Categories for Effective Instruction

Impact of Class Size and Staffing Ratios in Early Childhood Education

August 8, 2017

A Meta-Analysis of Class Sizes and Ratios in Early Childhood Education Programs: Are Thresholds of Quality Associated With Greater Impacts on Cognitive, Achievement, and Socioemotional Outcomes?

This meta-analysis of early childhood education programs in the U.S. examines the impact of class size and child to teacher ratios on the cognitive, achievement, and socioemotional outcomes for children. The study found no socially significant relationship with cognitive and achievement effect size for either class size or child to teacher ratios. The only notable effect size was when child to teacher were ratios lower than 7.5-1.

Citation: Bowne, J. B., Magnuson, K. A., Schindler, H. S., Duncan, G. J., & Yoshikawa, H. (2017). A Meta-Analysis of Class Sizes and Ratios in Early Childhood Education Programs: Are Thresholds of Quality Associated With Greater Impacts on Cognitive, Achievement, and Socioemotional Outcomes?. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 0162373716689489.

Link: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.3102/0162373716689489

 


 

What Do We Know About the Impact of Common Core and College and Career Readiness Standards?

August 3, 2017

The Center on Standards, Alignment, Instruction, and Learning (C-SAIL)

C-SAIL was established in July 2015 as a resource on the implementation and effects of college and career readiness standards. The Center is funded through a grant from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education.

The goals of C-SAIL are:

  • Compare and contrast college and career readiness standards implementation in English language arts (ELA) and math across different states.
  • Capture the differences in approaches to implementation between states, districts, schools, and classrooms, and between students within a classroom, and determine their effects.
  • Measure college and career readiness standards’ impact on student achievement, through NAEP scores, high school graduation rates, and college enrollment and employment rates.
  • Create and make available new tools for teachers to monitor in real-time how well-aligned the content of their enacted curriculum is to their states’ college and career readiness standards in ELA and math.
  • Test the Feedback on Alignment and Support for Teachers (FAST) Program to support teachers through feedback and coaching.
  • Engage policymakers, education practitioners, and researchers in national discussions of the Center’s work and its findings.

Eight reports have been published in 2017.

  • How is policy affecting classroom instruction?
  • Standards Implementation in Kentucky: Local Perspective on Policy, Challenges, Resources, and Instruction
  • Standards Implementation in Texas: Local Perspective on Policy, Challenges, Resources, and Instruction
  • Standards Implementation In Ohio: Local Perspectives on Policy, Challenges, Resources, and Instruction
  • Year 1 State Report: Texas
  • Year 1 State Report: Ohio
  • Year 1 State Report: Massachusetts
  • Year 1 State Report: Kentucky

Citation:

  • Edgerton, A. Polikoff, M., Desimone, L. (2017). How is policy affecting classroom instruction?. Evidence Speaks Reports. Volume 2, #14. The Center on Standards, Alignment, Instruction, and Learning (C-SAIL).
  • Edgerton, A. Polikoff, M., Desimone, L. (2017). Standards Implementation in Kentucky: Local Perspective on Policy, Challenges, Resources, and Instruction. The Center on Standards, Alignment, Instruction, and Learning (C-SAIL).
  • Edgerton, A. Polikoff, M., Yang, R. (2017). Standards Implementation in Texas: Local Perspective on Policy, Challenges, Resources, and Instruction. The Center on Standards, Alignment, Instruction, and Learning (C-SAIL).
  • Edgerton, A. Polikoff, M., Yang, R. (2017). Standards Implementation in Ohio: Local Perspective on Policy, Challenges, Resources, and Instruction. The Center on Standards, Alignment, Instruction, and Learning (C-SAIL).
  • Flores, N., Nichols, T. P., Pak, K., Plummer, E., Stornaiuolo, A., and Desimone L. (2017). Year 1 State Report: Texas. The Center on Standards, Alignment, Instruction, and Learning (C-SAIL).
  • Stornaiuolo, A., Flores, N., Nichols, T. P., Pak, K., Plummer, E., and Desimone L. (2017). Year 1 State Report: Ohio. The Center on Standards, Alignment, Instruction, and Learning (C-SAIL).
  • Nichols, T. P., Plummer, E., Flores, N., Pak, K., Stornaiuolo, A., and Desimone L. (2017). Year 1 State Report: Massachusetts. The Center on Standards, Alignment, Instruction, and Learning (C-SAIL).
  • Pak, K., Flores, N., Nichols, T. P., Plummer, E., Stornaiuolo, A., and Desimone L. (2017). Year 1 State Report: Massachusetts. The Center on Standards, Alignment, Instruction, and Learning (C-SAIL).

Link: http://www.c-sail.org/publications

 


 

How Effective Is Social and Emotional Learning Training?

July 13, 2017

Promoting Positive Youth Development Through School-Based Social and Emotional Learning Interventions: A Meta-Analysis of Follow-Up Effects

This meta-analysis of school-based social and emotional learning (SEL) interventions examined the impact of SEL on key outcomes: social-emotional skills, positive attitudes, positive social behavior, academic performance, conduct problems, emotional distress, and drug use. A total of 82 studies met the criteria for inclusion in the meta-analysis. To be included, studies needed to examine school-based social and emotional learning interventions that were universal, or administered to all students, instead of focusing on students with specific social or behavioral problems. A majority of the studies used randomized designs, monitored implementation, and employed reliable and valid outcome measures. Researchers found that students in school-based SEL interventions demonstrated positive benefits in seven outcomes for 56 weeks to 195 weeks (3.75 years) following program participation. An effect size of 0.33 was found for academic performance (based on grades and test scores drawn from school records).

Citation: Taylor, R. D., Oberle, E., Durlak, J. A., & Weissberg, R. P. (2017). Promoting positive youth development through school-based social and emotional learning interventions: A meta-analysis of follow-up effects. Child Development, 88(4), 1156–1171.

Link: http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/rulesforengagement/Taylor%20et%20al%20-%20FINAL%20document%206%2017%202017.pdf

 


 

Overview of Education Assessment (Wing Institute Paper)

July 10, 2017

Research recognizes the power of assessment to amplify learning and skill acquisition. Assessing students is a fundamental ingredient of effective teaching. It is the tool that enables teachers to measure the extent to which a student or group of students have mastered the material taught in a lesson or a class or during the school year, and it gives instructors the necessary information to modify instruction when progress falters. Assessment affects decisions about grades, placement, advancement, instructional strategies, curriculum, special education placement, and funding. It works to improve instruction in the following ways: (1) as a diagnostic tool, (2) by providing feedback on progress measured against benchmarks, (3) as a motivating factor, and (4) as an accountability instrument for improving systems.

Citation: States, J., Detrich, R. & Keyworth, R. (2017). Overview of Education Assessment. Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute. http://www.winginstitute.org/student-formative-assessment.

Link: http://www.winginstitute.org/effective-instruction-assessment

 


 

Formative Assessment Overview (Wing Institute Paper)

June 13, 2017

Effective ongoing assessment, referred to in the education literature as formative assessment or progress monitoring, is indispensable in promoting teacher and student success. Feedback through formative assessment is ranked at or near the top of practices known to significantly raise student achievement. For decades, formative assessment has been found to be effective in clinical settings and, more important, in typical classroom settings. Formative assessment produces substantial results at a cost significantly below that of other popular school reform initiatives such as smaller class size, charter schools, accountability, and school vouchers. It also serves as a practical diagnostic tool available to all teachers. A core component of formal and informal assessment procedures, formative assessment allows teachers to quickly determine if individual students are progressing at acceptable rates and provides insight into where and how to modify and adapt lessons, with the goal of making sure that students do not fall behind.

Citation: States, J., Detrich, R. & Keyworth, R. (2017). Overview of Formative Assessment. Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute. http://www.winginstitute.org/student-formative-assessment.

Link: http://www.winginstitute.org/student-formative-assessment

 


 

How Powerful Is Formative Assessment?

June 6, 2017

Formative Assessment and Elementary School Student Academic Achievement: A Review of the Evidence

A recent comprehensive search of the research on formative assessment interventions for elementary school students identified 23 studies that met inclusion criteria and allowed conclusions to be drawn about the impact of formative assessment on student outcomes. On average across all the studies, students who participated in formative assessment performed better on measures of academic achievement than those who did not. Across all subject areas (math, reading, and writing), formative assessment had larger effects on student academic achievement when other agents, such as teachers or computer programs, directed the formative assessment.

Citation: Klute, M., Apthorp, H., Harlacher, J., & Reale, M. (2017). Formative assessment and elementary school student academic achievement: A review of the evidence. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics.

Link: https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/edlabs/regions/central/pdf/REL_2017259.pdf

 


 

Can Providing Each Child With a Computer Improve Academic Performance?

May 31, 2017

Learning in One-to-One Laptop Environments: A Meta-Analysis and Research Synthesis

A recently released paper on the impact of computers on student achievement has concluded that providing each student with a computer has a modest but positive effect on student achievement. This meta-analysis included 10 studies from more than 15 years of research on the topic. The researchers found that one-to-one laptop programs have a statistically significant positive role in improving student test scores in English/language arts, writing, math, and science. This research runs counter to previous studies, which viewed computer impact as overstated and computers as underused in schools. The new study found that providing students with their own computers has a positive impact by making it easier to share drafts of projects and thus increasing access to feedback. The researchers also concluded that more research is needed as only 10 rigorous studies were available for inclusion in the meta-analysis.

Citation: Zheng, B., Warschauer, M., Lin, C. H., & Chang, C. (2016). Learning in one-to-one laptop environments: A meta-analysis and research synthesis. Review of Educational Research, 86(4), 1052–1084.

Link: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.3102/0034654316628645

 


 

What Strategies Are Needed to Maximize Treatment Integrity?

May 12, 2017

Treatment Integrity Strategies Overview

Student achievement scores in the United States remain stagnant despite repeated attempts to reform the education system. New initiatives promising hope arise, only to disappoint after being adopted, implemented, and quickly found wanting. The cycle of reform followed by failure has had a demoralizing effect on schools, making new reform efforts problematic. These efforts frequently fail because implementing new practices is far more challenging than expected and require that greater attention be paid to how initiatives are implemented. Treatment integrity is increasingly recognized as an essential component of effective implementation in an evidence-based education model that produces results, and inattention to treatment integrity is seen as a primary reason new initiatives fail. The question remains, what strategies can educators employ to increase the likelihood that practices are implemented as designed? The Wing Institute overview on the topic of Treatment Integrity Strategies examines the essential practice elements indispensable for maximizing treatment integrity.

Citation: States, J., Detrich, R. & Keyworth, R. (2017). Overview of Treatment Integrity Strategies. Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute. http://www.winginstitute.org/effective-instruction-treatment-integrity-strategies.

Link: http://www.winginstitute.org/effective-instruction-treatment-integrity-strategies

 


 

How Powerful Is Mindfulness?

May 11, 2017

Mindfulness-based interventions for improving cognition, academic achievement, behavior, and socioemotional functioning of primary and secondary students

Mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) in schools have become increasingly popular. These practices are employed to reduce student stress and anxiety, and to improve socioemotional competencies, student behavior, and academic achievement. For purposes of the study MBI’s were defined as self-regulation of attention to the conscious awareness of one’s immediate experiences while adopting an attitude of curiosity, openness, and acceptance. A recent Campbell Collaboration systematic review examined the effectiveness of school-based MBIs on cognition, behavior, socioemotional outcomes, physiological, and academic achievement. Of 61 studies examined, 35 studies, with a total of 6,207 student participants, met the criteria for inclusion. Studies in this review included randomized trials, quasi-experimental designs, single group pre-post test comparisons, and single subject designs. To be included in the review, a study had to report outcomes on at least one of these measures: cognition, academic performance, behavior, socioemotional, and physiological. Study populations included preschool, primary school, and secondary school students.

The Campbell review found that MBIs had a small, statistically significant positive effect on cognitive and socioemotional outcomes, but no significant effect on behavioral and academic outcomes. The study also concluded that further work in this area is needed, given the quantity of research and quality of the available studies.

Citation: Maynard, B. R., Solis, M. R., Miller, V. L., & Brendel, K. E. (2017). Mindfulness-based interventions for improving cognition, academic achievement, behavior, and socioemotional functioning of primary and secondary students. Campbell Systematic Reviews:5

Link: https://campbellcollaboration.org/media/k2/attachments/Campbell_systematic_review_-_Mindfulness_and_school_students.pdf

 

 


 

How Effective Is Phonics Instruction?

April 20, 2017

Comparing and Validating Methods of Reading Instruction Using Behavioural and Neural Findings in an Artificial Orthography

There is a strong evidence base for emphasizing print-to-sound relationships when teaching students to read alphabetic languages. Nevertheless, direct reading instruction methods remain controversial. The results of this study confirm that early literacy instruction is most effective when focused on print-to-sound relationships (phonics) rather than on meaning. The benefits of print-to-sound training were found to be superior to print-to-meaning training for these reasons: (a) Reading aloud trained words learned phonetically was faster and more accurate, (b) generalization in reading aloud untrained words was faster, and (c) comprehension of written words was more accurate earlier in learning. These findings provide additional experimental support for the importance of early phonics instruction. They contradict the argument that phonics teaching does not improve reading for meaning (comprehension).

Citation: Taylor, J. S. H., Davis, M. H., & Rastle, K. (2017, April 20). Comparing and validating methods of reading instruction using behavioural and neural findings in an artificial orthography. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. Advance online publication.

Link: http://psycnet.apa.org/psycarticles/2017-17326-001.pdf&productCode=pa