卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief
Can anxiety be reduced through enhancing gratitude and emotional intelligence?

Studies have indicated that high levels of anxiety could undermine adolescents’ peer interactions and academic performance and could increase the risk of other mental health issues. Positive psychology intervention (PPI) was found to prevent mental illness and enhance positive mental health. A randomized controlled trial by Kwok and colleagues examined whether a multicomponent positive psychology intervention (MPPI) would enhance gratitude and emotional intelligence, which in turn would reduce anxiety and increase happiness in adolescents.

First, four secondary schools were selected randomly in Hong Kong and grade 8 and grade 9 students of those four schools undertook the anxiety subscale of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Second, of those identified as probable anxiety cases according to HADS scores, half were randomly assigned to the experiment group (n=46) and the other half to the control group (n=46). The experimental group attended a 7-session intervention which lasted for 7 weeks with focus on gratitude awareness and expressions, ability to appraise and regulate emotions, as well as on developing a plan to maintain gratitude and emotional intelligence. Various activities were conducted in the program, e.g., games, experimental exercises, relaxation training, role play, art, etc. Students in the control group attended classes as usual. All measures were assessed with self-reported questionnaires.

  • Results of repeated design ANOVA indicated that the intervention enhanced gratitude (ES=+0.87), emotional intelligence (ES=+0.44), subjective happiness (ES=+0.47), and reduced anxiety symptoms (ES=-0.46).
  • Mediation analyses found that anxiety was reduced through enhancing emotional intelligence but not gratitude.
  • However, subjective happiness was increased through both enhancing gratitude and emotional intelligence in the intervention.

The study offered some evidence that a MPPI programme could help to regulate emotions of adolescents and reduce their anxiety symptoms. However, the authors reminded us to interpret the findings with caution. Not only because the sample size was small, but the study also failed to use an active control group to balance the placebo effect that may happen in an experimental group. Moreover, students in the experimental group were aware of their participation of an intervention so possibly evaluated themselves more positively in self-reported questionnaires.

 

Source: Kwok, S. Y. C. L., Gu, M., & Tam, N. W. Y. (2022). A multiple component positive psychology intervention to reduce anxiety and increase happiness in adolescents: The mediating roles of gratitude and emotional intelligence. Journal of Happiness Studies, 23(5), 2039–2058. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-021-00487-xRead the rest

Are novice teacher induction programs worthwhile?

The first few years of a novice teacher’s career are important, and they are usually provided with formalized induction programs to help them develop and grow as teachers. A new meta-analysis published in the Educational Research Review studied the effects of novice teacher induction programs, in order to better understand how formalized induction programs impact in-service teachers and their students.

In order to meet the criteria for inclusion, studies had to: (1) examine formalized induction and/or mentoring of novice teachers in PK-12 school settings; (2) use experimental, quasi-experimental, or correlational research designs; (3) include enough statistical information to allow for the calculation of effect sizes; (4) be published between 2010 and 2019; (5) be written in English.

A total of 17 studies met these inclusion criteria, consisting of 6 intervention studies and 11 correlational studies. Overall, the random-effects models for both intervention and correlational studies showed positive and statistically significant effect sizes on teacher retention measures, other teacher measures (including self-efficacy, satisfaction, instructional effectiveness, evaluation scores, etc.), and student measures (such as achievement test scores). Additional analyses revealed that the “comprehensiveness” of the induction programs was not a significant predictor of its effects.

 

Source: Keese, J., Thompson, C. G., Waxman, H. C., McIntush, K., & Svajda-Hardy, M. (2023). A worthwhile endeavor? A meta-analysis of research on formalized novice teacher induction programs. Educational Research Review, 38, 100505. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.edurev.2022.100505Read the rest

Is Teach For America still effective in the long run?

Previous evidence has consistently revealed that students in Teach For America (TFA) classrooms score higher on math assessments in the short run than otherwise similar students in the same schools.

In a recent working paper released by American Institutes for Research, the authors extended the existing body of evidence on TFA by researching the relationship between being in a TFA classroom in a given year on both test and non-test academic outcomes in that year and in the following year. Based on the student-level longitudinal data from Miami-Dade County Public Schools, authors found that while students taught by TFA teachers scored higher on math and ELA assessments in a given year, these test score gains faded out by the following year. In addition, students taught by TFA teachers were less likely to miss school due to absences and suspensions both in the year of exposure and the year following. The authors also pointed out that TFA teachers who had the greatest impact on test scores were not the same ones who had the greatest association with reduced absences and suspensions; this suggests that TFA teachers can impact students in different ways and paying attention to test scores alone can lead to neglect of other important effects of TFA.

Note: working paper has not undergone final formal peer review.

Source (Open Access): Backes, B., & Hansen. (2023). Persistent Teach For America effects on student test and non-test academic outcomes (No. 288-0123). CALDER Working Paper. https://caldercenter.org/publications/persistent-teach-america-effects-student-test-and-non-test-academic-outcomesRead the rest

Which type of education technology instruction model is more effective for Chinese ESL learners?

With the rapid development of modern technology and its extensive application in education, China seeks to popularize education technology in K-12 classrooms. A recent meta-analysis by Ni and colleagues provided insights into the impact of educational technology on English reading achievement for Chinese English second language learners (ESLs) and compared different instructional models. The meta-analysis included 35 eligible studies which targeted Chinese K-12 participants conducted from 2000 to 2020 in Greater China. Five learning models were classified in the study:

  • The multimedia-transmission model (k=11) is a teacher-centred model using computer-assisted multimedia instruction (e.g., music, videos).
  • The comprehensive model (k=8) incorporates technology into the core curriculum which integrates computer or mobile-assisted instruction into non-technology-based classroom activities. For example, using digital dictionary apps for a vocabulary memorizing competition in the class.
  • Supplementary activities (k=5) involve supplementary learning activities performed outside the classroom.
  • The integrated online-learning system (k=5) is a learning management system or platform by which students can finish exercises and interact with classmates and teachers. Teachers can use the system to monitor learning progress and give feedback.
  • Social media tools (k=6) refer to social media applications that facilitate learning (e.g., WeChat and Facebook)

The primary finding of the meta-analysis indicated that educational technology had a modest positive impact on reading outcomes compared with the traditional teaching method (ES = +0.37). For different types of intervention, the comprehensive model had largest impact (ES = +0.60), followed by social media tools (ES = +0.46), integrated online-learning system (ES = +0.31), and multimedia-transmission model (ES = +0.27). Supplementary activities had no significant effect (ES = +0.05).

This meta-analysis provided a good insight into the effectiveness of various types of technology applications on English instruction. The authors believed that technology applications certainly improved Chinese students’ reading achievement and were worth implementation in K-12 English education. Moreover, the findings showed that the comprehensive model, social media tools, and the integrated online-learning system were more effective than the other two models. Schools and teachers have to know the characteristics and effects of different technologies to deploy them effectively in their English classrooms.

*Note: k = no. of studies.

 

Source (Open Access): Ni, A., Cheung, A. C. K., & Shi, J. (2022). Effects of educational technology on reading achievement for Chinese K-12 English second language learners: A meta-analysis. Frontiers in Psychology, 13. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2022.1025761Read the rest

The effectiveness of digital monitoring tools on student academic achievement

Digital monitoring tools are instruments that support teachers in obtaining, organizing, and analyzing student data from test assessments. Through these tools teachers are also provided with feedback on the data they receive.

A recent review studied the effects of digital monitoring tools on student academic achievement. Studies included had to compare an experimental group in which teachers used digital monitoring tools with a control group. Each group had to include at least 20 teachers and the intervention had to last a minimum of 12 weeks. Only independent measures, such as standardized tests, were included in the meta-analysis.

A total of 14 studies were included in the review. Most of the studies evaluated the effects of the intervention on mathematics or reading. Studies were carried out more frequently in primary school than secondary school. Overall, the results showed positive effects of digital monitoring tools on student academic achievement (ES =+ 0.12). The effects were larger in primary school (ES = +0.14) than secondary school (ES = +0.04), as well as in reading (ES = +0.17) and math (ES = +0.10) compared to language (ES = +0.02).

The authors categorized the interventions in three groups:

  1. programs with a low feedback frequency (1-2 times a year) targeting teachers, principals, and the school board. The tools provided class-level feedback and predictive feedback as well as quite intensive activities were implemented through the program. Content included mainly technical information.
  2. programs with a low feedback frequency (1-2 times a year) targeting teachers and principals. The tools provided class-level feedback and predictive feedback. Intervention activity varies in its intensity. Content included class or school support.
  3. programs with a high feedback frequency (1+ times a month) targeting only teachers. The tools provided class-level feedback, not predictive feedback. The intervention activities were not very intensive. Content included technical information, class or school support and data translation into instruction.

Among the three types of interventions, A and C were the most effective with an effect size of +0.25 and +0.13, respectively.

 

Source (Open Access): Faber, J. M., Feskens, R., & Visscher, A. J. (2022). A best-evidence meta-analysis of the effects of digital monitoring tools for teachers on student achievement. School Effectiveness and School Improvement, 0(0), 1–20. https://doi.org/10.1080/09243453.2022.2142247Read the rest