卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief
Review of professional learning and development in early childhood education

Approaches to professional development that combine coaching or mentoring with new knowledge and opportunities for reflection on practice may be the most effective in improving outcomes in early childhood settings, according to a study published in Review of Education.

Sue Rogers and colleagues conducted the systematic review, which was funded by the Nuffield Foundation, in order to examine the impact of professional learning and development. The studies included in the review identify approaches to professional learning that demonstrate impact on early childhood education on one or more outcomes across three main areas: literacy knowledge and skills, math and science knowledge, and social-emotional and behavioral development. 

The findings from the review suggested that:

  • Coaching models, and approaches that help develop pedagogical knowledge, may be the most effective in improving outcomes in early childhood settings.
  • The evidence on duration, frequency, and intensity of the professional learning, although likely to be important factors, was inconclusive.

 

Source (Open Access): Rogers, S., Brown, C., & Poblete, X. (2020). A systematic review of the evidence base for professional learning in early years education (The PLEYE Review). Review of Education, 8(1), 156–188.Read the rest

The evidence behind strategies to reduce absenteeism

Phyllis Jordan at FutureEd recently authored Attendance Playbook: Smart Solutions for Reducing Chronic Absenteeism, a report outlining strategies for reducing chronic absenteeism and the evidence behind each suggested strategy. The strategies are presented by Tier I, II, and III intervention levels as follows:

  • Tier I
  1. Effective Messaging and Engagement (e.g., Nudging Parents and Students)
  2. Removing Barriers to Attendance (e.g., School-based Health Services)
  3. Improving School Climate (e.g., Relevant—and Culturally Relevant—Curriculum)
  • Tier II
  1. Effective Messaging and Engagement (e.g., Early Warning)
  2. Removing Barriers to Attendance (e.g., Addressing Asthma)
  • Tier III
  1. Including Truancy Courts, Interagency Case Management, and Housing

Each strategy described is followed by a list of the evidence supporting it, ranked by ESSA evidence strength (strong, moderate, promising, emerging), with a link to each report. Short descriptions of schools and districts using the strategies are also included.

 

Source (Open Access): Jordan, P. (2019). Attendance playbook: Smart solutions for reducing chronic absenteeism. Washington, DC: FutureEd.Read the rest

What are the effects of increased learning time?

The Institute of Education Sciences has released a report that examines the effects of increased learning time on student academic and nonacademic outcomes. A meta-analysis was conducted on the topic in which over 7,000 studies were screened, but only 30 met the research team’s standards for rigorous research (including meeting evidence standards established by the What Works Clearinghouse). A review of those 30 studies found that increased learning time can be positive under some conditions. Some forms of instruction tailored to the needs of specific types of students were found to improve their circumstances. Specific findings included:

  • Increased learning time promoted student achievement in mathematics and literacy when instruction was led by a certified teacher and when teachers used a traditional instructional style (i.e., the teacher is responsible for the progression of activities and students follow directions to complete tasks).
  • Increased learning time improved literacy outcomes for students performing below standards.
  • Increased learning time improved social-emotional skills of students with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

 

Source (Open Access): Kidron, Y., and Lindsay, J. (2014). The effects of increased learning time on student academic and nonacademic outcomes: Findings from a meta-analytic review (REL 2014–015). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Evaluation. Read the rest

More time in class benefits the best

Spending more time at school benefits the best-performing students disproportionately, according to a study.

The researchers used data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study – Kindergarten Cohort (ECLS-K). The ECLS-K followed the cohort class of 1998-1999 from kindergarten to their eighth grade, while the present study used the data from the autumn and spring semesters in the 1998-99 school year during kindergarten for analysis. This included more than 20,000 children from 1,000 kindergarten programs in schools for children who entered kindergarten in 1998. Children were given math and reading tests in the fall and spring. Because there was essentially random variation in when these tests were delivered, there were variations in the amount of instructional time between the two tests. The researchers used this to analyze the progress made, but also the difference in progress among the different percentiles within the class. They found that:

  • On average, reading scores increase by 1.6 test score standard deviations (SD) during a standard 250 day school year.
  • However, readers in the bottom 10% increased by only 0.9 test score SD, while those in the top 10% increased by 2.1 test score SD.
  • A similar result was found for mathematics.

The authors suggest that policymakers, practitioners, and analysts must consider the average and distributional impacts of educational inputs and interventions.

 

Source (Open Access): Hayes, M.S., & Gershenson, S. (2016). What differences a day can make: Quantile regression estimates of the distribution of daily learning gains (IZA Discussion Paper No. 9305). Bonn, Germany: Institute for the Study of Labor. Read the rest

What are the effects of a four-day school week?

A Brookings report  by Paul T. Hill and Georgia Heyward examines the four-day school week in rural Idaho. According to the report, four-day weeks have been implemented in approximately 42 of Idaho’s 115 school districts, with a primary goal of cost savings (e.g., savings on transportation, heating, janitorial, and clerical costs). The revised schedule adds roughly 30 to 90 minutes to each day that students are in school, and then on the fifth day (usually Friday), the goal is to assign projects and encourage parent and community groups to organize study halls and enrichment activities.

The authors collected data by interviewing district and school leaders in Idaho communities that had moved to the four-day week. Key findings included:

  • Though cost cutting was the original motivation for the four-day week, savings have been elusive in most localities. This is because so many costs are fixed (e.g., teacher and administrator salaries).
  • Teachers reported difficulty restarting instruction and focusing children’s attention after a three-day weekend.
  • Teachers in many places now consider the fifth day an amenity, and some superintendents reported that the four-day week made the locality more attractive to teacher candidates.
  • Working parents found the longer hours in school more convenient as it meant that children’s days more nearly matched their own workdays. However, the fifth day presented new problems of child care and planning for positive uses of children’s time.
  • No district that had adopted the four-day week had rigorously assessed the effects on student achievement. Several district leaders said student and teacher attendance had improved in the first year of the four-day week, but they had not assessed whether these results persisted over time.

The authors discuss the limits of their evidence, and note that the long-term effects for rural students’ education are unknown.

 

Source (Open Access): Hill, P.T., & Heyward, G. (2015). The four-day school week in rural Idaho schools. Boise ,ID: Rural Opportunities Consortium of Idaho.Read the rest