卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief
The advantages of print vs. digital reading: A meta-analysis

A recent meta-analysis showed that paper-based reading yields better outcomes in reading comprehension than digital reading. In an article appearing in Educational Research Review, Pablo Delgato and colleagues from Spain and Israel analyzed 54 studies from 2000-2017 comparing the reading comprehension outcomes of comparable paper and digital texts. They examined if one medium has an advantage over the other for reading outcomes, and what factors contribute to any differences found.

Results showed that:

  • Paper text has an advantage over digital text (ES=+0.21).
  • Influencing factors favoring paper text include reading under time limitations, text type (informational or informational plus narrative), and publication year—later publications showed increased advantages for paper reading than earlier publications.

While the authors do not advocate getting rid of digital texts given their convenience, cost advantages, and pervasiveness, they reflect that these study findings should be considered when students are required to perform digitally-related tasks under time constraints.

 

Source: Delgado, P., Vargas, C., Ackerman, R., & Salmerón, L. (2018). Don’t throw away your printed books: A meta-analysis on the effects of reading media on reading comprehension. Educational Research Review, 25, 23–38. Read the rest

Examining the effects of parental involvement

A paper by Lisa Boonk and colleagues, published in Educational Research Review, reviews the research literature on the relationship between parental involvement and students’ academic achievement.

To be eligible for the paper, studies had to (a) investigate parental involvement and its relation with academic achievement of learners aged 0 to 18; (b) provide clear descriptions of the parental involvement construct and measurements and type of academic outcome; and (c) be published in the period 2003 to 2017 in a peer reviewed journal. A total of 75 studies were included.

After reviewing the literature, the authors found that parental involvement variables that show promise according to their correlations with academic achievement are:

  • Reading at home
  • Parents that are holding high expectations/aspirations for their children’s academic achievement and schooling
  • Communication between parents and children regarding school
  • Parental encouragement and support for learning

The authors concluded that parental involvement was related to children’s academic achievement and its effect did not weaken as children grow, although it would change in nature.

 

Source: Boonk, L., Gijselaers, H. J. M., Ritzen, H., & Brand-Gruwel, S. (2018). A review of the relationship between parental involvement indicators and academic achievement. Educational Research Review, 24, 10–30. Read the rest

Teacher/parent communication an effective tool to help students succeed

A study from Harvard and Brown Universities shows that struggling students did better in school when their teachers communicated with their parents regularly, and suggested specific actions students could do to improve their grades.

Researchers studied the effects of teacher/parent communication on the academic achievement of 435 struggling high school students enrolled in summer school to recover lost credits in English, history, math, or science two hours a day during a five-week program. Students were mostly Hispanic and African-American, and all were low-income. All students had to have been absent less than 30 days and to have received an “F+” in up to two courses. Students’ parents were randomly divided into three groups: the first group received a short weekly message from the teacher by phone, text, or email about what their child was doing well (positive); the second received a weekly teacher’s message about areas where their child needed improvement (improvement); and the third received no teacher message at all (control). The results showed:

  • At the end of the term, students whose parents had received messages from their teachers were 41% more likely to pass their classes than the control group who received no messages. Researchers noted that this was due to larger dropout rates in the control group.
  • Students whose parents received messages about areas for improvement passed their classes at a higher score than the group who received messages about what students were doing well.
  • A participant survey at the end of the study shows that the parent-student teams in the “improvement” and “positive” groups communicated about schoolwork with the same frequency, but the conversational content differed in that the improvement-group teams discussed areas where the students needed to do better, something the positive teams were less likely to do and a factor the researchers cite as a possible reason for the improvement students’ higher scores.

The study was performed as part of a series of low-cost school-improvement strategies.

 

Source (Open Access): Kraft, M.A., & Rogers, A. (2014). The underutilized potential of teacher-to-parent communication: evidence from a field experiment - HKS faculty research working paper series. Retrieved from http://scholar.harvard.edu/files/mkraft/files/kraft_rogers_teacher-parent_communication_hks_working_paper.pdfRead the rest

Does harsh parenting affect Chinese students’ academic achievement?

Chinese parents were reported to exercise a higher level of parental control. To understand how this could affect students’ achievement, an article published in the Journal of School Psychology examined the relationship between harsh parenting and adolescent academic achievement, as well as how effortful control and classroom engagement mediated the effects of harsh parenting. The research also investigated how boys and girls were differently affected.

Mingzhong Wang and colleagues surveyed 815 students in sixth through eighth grade from two public junior high schools located in rural areas of Eastern China, as well as their parents. Students’ academic achievement was measured by a standardised score obtained from test scores in Chinese language, English language and Math combined with two teacher-rated items. Harsh parenting, effortful control and classroom engagement were measured by items used in prior research and were validated.

The findings showed that:

  • Harsh parenting has negative direct effects on academic achievement for both boys and girls.
  • Harsh parenting also has a detrimental effect on students’ effortful control, making them less engaged in classroom activities and in turn leading to poorer academic achievement, regardless of gender.
  • For boys, the negative indirect effect of harsh parenting on academic achievement was mainly through the adverse impacts of effortful control. For girls, it was mainly through classroom engagement.

The authors concluded that teachers should not only pay attention to proximal factors such as classroom management to improve students’ academic achievement; instead, malleable distal factors such as harsh parenting are also important.

 

Source: Wang, M., Deng, X., & Du, X. (2018). Harsh parenting and academic achievement in Chinese adolescents: Potential mediating roles of effortful control and classroom engagement. Journal of school psychology67, 16-30.Read the rest

Parental involvement: Including fathers in the picture

A meta-analysis from Harvard University explores the relative strength of the association between educational involvement of fathers versus mothers and the achievement of their children. The research suggested that parents have an equal academic impact on children regardless of their gender, although fathers’ mean levels of involvement were lower.

In general, research on parental involvement in education does not distinguish between fathers and mothers, and where the focus is on one parent, it is most likely to be the mother. In contrast, this meta-analysis sought to put fathers in the picture. The authors included 52 empirical studies representing 390 correlations for the relation between parental involvement (mothers or fathers) and achievement. They found that:

  • Parental involvement was positively associated with student achievement.
  • The relation between involvement and achievement was equally strong for fathers and mothers.
  • Child gender did not moderate this relation.

The authors do note some limitations to their analysis, namely a lack of longitudinal studies and wide variability in the way parental involvement and achievement had been measured across the studies.

 

Source:Kim, S. won, & Hill, N. E. (2015). Including fathers in the picture: A meta-analysis of parental involvement and students’ academic achievement. Journal of Educational Psychology, 107(4), 919–934. Read the rest