卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief
Burnout among Chinese kindergarten teachers

Teaching stress has become a well-confirmed problem among teachers over recent decades. Recently, a study conducted in Tianjin, China, also investigated the prevalence and correlates of burnout among Chinese kindergarten teachers.

The study randomly selected and invited 1795 kindergarten teachers to participate in a survey study conducted from July to October 2018. The teachers invited were from 16 districts in Tianjin, where more than 1200 kindergartens were based. The response rate was 97%. Maslach Burnout Inventory-General Survey scale was used to access the burnout level in terms of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and diminished professional accomplishment. The study found that:

  • The prevalence of burnout in Chinese kindergarten teachers was 53.2%. Respectively, 38.6%, 23.8%, and 21.8% of teachers reported a high level of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and a low level of professional accomplishment.
  • Teachers who were dissatisfied with their income were more likely to experience burnout than their counterparts.
  • Kindergarten teachers who worked in public schools displayed a higher rate of burnout than kindergarten teachers who worked in private schools.
  • Burnout was also significantly associated with BMI, depression, and perceived stress among teachers.

The authors pointed out that the burnout rate among Chinese kindergarten teachers was higher than that of teachers in previous studies from other countries such as Brazil and Israel.

 

Source (Open Access): Li, S., Li, Y., Lv, H., Jiang, R., Zhao, P., Zheng, X., ... & Mao, F. (2020). The prevalence and correlates of burnout among Chinese preschool teachers. BMC Public Health20(1), 160.Read the rest

Training versus coaching to improve teaching

study by Jacobus Cilliers and Stephen Taylor reports the results of a randomized controlled trial of two different approaches to improving the teaching of reading in primary schools in South Africa.

More than two hundred schools took part and were randomly assigned to three treatment groups: a training intervention group, a coaching intervention group, and a control group. Teachers in the first intervention group received a one-off training session. Teachers in the second intervention group were visited on a monthly basis by a specialist reading coach who monitored their teaching, provided feedback, and demonstrated teaching practices. Both interventions provided teachers with structured lesson plans. Teachers in the control group received the usual level of government support and in-service training.

The study measured the impact of the intervention on both student learning and teaching activity in the classroom. They found that:

  • Coaching improved students’ reading by 0.24 standard deviations compared to students in the control group.
  • Training had a smaller impact of 0.12 standard deviations.
  • Teachers in both interventions were more likely to practice group-guided teaching techniques (splitting students into smaller reading groups sorted by ability), although this impact was larger for teachers who received the coaching intervention.

 

Source (Open Access): Cilliers, J., Fleisch, B., Prinsloo, C. & Taylor, S. (2018). How to improve teaching practice? Experimental comparison of centralized training and in-classroom coaching (RISE Working Papers 18/024). Oxford, UK: Research on Improving System of Education.Read the rest

Do teacher pay incentives improve student test scores?

meta-analysis published in the American Educational Research Journal looks at the association between teacher pay incentives and students’ test scores, and suggests that teacher pay incentives have the potential to improve student test scores in some contexts.

Lam D. Pham and colleagues analyzed effect sizes across 37 studies, 26 of which were conducted in the U.S. To be included in the meta-analysis, studies had to include a sample comprising K-12 teachers and students located in a district or state that had a teacher pay incentive program. Studies also had to use a randomized controlled trial with a business-as-usual comparison group, and report on student outcomes on standardized tests. The results were:

  • Overall, among the U.S.-based studies, the effect of teacher pay incentives on student test scores was positive (ES= +0.043).
  • However, this varied across subjects and settings. The average effect size of pay incentives on students’ math test scores (ES= +0.050) was larger than the effect on English test scores (ES= +0.029).
  • Pay incentives for elementary school teachers were associated with larger effects (ES= +0.096) than middle school teachers (ES= +0.012).

In addition, larger pay incentives, and pay incentives that are based on multiple measures of teacher effectiveness, were associated with larger effect sizes.

 

Source (Open Access): Pham, L. D., Nguyen, T. D., & Springer, M. G. (2020). Teacher merit pay: A meta-analysis. American Educational Research Journal. Advanced online publication. DOI: 10.3102/0002831220905580Read the rest

Online Learning: Is it Effective?

There has been unprecedentedly large-scale amount of online learning or distant learning conducted every day during the COVID-19 outbreak, making people curious about the effectiveness of it. However, in 2010, the U.S. Department of Education had already conducted a meta-analysis of online learning studies. The report examined the effectiveness of online learning compared with face-to-face instruction and explored the practices and conditions that were associated with more effective online learning.

The meta-analysis screened 50 effect sizes that fulfilled its inclusion criteria, providing a contrast between online learning and face-to-face learning or blended learning and face-to-face learning. However, given there were only a few rigorous studies of K-12 students at that time, 43 out of  the 50 effect sizes were drawn from research with older learners. In all, the results suggested that:

  • Students in online conditions performed modestly better than students who learned the same material through traditional face-to-face instruction.
  • However, instruction combining online and face-to-face elements had a larger advantage than pure face-to-face instruction and online instruction. The advantage was relatively larger for purely face-to-face instruction than purely online instruction.
  • Larger effect sizes were found in online instruction that was collaborative or instructor-directed than in those studies where online learners worked independently

The report also provided a narrative review, finding the majority of available studies at that time suggested that:

  • Giving learners control of their interactions with media and promoting learner reflection can enhance online learning. When students individually pursue online learning, elements that trigger their activity, reflection, and self-monitoring of understanding are effective.
  • Providing guidance for the individual learner is more successful than providing it for groups of students. Support mechanisms, such as guiding questions, can influence how a group of students interacts, but not the amount they learn.
  • Videos or online quizzes do not appear to influence the amount that students learn in online classes. The practice of providing online quizzes does not seem to be more effective than assigning homework.

The joint efforts and innovations of educators these days will further benefit the development of online learning in the future.

 

Source (Open Access): Means, B., Toyama, Y., Murphy, R., Bakia, M., & Jones, K. (2010). Evaluation of evidence-based practices in online learning: A meta-analysis and review of online learning studies. Washington, D.C.:U.S. Department of Education, Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development.… Read the rest

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 or environments.
  • Parents’ homework assistance was negatively associated with children’s achievement but still positively related to motivation and engagement. The negative association may due to that parents would provide more help when children received poor grades or that parents’ involvement in homework interfered with children’s skill development.

The authors concluded that it was essential to know parent’s involvement was useful not only academically, but also socially and emotionally.

 

Source: Barger, M. M., Kim, E. M., Kuncel, N. R., & Pomerantz, E. M. (2019). The relation between parents’ involvement in children’s schooling and children’s adjustment: A meta-analysis. Psychological bulletin145(9), 855-890.Read the rest