卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief
A wide range of approaches may help improve pupils’ ability to manage behaviours and emotions

Research published in JAMA Pediatrics has found there are a wide range of different approaches that can be effective in improving self-regulation skills (the ability to control emotions, avoid inappropriate or aggressive behaviour and engage in self-directed learning) in children and teenagers.

Anuja Pandey and colleagues conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of evaluations of interventions designed to improve pupils’ self-regulation. Data from 49 studies with a total of more than 23,000 pupils ranging in age from 2 to 17 years was examined. The interventions were classified as curriculum-based programmes (n=21), mindfulness and yoga interventions (n=8), family-based programmes (n=9), exercise-based programmes (n=6) and interventions focused on social and personal skills (n= 6).

The researchers found that:

  • Most interventions (n=33) were successful in improving pupils’ ability to manage behaviour and emotion.
  • A meta-analysis showed there was a positive effect of the interventions with self-regulation task performance scores, with a pooled effect size of +0.42.
  • There was no age group in which interventions were more effective.

While a curriculum-based approach was most commonly used to deliver interventions, the study found that self-regulation interventions can be effective in family settings targeting parenting practices and sibling relationships.

 

Source (Open Access): Pandey, A., Hale, D., Das, S., Goddings, A.-L., Blakemore, S.-J. & Viner, R. M. (2018). Effectiveness of Universal Self-regulation–Based Interventions in Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA Pediatrics, 172(6), 566-575. Read the rest

Preschool inattention and conduct problems linked to reduced exam scores

Research published in the British Journal of Psychiatry has used data from the University of Bristol Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) to investigate whether preschool hyperactivity/inattention and conduct problems are independently associated with academic outcomes at age 16.

(Washbrook, Propper& Sayal, 2013) found that:

  • Adverse effects were apparent in both boys and girls (n = 11,640).
  • For boys, hyperactivity/inattention scores were associated with reductions of 10 GCSE points, and borderline and abnormal conduct problem scores were associated with reductions of 9–10 and 12–15 points respectively.
  • For girls, early conduct problems rather than hyperactivity/inattention were important, with reductions of 9 and 12 points for borderline and abnormal scores respectively.

The authors say that there is a strong argument for the early identification of behavioural problems, and that this needs to be linked to appropriate interventions to be effective. They also suggest that teachers should be aware of the long-term implications of early behavioural difficulties, particularly for children they might regard as being at risk, and to take parental concerns about behaviour problems seriously.

 

Source (Open Access): Washbrook, E., Propper, C. & Sayal, K. (2013). Pre-school hyperactivity/attention problems and educational outcomes in adolescence: prospective longitudinal study. British Journal of Psychiatry, 203(4), 265–271. Read the rest

The academic benefits of pupil–teacher familiarity

A study published in the journal Economics of Education Review suggests that assigning pupils to the same teacher two years in a row may improve academic performance because teachers get to know their pupils and are able to adjust and target their teaching styles accordingly.

Hill and Jones (2018) used administrative data from North Carolina to observe the importance of pupil–teacher familiarity on academic performance in elementary (primary) school.

They found that:

  • “Looping”, in which an entire class moves to the next year with the same teacher, results in a small but statistically significant increase in pupil achievement.
  • Pupils who spent a second year with the same teacher scored higher on end-of-year tests (ES = +0.12) than those who weren’t matched.
  • These benefits were greatest for minority pupils and lower-performing teachers (as measured by value-added).

The authors suggest that schools could consider the policy of assigning classes to the same teacher for sequential grade for its benefits to students and low cost. Moreover, the findings also indicate the benefits of establishing relationships or greater familiarity with students to their achievements.

 

Source: Hill, A. J., & Jones, D. B. (2018). A teacher who knows me: The academic benefits of repeat student-teacher matches. Economics of Education Review, 64, 1–12. Read the rest

Fostering curiosity can promote academic achievement

A new research article by Prachi Shah and colleagues at the University of Michigan shows that children who are curious have higher academic achievement than those who aren’t. In fact, they see cultivating curiosity in the classroom—promoting the joy of discovery and motivating students to find out answers to life’s questions—as an untapped strategy for early academic success.

Researchers used data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, which has tracked a national representation of thousands of children since 2001. Children were followed via parent interviews and assessing the children at ages 9 months, 2 years, starting pre-K and K, and then looking at the reading, math, and behavioral skills of 6,200 of these children in 2006 and 2007 when they were in kindergarten.

Results showed that:

  • After controlling for other factors that might influence academic achievement, eagerness to learn new things had a small but positive influence on kindergartners’ reading (ES=+0.11) and math (+0.12).
  • This was even more so for children from low SES backgrounds (ES=+0.18 in reading, +0.20 in math).

The authors conclude that while effortful control has been emphasized as an important predictor for early achievement, curiosity is also an important, yet under-recognized contributor.

 

Source: Shah, P. E., Weeks, H. M., Richards, B., & Kaciroti, N. (2018). Early childhood curiosity and kindergarten reading and math academic achievement. Pediatric Research, Advanced online publication. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41390-018-0039-3Read the rest

The effects of teacher stress on pupil outcomes

new article by Herman, Hickmon-Rosa and Reink (2018) explores the relationship between teacher stress and pupil outcomes.

Their study, which was published in the Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, included 121 teachers and 1,817 pupils between kindergarten and fourth grade (Years 1-5) from nine elementary (primary) schools in an urban Midwestern school district in the U.S. Data included survey responses from teachers on their levels of burnout, stress, efficacy and coping. Pupil outcome measures included teacher reports of pupil behaviour and the Woodcock–Johnson III Test of Achievement.

  • Based on the data, the authors grouped the teachers into four classes: stressed/low coping (3%), stressed/moderate coping (30%), stressed/high coping (60%) and well-adjusted (7%).
  • The authors then linked these results with pupil behavioral and academic outcomes, and found that teachers in the high-stress, high-burnout, and low-coping class were associated with the poorest pupil outcomes.

These findings suggest that investing resources in supporting teacher adaptation, both by equipping them with coping skills and by providing more environmental supports, may improve not only their well-being but also the well-being and functioning of pupils in their class.

 

Source (Open Access): Herman, K. C., Hickmon-Rosa, J., & Reinke, W. M. (2018). Empirically derived profiles of teacher stress, burnout, self-efficacy, and coping and associated student outcomes. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 20(2), 90–100. Read the rest