卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief

Types of Evidence

What does good professional development for teaching language look like?

Research published in AERA Open examines the features needed for effective teacher professional development (PD) aimed at preparing teachers to support their students in mastering language expectations across the curriculum. Eva Kalinowski and colleagues conducted a systematic review of studies of PD programs, published between 2002 and 2015, which aimed to support teachers to improve their students’ academic language ability in different subject areas. Of the 38 studies they reviewed, all but one were carried out in the US. Eighteen studies used quantitative data only, three used a mainly qualitative approach, and 17 used mixed methods. Although the researchers were unable to conclude which elements actually influenced the effectiveness of the programs analyzed, they found that all of the studies were effective to some extent, and shared many characteristics considered to be important in successful teacher PD across different subject areas. The forms of PD likely to show some effect for teachers...

10 04 2019
Does school entry age matter?

In the UK, children usually start elementary school in the academic year in which they turn five. However, because entry rules vary across local districts, some schools may defer entry for children born later in the year until the second or third term. A new study by the Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM) at University College London looks at what impact an earlier versus later entry into Reception has on students' cognitive and non-cognitive skills up until age 11 (their final year of primary school). Christian Dustmann and Thomas Cornelissen analyzed information on more than 400,000 children born in 2000-01 who attend state schools in England and whose records are included in the National Pupil Database. This was combined with information on more than 7,000 children born in 2000-01 who took part in the Millennium Cohort study. The researchers found that Receiving an extra month of schooling before age...

10 04 2019
Ethnic minority pupils disproportionately identified with special educational needs

Pupils from ethnic minority groups are over-represented for some types of special educational needs (SEN) and under-represented for other types compared to white British pupils, according to new research led by Steve Strand and Ariel Lindorff at the University of Oxford. Using data from the England National Pupil Database from 2005–2016, the report looks at all children age five to 16 in England who have been identified with different types of SEN. As well as identifying ethnic disproportionality, the report also considered whether socio-economic factors, such as poverty and neighbourhood deprivation, or children’s early attainment, had any impact on pupils being identified as having SEN. The key findings of the report suggest: Black Caribbean and mixed white and black Caribbean pupils are twice as likely to be identified with social, emotional and mental health needs as white British pupils.Asian pupils are half as likely to be identified with autistic spectrum disorders as...

10 04 2019
Effects of youth mentoring programs

Mentoring programs that pair young people with non-parental adults are a popular strategy for early intervention with at-risk youth. To examine the extent to which these types of interventions improve outcomes for young people, Elizabeth B. Raposa and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis of outcome studies of one-to-one youth mentoring programs written in English between 1975 and 2017. Their analysis included 70 studies with a sample size of 25,286 children and young people (average age = 12 years), and considered five broad outcome categories: school, social, health, cognitive, and psychological outcomes. The findings from their meta-analysis suggested: There were no significant difference in effect sizes across these five types of outcomes. Overall, they found an average effect size of +0.21 across all studies and outcomes, which is consistent with past meta-analyses that have shown overall effect sizes ranging from +0.18 to +0.21.Programs that had a larger proportion of young males who were being...

26 03 2019
No impact for sleep education pilot

An evaluation of a pilot of Teensleep, a sleep education program that aims to improve outcomes for students by improving the quality of their sleep, found no evidence that the program led to improvements in students’ sleep. The Teensleep program trains teachers to promote good ‘sleep hygiene’ as part of students’ Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) lessons. Teachers deliver a series of 10 half-hour lessons highlighting the importance of sleep for effective learning, as well as providing practical advice for better sleep, such as avoiding caffeine in the evening. Ten UK secondary schools took part in the pilot funded by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) and the Wellcome Trust. All Year 10 students received the intervention as delivered by their teachers and completed a sleep quiz and sleep survey pre- and post-intervention. Parents and students were informed about the pilot study and parents could opt-out of schools sharing students’ data with...

26 03 2019
Is social-emotional learning linked to academic performance?

A study published in Contemporary Educational Psychology looks at the benefits of a school-based social and emotional learning (SEL) intervention in relation to academic achievement by examining how the four main components that underlie the SEL model (children’s social-emotional competence, school connectedness, mental health problems, and academic achievement) interact over time. Margarita Panayiotou and colleagues from Manchester Institute of Education used data drawn from a major cluster randomized trial of the Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies (PATHS) curriculum to present a three-wave (annual assessment, T1, T2, T3) longitudinal sample. The sample included 1,626 students from 45 primary schools in north-west England. They examined the relationship over time between social-emotional competence (T1), school connectedness (T2), mental health difficulties (T2), and academic achievement (T3), and whether exposure to an SEL intervention (in this case PATHS versus usual provision) had any effect on these relationships. Findings were as follows: Social-emotional competence at T1 had a positive influence...

26 03 2019
The effect of a World Cup on students’ effort and achievement

A study published in the Journal of Public Economics examines how leisure time can impact students’ effort and educational achievement by looking at the overlap of major soccer tournaments (the FIFA World Cup and the UEFA European Championship) with GCSE exams in England (GCSEs are high-stakes exams taken in the UK). Using seven years of subject data on students in England, taken from the National Pupil Database, Robert Metcalfe and colleagues estimated the overall effect of a tournament by comparing within-student variation in performance during the exam period between tournament and non-tournament years. Overall, they found a negative average effect of the tournament on exam performance, as measured by whether students achieved a grade C or higher in at least 5 subjects at GCSE. In tournament years, the odds of achieving the benchmark of a grade C or higher in at least 5 subjects fell by 12%. For students who are likely to...

26 03 2019
Neuromyths in education

Possessing greater general knowledge about the brain does not appear to protect teachers from believing in “neuromyths” – misconceptions about neuroscience research in education.  A study reported in Frontiers in Psychology found that teachers who are interested in the application of neuroscience findings in the classroom find it difficult to distinguish pseudoscience from scientific facts. They tested 242 primary and secondary school teachers in the UK and the Netherlands with an interest in the neuroscience of learning, using an online survey containing 32 statements about the brain and its influence on learning, of which 15 were neuromyths. Results showed that On average, teachers believed 49 percent of the neuromyths, particularly myths related to commercialized education programs. One of the most commonly believed myths was “Individuals learn better when they receive information in their preferred learning style (e.g., auditory, visual, kinesthetic),” which was believed by over 80 percent of teachers in the study....

14 03 2019
Teachers and students don’t always agree on learning styles

A study published in Frontiers in Education investigates whether there is an association between students’ self-reported preferred learning styles and teachers’ evaluation of each student’s learning style, and whether teachers’ assessments are informed by their students’ intellectual ability. The term “learning styles” is used to account for differences in the way that individuals learn, and the idea that students learn better if teachers can tailor their teaching to a student’s preferred style of learning, often described as either visual, auditory, or kinesthetic. In the study conducted by Marietta Papadatou-Pastou and colleagues, 199 fifth and sixth grade students from five schools in Athens, Greece, chose which was their preferred learning style (visual, auditory, or kinesthetic). They also completed a short IQ test (the Raven’s matrices). Their teachers were asked to identify each of their student’s preferred learning style. Each student’s learning style was judged by one teacher. It was found that: There was no...

14 03 2019