卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief
Teaching secondary students to write effectively

The Institute of Education Sciences has released a What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) Educator’s Practice Guide. The guide, Teaching Secondary Students to Write Effectively, provides evidence-based recommendations for improving the writing skills of middle and high school students.

The WWC and a panel chaired by Steve Graham at Arizona State University synthesized existing research on the topic and combined it with insight from the panel to identify the following recommendations, which include a rating of the strength of the research evidence supporting each recommendation:

  • Explicitly teach appropriate writing strategies using a Model-Practice-Reflect instructional cycle (strong evidence)
  • Integrate writing and reading to emphasize key writing features (moderate evidence)
  • Use assessments of student writing to inform instruction and feedback (minimal evidence)

To help teachers put the recommendations into practice, the guide describes over 30 specific strategies for the classroom, including sample writing prompts, activities that incorporate both writing and reading, and ways to use formative assessment to inform writing instruction.

 

Source (Open Access) : Graham, S., Bruch, J., Fitzgerald, J., Friedrich, L., Furgeson, J., Greene, K. ,… Wulsin, C.S. (2016). Teaching secondary students to write effectively (NCEE 2017-4002). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. Read the rest

Teaching elementary students to be effective writers

A practice guide from the What Works Clearinghouse, Teaching Elementary School Students to Be Effective Writers , offers four strategies for improving elementary students’ writing:

  • Provide daily time for students to write
  • Teach students to use the writing process for a variety of purposes
  • Teach students to become fluent with handwriting, spelling, sentence construction, typing, and word processing
  • Create an engaged community of writers

For each recommendation, the guide provides implementation ideas and examples, summaries of supporting research, and solutions to common roadblocks.  It is geared toward teachers, and other educators who want to improve the writing of their elementary students.

 

Source (Open Access) :Graham, S., Bollinger, A., Booth Olson, C., D’Aoust, C., MacArthur, C., McCutchen, D., & Olinghouse, N. (2012). Teaching elementary school students to be effective writers: A practice guide (NCEE 2012-4058). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. Read the rest

How UK students’ writing has changed since 1980

A Research published by Cambridge Assessment shows how 16-year-old students’ writing in exams has changed since 1980.

Aspects of Writing has been published by Cambridge Assessment approximately every 10 years, initially using a sample from 1980. This latest phase of the study focuses on writing samples from 2014. Key findings include:

  • The percentage of spelling errors at the lowest level of achievement is higher in 2014 than in most years. The incidence of spelling errors has changed very little among the mid- and higher-achieving students.
  • There is some evidence that use of “other” punctuation marks such as semi-colons has increased among higher-achieving students but decreased sharply among the lowest-achieving students.
  • There is a cautious indication of a general improvement in the use of commas.
  • There is an increase in the use of simple sentences among higher-achieving students. The researchers observe that these students tended to use simple sentences for literary effect.
  • Students of all abilities are using less-complex sentence structures.
  • Students at most levels of achievement are using more paragraphs than their predecessors.
  • There was almost no evidence of candidates using “text-speak “abbreviations in their work.

It recommended future studies in this topic to focus on social media, non-standard English, informal language, as well as spelling and gender.

 

Source (Open Access): Elliott, G., Green, S., Constantinou, F., Vitello, S., Chambers, L., Rushton, N.,… Beauchamp, D. (2016). Variations in aspects of writing in 16+ English examinations between 1980 and 2014. Research Matters: A Cambridge Assessment publication, Special Issue 4.Read the rest

Writing activities and reading comprehension: What’s the link?

An article in Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal presents a meta-analysis on the effects of different writing activities on reading comprehension. A total of 19 studies involving students in grades 1-12 met inclusion criteria, resulting in four comparisons between different writing activities: summary writing versus answering questions, summary writing versus note taking, answering questions versus note taking, and answering questions versus extended writing activities.

Results indicated that there were no statistically significant differences for any of the comparisons when effects were averaged over all reading comprehension measures, excluding treatment-inherent measures. However, statistically significant differences were found for two of the comparisons on specific measures:

  • Extended writing enhanced reading comprehension better than question answering on measures where comprehension was assessed via an extended writing activity.
  • Also, summary writing enhanced reading comprehension better than question answering on a free recall measure.

According to the authors, these results “provide limited support for the theoretical viewpoint that writing activities are differentially effective in improving reading comprehension based on how closely the writing activities are aligned with a particular measure.”

 

Source: Hebert, M., Simpson, A., & Graham, S. (2013). Comparing effects of different writing activities on reading comprehension: A meta-analysis. Reading and Writing, 26(1), 111–138. Read the rest

Better schools for all?

The Better Schools for All? report, published by the Nuffield Foundation, examines the role that schools play in students’ education and suggests that the school reforms in the UK in the past two decades have failed to bridge the gap in student achievement.

Researchers from University College London and the National Institute of Economic and Social Research looked at data from around 3,000 secondary schools in England between 2003 and 2016 and compared student outcomes and teachers’ experiences with those of employees elsewhere. They found that:

  • Attending a “good” secondary school adds only a small amount more value than attending a “bad” secondary Overall, schools were found to contribute around 10% of variance in student achievement.
  • State schools are better at managing staff than private schools. Using Workplace Employment Relations Survey data, the study shows that state schools were more likely to have rigorous hiring practices and employee participation programs than private schools, and the link between human resource management and effective and high-performing schools was only apparent in the state sector.
  • Performance-related pay and performance monitoring, which were found to improve workplace performance elsewhere, were ineffective for teachers.
  • Schools with more middle leaders tended to be rated more highly by Ofsted in terms of leadership and management. However, in schools which formed part of a multi-academy trust, no significant relationship was apparent.

The authors suggested that due to the availability of data which often covers the whole population of state-funded schools in the U.K., it became possible to understand further how schools function and to identify ways for improvement.

 

Source (Open Access): Bryson,A., Stokes, L., & Wilkinson, D. (2019). Better schools for all? Retrieved from https://www.nuffieldfoundation.org/sites/default/files/files/Better%20Schools%20for%20All%20-%20Final%20Report.pdfRead the rest