卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief
Early struggling readers and summertime intervention

Kristen Beach and colleagues at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, examined the effects of receiving a reading programme during the summer on the reading achievement of struggling readers in comparison to similarly performing struggling readers who did not receive this summer intervention.

Thirty-two rising second and third graders (Years 3 and 4) in a large urban school in south-eastern US comprised the experimental group. To be eligible for the study, pupils had to score beneath a cutoff point for each grade level on reading fluency. The comparison group was composed of pupils at a nearby school who were matched by age, ethnicity and standardised test scores the prior spring. Both schools were Title I schools (Title 1 provides financial assistance to local educational agencies and schools with high numbers or high percentages of children from low-income families) and both sets of pupils were African-American and Hispanic and from low-income backgrounds.

Pupils in the experimental group received 15 intensive hour-long one-to-one or one-to-two sessions from 10 teachers using the Sound Partners programme five times a week for three weeks.

Post-test scores in the autumn showed that:

  • Although pupils who received Sound Partners in the summer outscored the control group in overall reading measures (ES= +0.25), gains in fluency were minimal.
  • No gains in any area were statistically significant.

The authors discuss these findings and conclude that for early readers who have not mastered basic decoding and fluency, an intervention that is longer than 15 hours over three weeks is necessary in order to produce significant improvement in reading.

They recommend that planners of summer programmes aimed at increasing reading achievement carefully consider the variables that will lead to the greatest success.

 

SourceBeach, K. D., McIntyre, E., Philippakos, Z. A., Mraz, M., Pilonieta, P., & Vintinner, J. P. (2018). Effects of a Summer Reading Intervention on Reading Skills for Low-Income Black and Hispanic Students in Elementary School. Reading & Writing Quarterly, 34(3), 263–280. Read the rest

Chinese kindergarten teachers’ responses to children’s classroom social behaviours

Teachers’ beliefs and attitudes towards children affect their teaching, and these beliefs are subject to cultural influences. A study published in Early Childhood Research Quarterly explored the beliefs and attitudes of kindergarten teachers in China towards children’s classroom social behaviours.

Yan Li at Shanghai Normal University and colleagues examined 672 Shanghai kindergarten teachers’ responses to a series of short hypothetical scenarios depicting children with different behaviours when interacting with their peers – for instance, shyness, unsociability, physical aggression and relational aggression. Teachers were asked to rate their tolerance and negative emotions towards children in the scenarios, and to predict the children’s academic performance and whether their peers would respond negatively.

The study found the following:

  • The most negative views were expressed towards scenarios depicting physical aggression.
  • When children in a hypothetical scenario were boys, tolerance towards physical aggression was even less.
  • More tolerance was expressed for shyness compared to aggressive behaviours.
  • Shy children were predicted to receive most negative responses from their peers.
  • Shy children were also predicted to be less likely to achieve academic success than relationally aggressive children.

The authors suggest that these attitudes among Shanghai’s teachers may reflect the influence of Western culture.

 

Source Li, Y., Coplan, R. J., Archbell, K. A., Bullock, A., & Chen, L. (2016). Chinese kindergarten teachers’ beliefs about young children’s classroom social behavior. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 36, 122–132. Read the rest

Class clowns are no joke

longitudinal study from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign shows that the older pupils get, the less they approve of male classmates who are looked upon as class clowns. Specifically, boys who act mischievously to make their peers laugh in first grade (Year 2) start to be shunned for their behavior by third grade (Year 4), and lose self-esteem.

Educational psychologist Lynn Barnett followed 278 children from kindergarten through to third grade (Year 1 to Year 4) to examine “playful” children’s perception of themselves and how others saw them as the school years progressed. To determine which children were the most “playful,” Barnett used the 23-item Children’s Playfulness Scale; surveys on teacher-, peer-, and self-rated social competence; and teacher-, peer-, and self-rated disruptive classroom behaviors, placing pupils named by at least 25% of their peers into the “playful” category.

Her study found that:

  • Pupils in the first grade equally regarded girls and boys as class clowns, but by third grade, mostly boys were labelled as such, even when the girls still demonstrated playful behavior.
  • Although playful children were often popular in the early school years and saw themselves as having better social skills than others, by third grade the male class clowns were the ones likely to be played with the least, losing confidence and seeing themselves as socially incompetent.
  • This is in sharp contrast to female class clowns, who did not lose popularity or self-esteem by third grade.
  • One pattern of note was that in all Year groups, teachers did not view playful girls as negatively as they did playful boys.

Dr Barnett discusses these implications, and teachers’ influence on the way male class clowns are perceived.

Source (Open Access)Barnett, l. A. (2018). The education of playful boys: Class clowns in the classroom. Frontiers in Psychology, 9.Read the rest

The benefits of theatre field trips

Field trips to the theatre provide a number of educational benefits to pupils, according to research published in Educational Researcher. Jay P Greene and colleagues found that giving pupils the opportunity to take part in a field trip to see a live theatre performance produced an increase in tolerance as well as a greater understanding of the plot and vocabulary of those plays.

Schools in Arkansas in the US were assigned by lottery to receive free tickets to attend one of five live theatre performances over a two-year period. Grade 9 (Year 10) classes from participating schools were then randomly assigned to take part in theatre field trip or to serve as a control group and not take part in the field trips. In addition, for two of the five experiments, a second treatment group was added in which pupils were randomly assigned to watch a film version of the theatre play. The average age of pupils in the treatment and control groups was 14 years old.

The impact to pupils of the theatre field trip was measured on five outcomes: tolerance, social perspective taking (the ability to understand others’ feelings and perspectives), content knowledge, theatre consumption and theatre participation.

The research found that:

  • Pupils in the theatre field trip treatment groups scored higher for levels of tolerance (ES=+0.14) and social perspective taking (ES=+0.16).
  • Pupils’ content knowledge of the plot and vocabulary in the plays was also greater (ES=+0.15) than pupils in the control group.
  • However, watching a film did not produce benefits, and as the film-viewing group also left school for a field trip, the results suggest that the educational benefits to pupils come from the experience of watching live theatre, and not simply from leaving school for a field trip.

Results also indicate that theatre field trips may encourage pupils to visit the theatre more often.

 

Source Greene, J. P., Erickson, H. H., Watson, A. R., & Beck, M. I. (2018). The play’s the thing: experimentally examining the social and cognitive effects of school field trips to live theater performances, Educational Researcher, 47 (4). 246-254.Read the rest

Strategies to promote teacher effectiveness

The Institute of Education Sciences has released a new evaluation brief that synthesizes findings from two impact studies conducted by the National Center for Education Evaluation (NCEE). One study focused on a strategy of providing teachers with feedback on their performance for two years (performance feedback), and the other study focused on a strategy of providing teachers with bonuses for four years based on their performance (pay-for-performance). Both strategies were supported by the Teacher Incentive Fund, which provided competitive grants to help US states and districts implement a multi-strategy approach to enhancing teacher effectiveness.

In each study, elementary and middle schools were randomly assigned to implement the strategy (the treatment group) or not (the control group). The performance feedback study included approximately 29,000 pupils and 1,000 teachers in grades 4–8, while the pay-for-performance study included approximately 38,000 pupils and 3,500 teachers in grades 3–8. Pupil outcomes were measured using end-of-year reading and math scores.

Key findings were as follows:

  • Providing teachers with feedback on their performance for two years improved pupils’ math achievement after the first year with a difference in scores that corresponds to an effect size of +0.05. The cumulative effect after two years of implementation was similar in magnitude but not statistically significant. The effect on reading in both years was positive but not statistically significant.
  • Providing teachers with bonuses based on their performance for four years improved pupils’ reading achievement after one, two and three years of implementation and pupils’ math achievement after three years. After each of those periods of implementation, the effect size was +0.04 for reading and +0.06 for math. However, as noted in the evaluation report, the impacts of pay-for-performance on classroom observation ratings did not appear to explain the impacts on pupil achievement, and in treatment schools, as many as 40% of teachers were unaware that they could earn a performance bonus.

The brief was prepared for NCEE by Andrew Wayne and Michael Garet of American Institutes for Research and Alison Wellington and Hanley Chiang of Mathematica Policy Research

 

Source (Open Access)National Center for Education Evaluation (2018). Promoting educator effectiveness- The effects of two key strategies. Retrieved from https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/pubs/20184009/pdf/20184009.pdfRead the rest