卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief
Enhancing the Home Learning Environment for Young Children

Home is an important site where young children grow – a truism especially relevant now until classes resume. The importance of a high-quality early home-learning environment for a child’s educational and life outcomes has been highlighted by a report published for the Department for Education of the UK before. It suggested that the physical home itself and interaction in the home both matter, and parents should understand they have the power to improve them.

Specifically, it is crucial for parents to support their children to achieve their milestones of early language and communication development. Following are some extracts of suggested actions for parents of children from age 2 to 5 identified by the National Literacy Trust and Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists:

2-3 years

  • Tap out the beat to songs and rhymes.
  • When playing with your child, give a running commentary on what they are doing, using action words, describing words, position words and feelings as well as object words.
  • Engage in conversations about feelings and important memories.
  • Encourage the child to talk about the future and anticipate events

3-4 years

  • Tell your child about your day. Ask your child questions about what happened in their day, helping them to use memory and to talk about things that happened in the past.
  • Play make-believe games together or games which use opposites such as on or off, big or little.
  • Reverse roles when you are playing together so your child gives you instructions.
  • Play rhyming games.

4-5 years

  • Use new words in the context of play and activities.
  • Ask decontextualized questions about past and future activities, “What did you do at the park last week?”, “What will you do on your field trip next week?” Tell your child about things you did in the past and will do in the future.
  • Ask your child if they can give possible solutions to problems, e.g. their favourite hat is missing

Let’s make some quality time with your children in these unusual days!

 

Source (Open Access): Department of Education (2018). Improving the home learning Environment: A behaviour change approach. London, UK: Department of Education. Retrieved from https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/improving-the-home-learning-environmentRead the rest

“School’s Out, But Class’s On”: Taking China’s Practical Exploration During The COVID-19 Epidemic Prevention and Control as an Example

Online education is a hot topic that is widely concerned in various countries today. In the era of mobile internet, countries around the world have made various effective attempts at online education, but online education is more of a supplement to school education, and large-scale normal online education lacks cases. The “School’s Out, But Class’s On” campaign launched by the Chinese government during the COVID-19 epidemic created a large-scale, normal online education application. An article published in Best Evidence of Chinese Education analyzed the background of this large-scale online education, clarified the foundation of large-scale online education, and revealed the impact of the largest online education activities on society and education. According to the authors:

  1. Large scale online education accelerates the integration of educational technology and teaching.
  2. Large scale online education promotes the reconstruction of ecological teaching model.
  3. Large scale online education promotes the integration of home education and school education.

In this sudden epidemic, the implementation of “School’s Out, But Class’s On" enabled 270 million students in China to learn online. However, in the implementation process, online teaching also reflected some problems. These questions put forward new requirements and new goals for online learning, as follows:

  1. How to better integrate technology and education;
  2. How to make students learn more autonomously in online teaching, teacher teaching to be more effective, and online teaching models to be more reasonable;
  3. How to make home education and school education more closely linked through online learning, these are the problems that need to be solved in online teaching.

 

Source (Open Access): Zhou, L.J., Li, F.M., Wu, S.S., Zhou, M. (2020) .“School’s out, but class’s on”, the largest online education in the world today: Taking China’s practical exploration during the COVID-19 epidemic prevention and control as an example. Best Evid Chin Edu,4(2):501-519.Read the rest

A Six-Step Online Teaching Method Based on Protocol-Guided Learning during the COVID-19 Epidemic: A Case Study of the First Middle School Teaching Practice in Changyuan City, Henan Province, China

The First Middle School in Changyuan City, Henan Province, has been relying on protocol-guided learning for a long time. During the COVID-19 epidemic, the school used protocol-guided learning as a carrier and conducted online teaching activities based on an online teaching platform. The school has created a six-step teaching method for students to learn independently during the epidemic, as follows:

  1. Teachers assign learning tasks.Teachers issue protocol-guided learning on established public information platforms (WeChat group or Dingding group). Teachers arrange learning tasks through the platform, students receive learning tasks on the platform, and parents urge students to accept tasks on the platform.
  2. Students prepare and conduct pre-study according to the protocol, complete homework and communicate within the Group. All students first preview the learning content and complete the corresponding preview test exercises. On the platform, the independently completed preview exercises are uploaded to the study group, and discussions and exchanges are organized between group members.
  3. Parental supervision and teacher guidance. Parents are more responsible for urging their children to learn independently. Parents oversee not only whether students are learning, but also the efficiency of learning. Teachers check the group summary report in time to understand the students’ autonomous learning situation. Meanwhile, in response to students' problems and doubts during learning, teachers need to conduct timely telephone communication and to provide guidance with parents.
  4. The problem feedback, layer by layer. Tasks and homework assignments arranged by the teacher are studied in groups. The detailed learning steps are as follows: First, students think independently and digest the knowledge which they can solve by themselves. In the process of self-study, they outline the points which they don't understand ,and communicate with their learning partners. If there are still problems after the exchange between the partners, they submit them to the group, and the group will cooperate to solve them. In the WeChat group, the teacher collects the problems that the students can't solve in the study, and for the problems that the students fail to solve, the teacher explains them through the online platform.
  5. Teachers' online lecture guidance, problem correction and re-feedback.Teachers learn about student group leaning in a timely manner, and based on the understanding of student learning, they deliver targeted teaching.
  6. Consolidation and promotion, summary and sublimation.The teacher arranges exercises for the students again through the network learning platform, and the students complete the corresponding exercises independently. After the students complete the homework, they submit it to the platform, and the teacher reviews it in time, finds students’ problems and corrects Teachers guide students to summarize their learning content, so that students can consolidate the core knowledge of each lesson.

 

Source (Open Access): Cai, R.C., Wang, Q.Z. (2020). A six-step online teaching method based on protocol-guided learning during the COVID-19 epidemic: A case study of the first middle school teaching practice in Changyuan City, Henan Province, China. Best Evid Chin Edu,4(2):529-534.
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How do teachers with different expectations of their students teach differently?

Regardless of students’ actual achievement, teachers’ expectations of their class can make a difference because these may affect how they treat the class. A recently published article in Social Psychology of Education examined how teaching practices and classroom interactions differ between high- and low-expectation junior high school teachers in China.

A teacher expectation survey was first completed by 50 junior high school teachers to classify them with respect to their expectations of their class. Teachers who had a high level of expectation relative to the actual achievement were classified as high expectation teachers. Finally, the study randomly selected and approached 10 teachers, eight of whom agreed to participate in the class observation study. Thirty-two lessons by these teachers were observed and coded using a structured observation protocol that notes down the occurrence of teacher questioning, feedback, and classroom management every two minutes. The teaching practices and interaction patterns of high- and low-expectation teachers were compared.

The result showed that, in some aspects such as the amount of questioning, giving praise and criticism, there were no significant differences between high and low expectation teachers. However, high expectation teachers did stand out in the following features: 

  • High expectation teachers referred to students’ prior knowledge and learning experiences more frequently, and gave more orientation or focus statements, telling students about the learning activities that would take place.
  • High expectation teachers provided more feedback to the whole class.
  • When students answered correctly, high expectation teachers were more likely to question further or provide explanations.
  • When students answered incorrectly, high expectation teachers were more likely to encourage the students to try again.

The authors suggested that the result could help teachers understand how their expectations get communicated to students. They recommended that teachers form high and appropriate expectations for all students, with the aid of effective teaching strategies and a warm learning environment, to support all students to fulfill their potential.

 

Source: Wang, S., Rubie-Davies, C. M., & Meissel, K. (2019). Instructional practices and classroom interactions of high and low expectation teachers in China. Social Psychology of Education22(4), 841-866.Read the rest

Does quality of instruction improve outcomes in early childhood education?

The Education Endowment Foundation in the U.K. has published an evaluation of a program that trains preschool teachers to improve children’s language outcomes. The Using Research Tools to Improve Language in the Early Years (URLEY) intervention is an evidence-based professional development program for preschool teachers. It is designed to improve teacher’s knowledge of how children learn and develop oral language skills, and how to support that learning through evidence-based practice. Teachers take part in five day-long professional development workshops in which they are introduced to evidence-based learning principles and research tools to evaluate and refine pedagogy and practice. In particular, teachers are taught to use Environment Rating Scales (ERS) —research-validated observational rating scales known to predict aspects of children’s development, with higher scores linked to improved math and English achievement. Teachers watched videos of effective practice and were supported to use the language principles and ERS to “tune in” to language-supporting practice.

Nearly 2,000 children from 120 schools from the West Midlands, Liverpool, and Manchester participated in the trial from October 2016 to July 2018. The program was evaluated using a randomized controlled trial, testing the impact of the URLEY program on children’s language development over two years, compared to business as usual in control schools.

The results of the trial found that :

  • Children in schools receiving URLEY did not make additional progress in language development compared to children in control schools, as measured by a composite language score (effect size = -0.08).
  • However, the program did show a positive impact on the quality of instruction (as measured by ERS), with effect sizes in the range of +0.5 to +0.7.

 

Source (Open Access): Wright, H., Carr, D., Wiese, J., Stokes, L., Runge, J., Dorsett, R., Heal, J., & Anders, J. (2020). URLEY: Evaluation report. London, United Kingdom: Education Endowment FoundationRead the rest