卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief

Social and Motivational Outcomes

How do students’ achievement goals affect their well-being?

The importance of students setting academic goals has been increasingly recognized. Students can have mastery goals which target learning and improving their ability. They can also have performance-approach or performance-avoidance goals that focus on outperforming others or being outperformed by others. A study recently published in School Mental Health identified that students’ performance goals were not conducive to their well-being. The study was first conducted on a corpus of 894 Grade 7 students from two public schools in northern China. Of these students, 763 and 590 participated, one year and two years later respectively, in a further study. The attrition was mainly due to school transference and absence from school during the assessment. They completed a questionnaire measuring their achievement goals, academic social comparisons, self-esteem and subjective well-being in school. The findings showed that:  Students’ mastery goals had positive effects on later subjective well-being through academic social comparison and self-esteem. Performance-avoidance goals...

01 07 2020
A review of pre-school SEL interventions

Dana Murano and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis to summarize the effects of social and emotional learning (SEL) interventions on the development of social and emotional skills and the reduction of problem behaviors in pre-schoolers. The review, published in Review of Educational Research, considered 48 studies that looked at the effects of either universal (delivered to all students) or targeted (delivered to students who were identified as being in need of additional support) SEL interventions. The interventions in these studies were delivered to pre-school-age children (mean age = 4.31 years), and a total of 207 effect sizes were extracted. Overall, the results of the meta-analysis suggest that pre-school children benefit from SEL interventions, and in particular those receiving targeted interventions, details are as follows: Compared with students in control conditions, students who received a universal SEL intervention showed overall improvements in social and emotional skills (effect size = +0.34) and reductions in...

17 06 2020
Helping children prepare to succeed

Child Trends has released a research brief on school readiness that aims to answer the question: Will children be ready to succeed in school, and how best can we support their success? The information is based on Child Trends’s work with state policymakers and a review of existing literature on the topic. They offer the following five “things to know”: School readiness is a puzzle with multiple pieces, and families, communities, and schools all share responsibility in putting the pieces together to support children’s success in school. There are five areas of skills and development that will help young children be ready to succeed in school. These are health and physical development, social and emotional development, language and communication, approaches to learning, and cognitive development and general knowledge. It is especially important to think about high-quality early childhood experiences for children at risk of later difficulties in school. Research has shown that...

17 06 2020
Positive results for school-readiness intervention

A study published in Early Childhood Research Quarterly reports on a randomized controlled trial of an intervention designed to improve the quality of teaching in early childhood settings and increase children’s school readiness. “Play and Learn” is a low-cost, 20-week, teacher-delivered early childhood program that targets skills for both teachers and children. For teachers, the intervention aims to improve their teaching and interactive skills. The aim of the intervention for children is to improve their language and math skills and increase school readiness. The randomized controlled trial involved 1,116 children ages 18 to 36 months who were enrolled in 87 childcare centers in Denmark. Childcare centers were randomized to either an intervention or control group, with childcare centers in the intervention group implementing the Play and Learn program. Teachers implementing the program received training materials and tools to support their teaching and help them to be more explicit and intentional in their interactions...

17 06 2020
The relationship between well-being and achievement among Chinese elementary school students

The importance of promoting well-being in schools has been increasingly emphasized. A recent longitudinal study published in School Psychology investigated the relationships between academic achievement, self-esteem, and subjective well-being across time among elementary school students in China. Participating students, who were from Grades 3, 4, and 5, were randomly selected from classes in two elementary schools in a city in Southern China. The study assessed students’ academic achievement, self-esteem, and subjective well-being three times, at intervals of six months.  A cohort of 807 students participated in the first assessment, 790 in the second and 792 in the third. The findings showed that: Academic achievement positively predicted later subjective well-being in school. In particular, the study identified that elementary school students with better academic achievement reported a higher level of self-esteem, which later contributed to a higher level of subjective well-being in schools. However, unexpectedly, neither well-being nor self-esteem could predict...

02 06 2020
Chinese students in learner-centered instruction

Although learner-centered instruction has become increasingly popular, some may wonder what its effects on students from the non-western cultural group have been. A recent study published in European Journal of Psychology of Education investigated the effects of learner-centered instruction on the learning behaviors and academic motivation of Chinese students. Three hundred and ninety-four junior-high-school students from two schools in South-eastern China formed the experimental-group in this study, while 368 junior-high-school students from another two schools of matched background participated as the control group. Teachers in the experimental group received two months’ training in learner-centered instruction from university specialists, while teachers in the control groups continued teaching as usual, using the traditional teacher-centered approach. Students were assessed by measuring the perceived instruction behaviors of their teachers, their academic motivations and learning behaviors before and after the two-months’ training. Students in the experimental group were no different from the control-group students in...

19 05 2020
Parents as Teachers in Switzerland

A randomized controlled trial published in Early Childhood Research Quarterly examines the effectiveness of the Parents as Teachers (PAT) program in Zurich, Switzerland. PAT is a parent teaching program that begins during pregnancy, or shortly after birth, and continues until the child’s third birthday. Among its goals, PAT aims to increase parental knowledge of early childhood development and improve parental practice and, in the long term, increase the child’s school readiness and success. A total of 261 children from 248 families took part in the trial. Families in the intervention group (n=132) were supported with regular home visits from qualified parent educators with a degree in early education, and attended group meetings. The 116 families in the control group had access to the normal community services but were not supported by PAT. The results showed that: After three years of the PAT program, children showed more age-appropriate adaptive behavior, with small effect sizes in...

19 05 2020
How could parents effectively support children’s home learning ?

A recent meta-analysis published in Psychological Bulletin identified the importance of parental involvement in children’s adjustment. Parents should note that while their involvements were beneficial to students in many ways, their assisting in homework might have negative impacts on student’s achievements. This metanalysis was based on 448 independent studies that met the inclusion criteria, which included data from more than 480,000 families. The study analyzed the effects of parent’s school and home involvement’s on children’s adjustments. The findings showed that: In all, parents’ involvement was positively related to children’s outcomes. Parents’ involvement was beneficial not only to students’ achievement but also to students’ engagement, motivation, and social and emotional adjustments. Parents’ school involvement, which included participation in schools and governance, was beneficial. Except for homework involvement ,parents’ home involvement was beneficial to children’s adjustments in all aspects. These beneficial home involvement included discussion, encouragement, and provision of cognitively stimulating activities...

24 04 2020
Does quality of instruction improve outcomes in early childhood education?

The Education Endowment Foundation in the U.K. has published an evaluation of a program that trains preschool teachers to improve children’s language outcomes. The Using Research Tools to Improve Language in the Early Years (URLEY) intervention is an evidence-based professional development program for preschool teachers. It is designed to improve teacher’s knowledge of how children learn and develop oral language skills, and how to support that learning through evidence-based practice. Teachers take part in five day-long professional development workshops in which they are introduced to evidence-based learning principles and research tools to evaluate and refine pedagogy and practice. In particular, teachers are taught to use Environment Rating Scales (ERS) —research-validated observational rating scales known to predict aspects of children’s development, with higher scores linked to improved math and English achievement. Teachers watched videos of effective practice and were supported to use the language principles and ERS to “tune in” to language-supporting practice....

07 04 2020