卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief

Maths and Science Learning

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
What promotes Chinese students’ math homework purposes?

A recent study investigated whether Chinese students' purposes in relation to doing math homework were affected by factors related to homework, teacher, and parent. The study recruited 3,018 students in grade 8 from 96 classes from three regions in China. These students averagely spent 34.1 minutes on math homework each day, and 76.9% of them did math homework four or more days each week. Using a survey, the researchers assessed students’ math homework purposes (namely academic purposes, self-regulatory purposes, approval-seeking purposes). They then examined factors related to homework (namely homework quality, homework interest, homework favourability, homework frequency and homework time), teachers (namely teacher feedback quality, teacher feedback quantity, and teacher autonomy support), and parents (namely parent content support and parent autonomy support). The multilevel analysis of the relationships showed that: The triple cluster of homework characteristics, teacher and parent support had at least one variable significantly related to the three...

18 11 2020
Is it time for technology in math education?

A recent publication in Educational Research Review systematically investigated the effect of education technology (ed tech) on mathematics achievement and orientation. The authors from six universities found that there is insufficient evidence to makes claims about technology’s general effectiveness in supporting math achievement and orientation outcomes. Unlike most other research, the authors went beyond academic outcomes by including orientation towards mathematics and technology as another important measurement. Coined by Schoenfeld in 2011, student orientation refers to students’ beliefs, attitudes, and preferences. Orientation is found to influence student learning through engagement, motivation, and confidence. In total, 123 effect sizes from previous studies were synthesized. Meta-analysis results showed that ed tech in mathematics class has statistically significant but very small effects on achievement (ES = +0.11) and orientation (ES = +0.13). However, after further adjustment for publication bias, these very small effects were gone. Therefore, researchers are inconclusive about ed tech’s effects on student outcomes. The researchers also...

18 11 2020
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