students from 70 classrooms in 23 Sydney Catholic Schools in New South Wales who scored below the bottom 30th percentile on national standardized testing. Baseline testing was done in March 2017 using the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) Progressive Achievement...

13 08 2019