卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief
New WWC practice guide on preventing dropout in secondary schools

The What Works Clearinghouse has released a new practice guide, Preventing Dropout in Secondary Schools , that offers research-based recommendations for reducing dropout rates in middle and secondary schools. The goal is to help educators and administrators learn strategies for identifying at-risk pupils and addressing the challenges they face.

The WWC and an expert panel chaired by Russell Rumberger from the University of California, Santa Barbara synthesised existing research on the topic and combined it with insight from the panel to identify the following four recommendations, which include a rating of the strength of the research evidence supporting each recommendation:

  • Monitor the progress of all pupils, and proactively intervene when pupils show early signs of attendance, behaviour, or academic problems (minimal evidence).
  • Provide intensive, individualised support to pupils who have fallen off track and face significant challenges to success (moderate evidence).
  • Engage pupils by offering curricula and programmes that connect schoolwork with college and career success and that improve pupils’ capacity to manage challenges in and out of school (strong evidence).
  • For schools with many at-risk pupils, create small, personalised communities to facilitate monitoring and support (moderate evidence).
  • Each recommendation provides specific, actionable strategies; examples of how to implement the recommended practices in schools; advice on how to overcome potential obstacles; and a description of the supporting evidence.

     

    Source: Rumberger, R., Addis, H., Allensworth, E., Balfanz, R., Bruch, J., Dillon, E., Duardo, D., Dynarski, M., Furgeson, J., Jayanthi, M., Newman-Gonchar, R., Place, K., & Tuttle, C. (2017). Preventing dropout in secondary schools. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance (NCEE), Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education.… Read the rest

    Evaluation of an early language intervention

    randomised controlled trial, conducted by Silke Fricke and colleagues, looked at the effect of an oral language intervention and compared the extent to which a 30-week programme beginning in nursery and continuing for 20 weeks in Reception was more effective than delivering a 20-week programme starting in Reception.

    Children from 34 nurseries in the UK were randomly allocated to a 30-week intervention (n= 132), a 20-week intervention (n=133), or an untreated waiting control group (n=129). Allocation was minimized for gender, age and verbal skills. The children in the 30-week intervention group received the Nuffield Early Language Intervention programme for 10 weeks in nursery and continued for 20 weeks in Reception. The 20-week intervention group received only the final 20 weeks of the intervention, beginning when they entered primary school. The control group received their usual schooling.

    Children in both the 20- and 30-week programme intervention groups showed greater improvement in oral language skills on measures including the CELF Expressive Vocabulary and CELF Sentence Structure subtests, and the Information Score from the Renfrew Action Picture Test, compared to children in the control group (effect size for the 20-week programme = +0.21; effect size for the 30-week programme = +0.30). However, there was no evidence to suggest that either programme improved early literacy or reading comprehension skills.

     

    Source: Fricke, S., Burgoyne, K., Bowyer‐Crane, C., Kyriacou, M., Zosimidou, A., Maxwell, L., ... & Hulme, C. (2017). The efficacy of early language intervention in mainstream school settings: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. Advance online publication.… Read the rest

    The Evidence for marking

    The Education Endowment Foundation has published a new review of the evidence on written marking. Researchers from Oxford University found that there were very few robust studies – too few to conduct a formal systematic review or to make definitive recommendations. Based on the limited evidence, the review makes the following tentative suggestions:

    • Careless mistakes should be marked differently to errors resulting from misunderstanding. The latter may be best addressed by providing hints or questions which lead pupils to underlying principles; the former by simply marking the mistake as incorrect, without giving the right answer.
    • Awarding grades for every piece of work may reduce the impact of marking, particularly if pupils become preoccupied with grades at the expense of a consideration of teachers’ formative comments.
    • The use of targets to make marking as specific and actionable as possible is likely to increase pupil progress.
    • Pupils are unlikely to benefit from marking unless some time is set aside to enable pupils to consider and respond to marking.
    • Some forms of marking, including acknowledgement marking, are unlikely to enhance pupil progress. Schools should mark less in terms of the number of pieces of work marked, but mark better.

    The researchers argue that there is an urgent need for more studies so that teachers have better information about the most effective marking approaches.

     

    Source: Elliott, V.F., Baird, J-A., Hopfenbeck, T.N., Ingram, J, Thompson, I., Usher, N., Zantout, M., Richardson, J., Coleman, R. (2016) A marked improvement? A review of the evidence on written marking. UK: Education Endowment Foundation.… Read the rest

    Homework and achievement in math and science

    Fan and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis to review the homework-achievement relationship in math and science given that the effect of subject matters had not been carefully examined.

    Among more than two thousand studies related to homework and achievement available on digital databases between 1986 and 2015, 28 studies that fulfilled the inclusion criteria were synthesized. Participants of the included studies were primary school, middle school or high school students. Key findings of those are as follows:

    • Overall, there was a small and positive relationship between homework and achievement in math and science.
    • The homework-achievement relationships were stronger in the studies operationally defined homework as “homework completion”, “homework grade”, and “homework effort” than the studies defined that as “homework frequency” and “time spent on homework”.
    • The relationship for elementary and high school students was stronger than that for middle school students.
    • The homework-achievement relationship was the strongest in studies involving US students while it was the weakest in studies involving Asian students. The authors suggested this seemingly counterintuitive result might be attributed to private tutoring that has been weakening the role of formal education in these countries.

    The authors remarked that they only included studies written in English and there was an insufficient number of studies for them to consider the moderation effect of some important features, such as gender and complexity of homework assignments.

     

    Source : Fan, H., Xu, J., Cai, Z., He, J., & Fan, X. (2017). Homework and students' achievement in math and science: A 30-year meta-analysis, 1986–2015. Educational Research Review20, 35-54.… Read the rest

    Pupil may do better on tests if they can go back and check their work

    Joseph Hardcastle and colleagues conducted a study to compare pupil performance on computer-based tests (CBT) and traditional paper-and-pencil tests (PPT). More than 30,000 pupils in grades 4–12 (Years 5–13) were assessed on their understanding of energy using three testing systems: a paper and pencil test; a computer-based test that allowed pupils to skip items and move freely through the test; or a CBT that did not allow pupils to return to previous questions.

    Overall, the results showed that being able to skip through questions, and review and change previous answers, could benefit younger pupils. Elementary (Years 5 and 6) and middle school (Years 7–9) pupils scored lower on a CBT that did not allow them to return to previous items than on a comparable computer-based test that allowed them to skip, review, and change previous responses. Elementary pupils also scored slightly higher on a CBT that allowed them to go back to previous answers than on the PPT, but there was no significant difference for middle school pupils on those two types of tests. High school pupils (Years 10–13) showed no difference in their performance on the three types of tests.

    Gender was found to have little influence on a pupil’s performance on PPT or CBT; however, pupils whose primary language was not English had lower performance on both CBTs compared with the PPT.

     

    Source: Hardcastle, J., Herrmann-Abell, C.F.,& DeBoer, G. E. (2017. April 30). Comparing Student Performance on Paper-and-Pencil and Computer-Based-Tests. Paper presented at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association. San Antonio, TX, US.… Read the rest