卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief
New guidance on preparing for literacy

The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) has published its latest guidance report, Preparing for Literacy, which reviews the best available research to offer early years professionals practical “do’s and don’ts” to make sure all children start school with the foundations they need to read and write well.

The report considers how a wide range of different activities – like singing, storytelling and nursery rhymes – can help to develop children’s early reading. It offers seven recommendations designed to support early years professionals to improve the communication, language and early literacy skills of all their pupils – particularly those from disadvantaged homes. Previous analysis by the EEF found there was already a 4.3 month gap between poorer pupils and their classmates before school starts.

The seven recommendations are as follows:

  • Prioritise the development of communication and language
  • Develop children’s early reading using a balanced approach
  • Develop children’s capability and motivation to write
  • Embed opportunities to develop children’s self-regulation
  • Support parents to understand how to help their children learn
  • Use assessment to ensure all children make good progress
  • Use high quality targeted support to help struggling children

The fifth recommendation focuses on parental engagement and the importance of supporting parents to understand how they can help in their child’s learning. It suggests that shared reading should be a central component for helping children to learn new words. The report also highlights the importance of high-quality interactions between adults and children to develop their communication and language skills. For example, early years professionals should make sure they talk with children – not just to them.

 

Source (Open Access): Education Endowment Foundation. (2018). Preparing for literacy: improving communication, language and literacy in the early years. London: Education Endowment Foundation.Read the rest

Do physically active lessons improve pupil engagement?

A study published in Health Education and Behavior looks at the effects of introducing physically active lessons into primary school classes. Norris and her colleagues used the Virtual Traveller (VT) intervention to evaluate whether physically active lessons had any effect on pupil engagement, physical activity and on-task behaviour.

Virtual Traveller is a programme of pre-prepared physically active lesson sessions delivered using classroom interactive whiteboards during regular lessons. A total of 219 children aged 8- to 9-years-old from 10 schools in Greater London took part in the cluster-randomised controlled trial. Children in the intervention schools received 10-minute VT sessions three times a week, for six weeks, during Mathematics and English lessons. To assess the effectiveness of VT, pupils’ physical activity levels, on-task behaviour and engagement were measured at baseline (T0), at weeks two (T1) and four (T2) of the six-week intervention, and at one week (T3) and three months (T4) post-intervention.

The results showed that:

  • Pupils in the intervention group showed more on-task behaviour than those in the control at T1 and T2, but this was not maintained post-intervention.
  • No difference in pupil engagement between the control and intervention groups was observed at any time point.
  • VT was found to increase physical activity, but only during lesson time.

Conclusion of the paper pointed out that interactive whiteboards can integrate physical activities into teaching with no detriment to educational outcomes.

 

Source : Norris, E., Dunsmuir, S., Duke-Williams, O., Stamatakis, E., & Shelton, N. (2018). Physically active lessons improve lesson activity and on-task behavior: a cluster-randomized controlled trial of the “Virtual Traveller” intervention. Health Education & Behavior. Advanced online publication. doi:10.1177/1090198118762106Read the rest

Free glasses improve reading achievement

In the first US school-based study to link reading achievement with the provision of free glasses, Robert Slavin, director of the Center for Research and Reform in Education and colleagues at Johns Hopkins’ Wilmer Eye Institute, examined the effects on reading performance of providing free glasses to disadvantaged pupils.

A total of 317 second and third grade pupils (Years 3 and 4) in 12 disadvantaged Baltimore City schools had their vision tested in the autumn and winter of 2014-2015. They also completed reading pre- and post-tests from the Woodcock Language Proficiency Battery at those times. Sixty-nine percent (n=182) of the pupils’ vision tests showed they needed glasses. Pupils who needed glasses were given two pairs, one for home and one for school. Lost or broken glasses were replaced, and school staff were enlisted to help children remember to wear their glasses.

Results showed that the reading scores for the children provided with glasses improved more than those for pupils who did not need glasses (effect size=+0.16). The study points to a new strategy for improving reading performance in high-poverty schools.

 

Source :Slavin, R. E., Collins, M. E., Repka, M. X., Friedman, D. S., Mudie, L. I., Owoeye, J. O., & Madden, N. A. (2018). In plain sight: reading outcomes of providing eyeglasses to disadvantaged children. Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk (JESPAR). Advanced online publication.. doi:10.1080/10824669.2018.1477602Read the rest

Is the pen mightier than the mouse?

Backes and Cowan (2018) have published a working paperon the differences between computer- and paper-based tests.  In 2015, Massachusetts introduced the new PARCC assessment. School districts could choose whether to use the computer or paper versions of the test, and in 2015 and 2016, districts were divided fairly evenly between the two. The authors use this division to compare results for pupils in Grades 3–8 (Years 4–9). The analyses showed:

  • Pupils who took the online version of PARCC scored about 0.10 standard deviations lower in Mathematics and about 0.25 standard deviations lower in English than pupils taking the paper version of the test.
  • When pupils took computer tests again the following year, these differences reduced by about a third for Mathematics and by half for English.

The study also looked at whether the change to computer tests affected some pupils disproportionately, as the analyses showed:

  • There were no differences for Mathematics, but for English there was more of an effect on pupils at the bottom of the achievement distribution, pupils with English as an additional language and special education pupils.

The authors point out that these differences not only have consequences for individual pupils, but for other decisions based on the data, including teacher and school performance measures and the analysis of schoolwide programmes.

 

Source (Open Access) : Backes, B. & Cowan, J. (2018). Is the pen mightier than the keyboard? The effect of online testing on measured student achievement (Working paper 190). National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research. Retrieved from: https://caldercenter.org/sites/default/files/WP%20190.pdfRead the rest

Preventing and addressing behaviour problems

The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) has posted a tip sheet with five evidence-based strategies to help educators prevent and address behaviour problems. These strategies, which are based on reviews of research and recommendations from experts in the field, are as follows:

  1. Modify the classroom environment to alter or remove factors that trigger problem behaviours (eg, revisit and reinforce expectations, modify the learning space to motivate pupils, and vary teaching strategies to increase academic success).
  2. Identify, deliver, and reinforce explicit teaching in appropriate behaviour.
  3. Learn about interventions that can help support pupils with an emotional/behavioural problem in making good choices. The WWC has identified effective interventions.
  4. Adapt teaching to maintain or increase pupil engagement in academics, preventing disruptive behaviour. The WWC offers strategies to engage pupils in reading, writing, maths, and out-of-school-time learning.
  5. Enlist adult advocates to help pupils at risk of dropping out address academic and social needs.

Better: Evidence-based Education magazine has addressed similar topics in classroom management and social-emotional learning.

 

Source (Open Access): The What Works Clearinghouse. (2014). Preventing and addressing behavior problems. Retrieved from https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/AddressingBehaviorProblemsRead the rest