卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief
New analysis of the attainment gap

The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) has published a new analysis of the state of the attainment gap in the UK. Using data from Key Stage 2 to predict how the attainment gap is likely to shift in the next five years, it reveals that there will be little or no headway in closing the gap between disadvantaged pupils and their classmates in the next five years.

Improvements in primary schools over the past few years mean that:

  • The gap between the proportion of disadvantaged pupils with at least a good pass at GCSE in English and Mathematics and all other pupils is set to reduce from 24 percentage points to 21.5 between 2017 and 2021.
  • However, there will be little change in Attainment 8 (which measures average achievement in GCSE across eight subjects) and Progress 8 (which measures students’ progress between Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 4 across eight subjects) gaps.
  • The Attainment 8 score gap of 11 points in 2017 will remain in 2021, while for Progress 8 the attainment gap is set to increase a little: from 14.8 points in 2017 to 15.6 points in 2021.

The analysis emphasises that even small improvements – just one or two GCSE passes compared to no qualifications – can have significant increases on a young person’s lifetime productivity returns and in national wealth. This highlights the importance of continuing to focus on improving results for currently low-attaining pupils.

The report also contains 15 key lessons from the first six years of the EEF on closing the attainment gap.

 

The Education Endowment Foundation (2018). The attainment gap 2017. London, England: The Education Endowment Foundation.… Read the rest

What happens when teachers get more feedback?

study published by the American Institutes for Research (AIR) and the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) shows that even small amounts of the right kind of feedback to teachers and principals can have an effect on pupil achievement in maths.

A total of 127 schools from eight districts across five US states participated in the study. Schools were assigned to either a treatment or control group. In both the treatment and control group schools, teachers and principals continued to receive the performance feedback they had received in the past. For those in the treatment group schools, additional feedback was also given for classroom practice, pupil achievement and principal leadership. The study focused on principals and teachers of reading/ English and maths in grades 4–8 (Years 5–9).

The findings include:

  • In the first year of the study, the pupils in the treatment schools outperformed pupils in control schools in maths by the equivalent of four weeks of learning.
  • In the second year, while there was a difference of the same size, it was not statistically significant.
  • There was no difference in either year on pupil achievement in reading/ English.

Through exploratory analyses, the study also noted that classroom practice was positively associated with achievement in maths, suggesting that improved classroom practice might be one way of how feedback to teachers influenced student achievement.

 

Garet, M.S., Wayne, A.J., Brown, S., Rickles, J., Song, M., and Manzeske, D. (2017). The impact of providing performance feedback to teachers and principals. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education.… Read the rest

Self-regulation intervention improves school readiness

Adding a self-regulation intervention to a school readiness programme can improve self-regulation, early academic skills and school readiness in children at higher risk for later school difficulties, according to the results of a study published in Early Childhood Research Quarterly.

Robert J Duncan and colleagues looked at the effect of adding a self-regulation intervention to the Bridge to Kindergarten (B2K) programme – a three-week summer school-readiness programme – in the US state of Oregon. The B2K programme is aimed at children with no prior preschool experience, and therefore considered to be at risk for later school difficulties.

Children from three to five years old were randomly assigned to either a control group (B2K only) or the intervention group (B2K plus intervention). Children in the intervention group received two 20- to 30-minute sessions per week, involving movement and music-based games that encouraged them to practise self-regulation skills.

Results from this randomised controlled trial indicated that

  • Children who received the intervention scored higher on measures of self-regulation than children who participated in the B2K programme alone.
  • There were no significant effects on maths or literacy at the end of the programme.
  • However, four months into kindergarten, children from the intervention group showed increased growth in self-regulation, maths and literacy compared to expected development.

The study concluded that policies and programs aimed at children without schooling experience before attending kindergarten might reduce the school readiness gaps and improve their achievement.

 

Duncan, R. J., Schmitt, S. A., Burke, M., & McClelland, M. M. (2018). Combining a kindergarten readiness summer program with a self-regulation intervention improves school readiness. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 42, 291–300.… Read the rest

Is personalised learning effective?

A new research brief by John F Pane and colleagues at the RAND Corporation asks the question: “Does personalised learning improve pupil learning more than other educational approaches?” As part of their report, the authors present findings from an evaluation of personalised learning (PL) schools conducted by RAND Corporation researchers for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The research team analysed maths and reading scores for approximately 5,500 pupils in 32 US schools that received funding from the Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) initiative to support highly personalised approaches to learning. These schools took the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) mathematics and reading assessments for one academic year: autumn 2014 to spring 2015. The research team compared the achievement of pupils in PL schools with matched peers attending non-PL schools and national norms.

Key findings from the research brief include:

  • Early evidence suggests that PL can improve achievement for pupils, regardless of their starting level of achievement.
  • Benefits of PL may take some time to emerge. Analyses suggest that effects may be more positive after schools have experience implementing PL.
  • To date, the field lacks evidence on which practices are most effective or what policies must be in place to maximise the benefits.

The authors note that additional research is needed using more rigorous experimental studies.

 

Pane, J. F., Steiner, E. D., Baird, M. D., Hamilton, L. S., & Pane, J. D. (2017). How does personalized learning affect student achievement?. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation.… Read the rest

Interventions can reduce school exclusion but the effect is temporary

This Campbell Systematic Review examined the impact of interventions to reduce exclusion from school. School exclusion, also known as suspension, involves the removal of pupils from regular teaching for a period during which they are not allowed to be present at school. In some extreme cases, the pupil is not allowed to come back to the same school (expulsion).

The review summarised 37 studies, reporting 38 interventions’ effect sizes. Most studies were from the US (n=33) and the UK (n=3). All of them were randomised controlled trials.

The evidence suggested that

  • School-based interventions are effective at reducing school exclusion during the first six months after the intervention (effect size =+0.30), but that this effect is not sustained.
  • Some specific types of interventions showed more promising results than others. Of the nine different types of school-based interventions included in the review, four types (enhancement of academic skills, counselling, mentoring/monitoring and skills training for teachers) showed positive results in reducing exclusion.
However, based on the number of studies involved, the researchers suggest that results must be treated with caution.

 

Valdebenito, S., Eisner, M., Farrington, D.P., Ttofi, M., Sutherland, A. (2018).School-based interventions for reducing disciplinary school exclusion: a systematic review. Oslo, Norway: The Campbell Collaboration.… Read the rest