卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief
Research suggests link between well-being and achievement

Researchers from Queen’s University in Belfast have explored the relationship between well-being and academic achievement scores among primary school children, and found it to be statistically significant. These findings were based on data on academic achievement and a range of well-being indicators gathered through a cross-sectional survey of 1,081 students aged 7-11 in Northern Ireland. The team used six of the most common measures of well-being, covering psychological factors, school engagement factors, and family and peer relationship factors.

The authors found that

  • The positive relationship between well-being and achievement was the same for all children, regardless of their gender or socio-economic background.
  • For Year 7 students who have high levels of wellbeing (a standard deviation above the sample mean), the predicted probability of achieving the expected national standard in English and Mathematics was 9.4 percentage point higher than those of low levels of wellbeing (a standard deviation below the sample mean).
  • Neither gender nor deprivation could significantly predict well-being.

Therefore, they suggest that efforts to improve achievement that focus on well-being should not be targeted specifically to children in economically deprived areas or be modified in terms of gender. Instead, a more universal approach to promoting well-being across the population would be appropriate in order to improve educational achievement.

 

Source :Miller, S., Connolly, P., & Maguire, L. K. (2013). Wellbeing, academic buoyancy and educational achievement in primary school students. International Journal of Educational Research, 62, 239–248. Read the rest

What makes children stressed?

A research report from the Childhood Wellbeing Research Centre in the UK looks at family “stressors” and the impact on children’s outcomes. The authors look at whether particular life events are especially detrimental, whether they have an impact across different outcomes (educational, social, etc.), and whether the effects of early childhood events persist into adolescence. They also look at the association between family factors and outcomes.

The findings of the report are broad, especially as different family factors can be associated with different types of outcomes. Key findings include that

  • Extreme stressful events, such as homelessness, victimization, or abuse, can have long-term effects on children’s outcomes.
  • Some stressful events have an impact on children’s emotional and social well-being but not their educational outcomes, and so their negative impacts may therefore be harder to pick up.

The authors point out that in order to target interventions, it is important to understand which family circumstances are significant for child well-being at different ages, and how that varies across outcomes.

 

Source (Open Access): Jones, E., Gutman, L., & Platt, L. (2013). Family stressors and children’s outcomes (Research Report FDE-RR254). Leicestershire, UK: Childhood Wellbeing Research CentreRead the rest

Research on writing approaches for students in grades 2 to 12

This paper, written by Robert Slavin and colleagues from Johns Hopkins University, the University of Liege, and the Institute for Effective Education, reviews research on the outcomes of writing program for students in grades 2 to 12. Studies had to meet rigorous standards of research including use of randomized or well-matched control groups; measures independent of the program developers, researchers, and teachers; and adequate sample size and duration. Fourteen studies of 12 programs met the criteria and programs were divided into three categories: writing process models, cooperative learning writing programs, and programs integrating reading and writing. The findings were:

  • Student achievement effects on writing were positive in all categories, with an effect size of +0.18 across all 14 studies.
  • Similar outcomes were found for writing programs that focused on the writing process (ES =+0.17), those using cooperative learning (ES=+0.16), and those focusing on interactions between reading and writing (ES =+0.19)

In conclusion, the authors suggested that successful approaches should always be intentionally structured to build students’ skills, confidence, and motivation.

 

Source (Open Access): Slavin, E.R., Lake, C., Inns, A., Baye, A., Dachet, D., Haslam, J. (2019). A Quantitative Synthesis of Research on Writing Approaches in Years 3 to 13. London, England: Education Endowment Foundation.Read the rest

Reassessing concerns about school may help improve academic achievement

A study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences looks at what impact an intervention designed to help students with concerns about starting middle school has on their academic achievement, behavior, and well-being.

Geoffrey D. Borman and colleagues conducted the study with 1,304 sixth graders at 11 middle schools in a U.S. Midwestern public school district. Within each of the 11 schools, students were randomly assigned to the intervention or control condition. The intervention group was given reflective writing exercises, two months apart, which were designed to help students reassess any concerns and worries they might have about belonging in school. The control condition exercises asked students to write about neutral middle school experiences that were not related to school belonging.

The researchers collected pre- and post-intervention survey data on students' reported social and emotional well-being, and official school records of student attendance, disciplinary records, and grades. The results of the study suggested that:

  • The intervention reduced behavioral referrals by 34% (effect size = -0.14), reduced absences by 12% (ES = -0.13), and reduced the number of failing grades by 18% (ES = -0.11).
  • Differences across demographic groups were not statistically significant.

The authors concluded that while previous studies recognized reappraising adversity could support college students, it appeared that the middle school students could also benefit from it during their transition period.

 

Source (Open Access): Borman, G. D., Rozek, C. S., Pyne, J., & Hanselman, P. (2019). Reappraising academic and social adversity improves middle school students’ academic achievement, behavior, and well-being. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 116(33), 16286–16291. Read the rest

Family and Progress in Mathematics

Using a large sample from a longitudinal national Chinese survey, an article recently published in Learning and Instruction investigated how socioeconomic status (SES) and the academic expectation of the primary caregivers predicted students’ attainment in mathematics.

The study used data from China Family Panel Studies, a longitudinal survey launched in 2010 and conducted every two years in 162 counties in China. In total, 1,407 adolescents were examined with data collected in 2010, 2012, and 2014, years in which the cohort grew from aged 10-15 to aged 14-19. In these years, students took three mathematics tests, the results of which were analyzed with their SES at the baseline and their primary caregivers’ academic expectations. It was found that:

  • Both SES and primary caregivers’ academic expectation exerted positive effects on the mathematics attainment of the students in the study.
  • Higher academic expectation from primary caregivers at ages 10-15 supported students to make more progress in the two subsequent mathematics tests.
  • Regarding students from higher and lower SES families, higher academic expectations lessened the differences between their mathematics attainment.

The authors concluded that the findings confirmed the importance of SES in Chinese students’ mathematics learning and suggested that primary caregivers’ academic expectation could play a short-term mitigating role.

 

Source: Zha, M., & Hall, J. (2019). Understanding the progress in mathematics of Chinese adolescents: Significant impacts from the socioeconomic status and the academic expectations of primary caregivers. Learning and Instruction64, 101224.Read the rest