卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief

Social and Motivational Outcomes

Effect of PROSPER-based intervention on mental health of preschool teachers

Given the already complex nature of the responsibilities of teachers, the anti-COVID-19 pandemic measures placed on teaching and learning activities raised further challenges and difficulties in the lives of teachers in Hong Kong. Evidence shows that the COVID-19 crisis negatively impacted teachers’ mental health resulting in outcomes such as stress and depression. Datu and colleagues conducted a randomized control trial to examine the impact of a PROSPER-based intervention on psychological outcomes among preschool teachers in Hong Kong. As an organizing tool for the implementation of Positive Education, the PROSPER framework nominates seven key elements which contribute to psychological well-being: positivity, relationships, outcomes (accomplishments), strengths, purpose, engagement, and resilience. The PROSPER-based intervention in this study was considered relevant to preventing maladaptive psychological states among teachers who are experiencing intense levels of stress during the pandemic crisis. A total of 76 participants was randomly assigned to an intervention group (n=36) and a...

23 12 2022
Mental health interventions targeted to support depression or anxiety

A recent meta-analysis by Zhang and colleagues evaluated the effectiveness of school-based mental health interventions on depression and anxiety outcomes. The meta-analysis included 29 studies evaluating 32 programs implemented in kindergarten through 12th grade. Most studies took place in Australia (41%) and the United States (28%). The study found that: Overall, interventions reduced depression and anxiety (ES=+0.24, p=0.002). Interventions administered in secondary schools had statistically significant mean effect sizes of +0.42 (p=0.006), while those administered at the elementary level did not produce significant results (ES=+0.06, p=0.547). Interventions with cognitive behavioral therapy elements significantly reduced the outcome of interest (ES=+0.33, p=0.002). Cognitive behavioral therapy can be implemented in clinical and school settings to help individuals learn to shift thinking and behavior patterns to better cope with issues such as depression and anxiety. With a growing need to address the mental well-being of youth, the findings from this study suggest programs that...

23 12 2022
How can a growth mindset intervention help students?

Mindsets or implicit theories are terms which refer to various subconscious beliefs about the malleability of human attributes (e.g., intelligence and emotion). Huang and colleagues recently conducted a pilot experiment to examine the effect of a growth mindset intervention on students’ implicit theory of intelligence, intrinsic motivation, and academic achievement. The authors extended the intervention to establish a belief about the malleability of emotion so that students can regulate their emotion and thereby enhance their sense of self-determination, which is likely to reinforce their intrinsic motivation for learning. Students of 11 primary and middle schools across 48 classes from 2 cities in Guangdong Province, China, were recruited to sign up to the program. Participating students were randomly assigned either to the intervention group or the placebo-control group. The final sample consisted of 194 students (mean age = 11.3 years) in the intervention group and 213 students (mean age = 11.5...

18 11 2022
Does game-based learning affect students’ achievement emotions?

Compared to traditional instruction, students learning through educational games might gain more in academic achievement. According to self-determination theory and control-value theory, game-based learning (GBL) promotes students’ positive achievement emotions (PAE, e.g., joy, confidence, hope) and reduces negative achievement emotions (NAE, e.g., anxiety, frustration, feeling empty) because educational games can be fun and students experience more freedom and autonomy with them. However, some scholars argue that too much leeway or failing to achieve goals in the game could lead to NAE (e.g., hesitant, disappointment, upset). A recent meta-analysis by Lei and colleagues examined 61 effect sizes from 43 studies from year 2000 to 2021 to determine the overall effect of GBL on students’ achievement emotions (both positive and negative), and moderation effects (e.g., game type, cultural values, grade level). Eligible studies followed an experimental group design or a quasi-experimental design conducted in primary schools up to university. The results of...

21 10 2022
The impact of parent-only interventions on child anxiety

Researchers have regarded parent-only interventions for childhood anxiety as an important alternative to resource and time intensive child-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). A meta-analysis by Jewell and colleagues aimed to investigate the efficacy of parent-only interventions in reducing symptoms of anxiety disorders in school-aged children. This systematic research examined five databases and identified 29 eligible studies published between 1999 and 2020. Across a diverse set of study designs, a total of 2,916 participants were included. Whilst most studies included parents of children with a range of anxiety diagnoses, five papers focused on specific diagnoses: separation anxiety, specific phobia of the dark, or selective mutism. Child ages ranged from 4 to 17 years. Twenty-three studies evaluated a CBT intervention with parents. Intervention duration ranged from 4 to 22 weeks, with the majority of interventions taking place over 10 or 12 weeks. To date, this is the first systematic review and meta-analysis...

26 08 2022
Evaluation of a social skills program for early elementary students: We Have Skills

A study from Smolkowski et al. (2022), published in January 2022 reported on an evaluation of We Have Skills and its impact on both students and teachers. We Have Skills (WHS) is a short, universal curriculum that focuses on improving early elementary students’ academic and social skills, in the meantime increasing teacher classroom management effectiveness.   From 2015 to 2019, 127 early elementary teachers and their 2,817 students from multiple states were randomly assigned to either an immediate-intervention condition or a no-additional-intervention condition. Teachers assigned to the intervention condition received the WHS curriculum as a package, which included videos, skill tickets, a detailed 166-page teacher’s guide, access to the Elementary Social Behavior Assessment (an online screening system), and a brief initial training. Teachers assigned to the control condition were asked to teach students as they normally would.   The results showed that observer impressions of student behavior were positive but...

30 07 2022
Bringing animals into the classroom: humane education for young children 

Modern-day children have been shown to have an egocentric tendency at an early stage of their cognitive and moral development. They seem to lack understanding of, sympathy for and appreciation of non-human animals and the ecosystem. In order to help children develop a pro-environmental perspective early, Ngai et al. launched a pilot study which involved establishing an animal-assisted school-based humane education programme - CARing Kids – in an attempt to educate children on empathy and prosocial behaviours through social and emotional learning (SEL).   The CARing Kids programme involved a canine-companion reading activity. A corpus of 110 students from two primary schools participated in six sessions of picture story book reading in the company of a canine, followed by a discussion of the story. This offered children the opportunity to have direct interaction with service canines to build up their empathy and kindness.    Analysis showed that students who joined the CARing...

08 07 2022
The effects of academic interventions on academic achievement and academic anxiety outcomes in elementary school children

A recent meta-analysis by Fishstrom and colleagues examined the effects of academic interventions on academic achievement and academic anxiety in students in kindergarten to Grade 6. The meta-analysis of 11 studies included 34 effect sizes, of which 17 were for academic achievement outcomes, and 17 were for academic anxiety outcomes. The results revealed statistically significant differences favoring academic treatments (g = 0.63, k = 11), consistent with existing research. In contrast, no statistically significant differences were found for academic anxiety outcomes (g = -0.06, k = 11). Despite the limitation of the small number of studies with elementary school students that met the criteria, and the difficulties in measuring academic anxiety, the study suggested that academic anxiety is not necessarily relieved by academic interventions.   Source: Fishstrom, S., Wang, H.-H., Bhat, B. H., Daniel, J., Dille, J., Capin, P., & Vaughn, S. (2022). A meta-analysis of the effects of academic...

08 07 2022
Embodied social-emotional learning in early childhood

School-based social emotional learning (SEL) programmes first emerged in North America and have gradually become an important component of early childhood education across the globe. In view of the nature of social-emotional competencies being inherently embodied and culturally responsive, the authors have proposed a bioecological and embodied framework for the development and implementation of a SEL curriculum, as shown in the figure below. (Adopted from Figure 1 in Hayashi et al., 2022) Following CASEL’s Framework for Systemic Social and Emotional Learning, they emphasized that the design of any SEL curriculum or program should consider the culture and adopt situated and embodied learning in order to allow children to be able to develop SEL competencies that are transferrable to or applied in other contexts, such as at home or in the community. As different cultures have differences in values, beliefs, and norms or customs, the interactions, behaviours, and engagements considered to...

30 06 2022