Several studies have related the benefits of future planning to academic achievement, but not many have examined whether academic achievement also influences how pupils plan their future. Zhao and colleagues from Shandong Normal University conducted a longitudinal study to examine the relationship between Chinese middle school pupils’ academic achievement and future planning in educational and occupational domains.
The study included three
assessments six months apart from spring 2014 to spring 2015 in Shandong
Province in eastern China. A total of 775 pupils from sixth to eighth grade (Years
7–9) participated in the first assessment wave. The questionnaire measured pupils’
future explorations, commitments, and affects concerning future education and
occupations. Data on their academic achievement were collected from school
records of their scores in Chinese, English and maths. The relationships were
analysed with data collected at different times.
The analysis showed that:
were reciprocal relationships between academic achievement and pupils’ future
relationships were not seen between academic achievement and future planning in
the occupational domain.
relationship to achievement was more robust than that of exploration to
relationships were the same for both boys and girls.
The authors suggest that
understanding the importance of educational performance led middle school pupils
to invest more effort into improving achievement. The social status brought by
high academic achievement in Chinese society might also trigger positive
affects concerning future planning.
Source: Longitudinal relations between future planning and adolescents’ academic achievement in China (August 2019), Journal of Adolescence, Volume 75
An observational longitudinal study published in Child Development tests whether receiving overly positive, inflated praise from a parent eventually fosters low self-esteem and even narcissism, rather than raising it as might be expected.
The study involved 120 children recruited from schools in the Netherlands and their parents. Children were aged 7 to 11. Children completed questionnaires in school at four six-month intervals, and levels of narcissism and self-esteem were measured using the Childhood Narcissism scale and the Global Self-Worth Subscale of the Self-Perception Profile for Children.
Eddie Brummelman and colleagues found that children with lower levels of self-esteem at the beginning of the study received more inflated praise from parents, which in turn led to lower self-esteem at the later test points. Inflated praise also predicted higher narcissism over time, but only in children with high initial levels of self-esteem.
Source: When parents’ praise inflates, children’s self-esteem deflates (November 2017), Child Development, Volume 88, Issue 6 doi:10.1111/cdev.12936
A longitudinal study published in Frontiers in Psychology examined how children in Montessori schools changed over three years compared with children in other pre-school settings.
The Montessori model involves both child-directed, freely-chosen activity and academic content. Angeline Lillard and colleagues compared educational outcomes for children allocated places by a random lottery to either Montessori pre-schools (n=70) or non-Montessori pre-school settings (n=71) in Connecticut, US. The research team carried out a variety of assessments with the children over a three-year period, from when the children were three until they were six.
The researchers found that over time children in Montessori pre-schools performed better on measures of academic achievement (Woodcock–Johnson IIIR Tests of Achievement effect size = +0.41) and social understanding, while enjoying their school work more, than those in conventional pre-school settings. They also found that in Montessori classrooms, children from low-income families, who typically don’t perform as well in school, showed similar academic performance as children from higher-income families. Children with low executive function similarly performed as well as those with high executive function.
The findings, they suggest, indicate that well-implemented Montessori education could be a way to help disadvantaged children to achieve their academic potential.
Source: Montessori Preschool Elevates and Equalizes Child Outcomes: A Longitudinal Study (October 2017), Frontiers in Psychology
A longitudinal study published in Child Development evaluates an early maths trajectories model for 517 low-income US children from ages 4- to 11-years-old to determine whether children’s maths skills at 4- and 5-years-old predicted their maths achievement at age 11.
Children were tested on six maths skills (patterning, counting objects, comparing quantities, understanding written numbers, calculating and understanding shapes) during their last year of pre-school and near the end of the first grade (Year 2). At the end of the fifth grade (Year 6), they were tested on a range of maths knowledge, including knowledge about numbers, algebra, and geometry.
Bethany Rittle‐Johnson and colleagues found that children’s skills in patterning, comparing quantities and counting objects in pre-school were strong predictors of their maths achievement at age 11. By the end of the first grade (Year2), understanding written numbers and calculating were the strongest predictors of later maths knowledge. Patterning skills remained a predictor, however, shape knowledge was never a unique predictor of later maths achievement.
These results suggest that children’s maths knowledge in pre-school is related to their later achievement; however, not all early achievement is a useful predictor of future performance.
Source: Early math trajectories: low-income children’s mathematics knowledge from ages 4 to 11 (2016) Child Development doi:10.1111/cdev.12662
A new study has found that having a positive relationship with a teacher when a child is 10 to 11 years old can be linked to “prosocial” behaviours such as cooperation and altruism, as well as reducing problem classroom behaviours such as aggression and oppositional behaviour.
The study used data from a major longitudinal study of Swiss children among a culturally diverse sample of 7 to 15 year olds, and involved 1,067 students randomly sampled across 56 of the city’s schools. Only students who experienced a change of teacher when the student was 9 or 10 were used for the study, with data gathered from teachers, students, and their parents on an annual and later biannual basis.
Using this data, Ingrid Obsuth and her team were able to “score” the children on over 100 different characteristics or experiences that could potentially account for good or bad behaviour. They then matched students in pairs with similar scores in all respects except for how they felt about their teacher, and how the teacher felt about them.
Students who had a more positive relationship with their teacher displayed more prosocial behaviour towards peers (on average 18%, and 10% more up to two years later), and up to 38% less aggressive behaviour (and 9% less up to four years later), over students who felt ambivalent or negative towards their teacher.
Source: A Non-bipartite Propensity Score Analysis of the Effects of Teacher–Student Relationships on Adolescent Problem and Prosocial Behavior (2016), Journal of Youth and Adolescence
Success for All (SFA) – a primary literacy approach – was selected to receive a five-year scale-up grant under the US Department of Education’s Investing in Innovation (i3) competition. This report, the second from MDRC’s independent evaluation, discusses the programme’s implementation and impacts in 2012-2013.
The evaluation uses a cluster random assignment design involving 37 schools for children age 5-12 and located in five school districts; 19 schools were randomly selected to receive the SFA programme, while the remaining 18 control group schools did not receive the intervention. Findings showed that first grade (Year 2) pupils who had participated in the SFA programme since kindergarten (Year 1) significantly outperformed children in the control group on two measures of phonics and decoding skills. Outcomes were similar for different categories of children, including African-American, Hispanic, and White children.
In addition, a new article reports the third-year findings of a longitudinal evaluation of SFA in England. The results reveal a statistically significant positive school-level effect for SFA schools compared with control schools on standardised reading measures of word-level and decoding skills. There were also directionally positive but non-significant school-level effects on measures of comprehension and fluency. A total of 18 SFA schools and 18 control schools across England, matched on prior achievement and demographics, were included in the quasi-experimental study.
Sources: The Success for All Model of School Reform: Interim Findings from the Investing in Innovation (i3) Scale-Up (2014), MDRC. Success for All in England: Results From the Third Year of a National Evaluation (2014), SAGE Open 2014 (4).