The present contribution reports a systematic review of the literature that analyzed the relationships between teachers’ subjective well-being (SWB) and student school experience (i.e., academic performance, academic engagement, student well-being, and student reports of teacher-student interactions). We categorized teachers’ well-being into hedonic SWB (e.g., experiencing positive emotions, life satisfaction, job satisfaction) and eudaimonic SWB (e.g., experiencing high psychological functioning or high sense of self-realization). An online search yielded 1872 abstracts that were analyzed for eligibility, yielding a number of 26 studies that were included in the meta-analysis. These 26 contributions i) reported an empirical research study; ii) collected data from teachers and students; and iii) reported zero-order standardized correlation coefficients between teacher data and student data. We found that most studies focused on assessing teachers’ psychological functioning (20 studies). Overall results suggested that teachers’ eudaimonic SWB had moderate associations with the quality of student-teacher interactions (r = .243, 95% CI [.045; .422], k = 9), with students’ well-being (r = .280, 95% CI [.117; .428], k = 8), and with student engagement (r = .250, 95% CI [.115; .375], k = 8). We found weaker correlations between teachers’ eudaimonic SWB and student achievement (r = .065, 95% CI [.016; .112], k = 8). Our results suggested that teachers’ eudaimonic SWB is significantly associated with student-related variables, but the directionality of this relationship needs further investigations.
Although motivational theories agree that environmental factors (like interpersonal relationships and pedagogical practices) are crucial in shaping students’ motivational development, few comprehensive conceptualizations of motivational contexts have been proposed. Instead, individual theories tend to focus on the contextual antecedents of the specific self-processes each prioritizes (e.g., self-efficacy, achievement goals). This has produced a cloud of disparate contextual factors that practitioners and interventionists, trying to apply work from the field as a whole, can find fragmented and confusing. Drawing on bioecological, phenomenological, ecocultural, and situative models, we outline an overarching framework that views motivational contexts as complex dynamic multilevel social ecologies. We explore three ways such a framework can help create a more comprehensive and comprehensible picture of the contextual antecedents identified by current theories of motivation. First, we examine the complexity inherent in microsystems, like the classroom, and propose three strategies for identifying motivationally relevant features. Second, we focus on students’ multiple worlds or mesosystems and outline different ways they can be organized and operate to shape motivation. Third, we consider macrosystems and highlight how societal forces, organized in interlocking systems of risk and resources, create stratified and unequal niches that differentially support the motivation of students from diverse backgrounds. Consistent with other researchers, we argue that such overarching frameworks are both integrative and generative. They not only offer places for the range of factors already identified by motivational theories, but also suggest avenues for discovering additional factors and examining how they work together to shape student motivation and its development.
The contributed papers in this special issue each provide valuable perspectives on how social processes are relevant to academic motivation. Yet a critical question remains: How can this research lead to concrete guidance for educators who wish to create motivating and equitable classrooms? We propose this complex task can be simplified by encouraging educators to address students’ concerns about how they are viewed by instructors in school. Our review of the literature suggests that two meta-concerns are particularly important to address for students from groups marginalized in education: whether instructors may (1) see them as limited in academic potential and (2) narrowly define them by their academic success. We argue that effective teaching practices address these concerns by communicating two corresponding messages: (1) inclusive expectations, “I recognize your potential for academic growth” and (2) broad regard, “I regard you as a whole person, with a range of personal values, social identities, and relationships.” These messages can shift students away from a “narrow” sense of self, in which their value is defined by current academic performance, and towards an “expansive” sense of self, in which students feel both academically capable and valued for more than just their academic success. We present evidence that novice instructors can use this framework to develop or adapt practices that are attuned to marginalized students’ two meta-concerns and enhance student motivation and engagement. Throughout this commentary, we describe how this framework can build on the important theoretical advances presented elsewhere in this special issue.
This special issue on the development of academic motivation covers many issues that are groundbreaking in the field of motivation and interpersonal relationships. In this commentary, I discuss the following elements: (a) the challenges of integrating central motivational constructs; (b) interpersonal relationships as supports for motivation at school; (c) school or cultural contexts that sustain motivation; (d) new avenues for research. I hope that the articles in this special issue will stimulate new research that would have the potential to advance the field but that would also be useful to research professionals working day to day with children and adolescents.
Students’ achievement-related self-beliefs, as manifest in values, goal orientations, perceived efficacy, mindsets, and a sense of autonomy and self-determination, have been the centerpiece of motivation theories that describe learning and development. The premise of the current special issue is that these intrapersonal beliefs tell us only half the story. We argue that what is missing from much of the current work on motivation is recognition of the rich and nuanced characteristics of students’ interpersonal relationships, learning contexts, and cultures and their attendant social processes, all of which can influence an individual student’s motivation and engagement. We believe that unless the processes that explain how these influences take place are explicitly acknowledged and studied in greater depth and frequency, the field of motivation will not move forward in meaningful ways. Toward this end, we have invited authors in this special issue to highlight theoretical frameworks and targeted motivation constructs that inform these issues, describe specific social constructs and processes that might explain contextual influences, and propose new directions for motivation science that will integrate these social perspectives with more traditional intrapersonal models of motivation. Their papers focus on a range of social processes emanating from interpersonal contexts most central to children’s lives, and they focus on ways in which these processes support (or undermine) students’ motivation to learn. Additional topics include discussion of how characteristics of these relationships intersect with and are shaped by the broader social contexts in which they are embedded, such as socially engineered learning structures and culturally based ideologies.
The desire to belong has been conceptualized by motivational psychologists as a fundamental human motive (need to belong), which means that it can guide thoughts, feelings, and behavior. Indeed, a growing literature has documented that students who perceive a sense of belonging in school generally fare well—academically, socially, and emotionally. In this article, we bring the racial/ethnic context to the study of school belonging. We review a number of studies from our program of research—both cross-sectional and longitudinal—that describe how feelings of belonging are shaped by important racial/ethnic context variables such as the size of one’s racial/ethnic group in school across critical school transitions, perceived representation of one’s group in critical STEM courses (e.g., 9th-grade math), and how the differences between school-level and course-level representation affect both schools belonging and academic achievement. We make an argument for studying racial/ethnic diversity as a fluid and dynamic construct that impacts motivation and achievement in previously understudied ways.
The goal of our article is to consider the intersection of the peer ecology and teacher practices for students’ academic motivation. We begin by reviewing two perspectives that explain why and how peers matter for students’ motivation. First, the quality of peer relationships and interactions provide affordances for social support. Second, peers are socializing agents, so the content of peer interactions matters for the development of students’ achievement beliefs, values, and goals. Within each of these theoretical frameworks, we discuss three kinds of peer relationships: friendship, social status, as well as the culture of support and norms that characterize the classroom peer group. Throughout, we consider classroom contextual factors that explain why peer relationships matter for students’ motivation and school adjustment. This sets the stage for the key goal of our article, which is to review evidence from the last ten years linking teacher practices to aspects of the classroom peer ecology that are important for students’ motivation in school. We conclude with a discussion of implications for educators and important directions for future research.
An evolutionary perspective on academic learning and schooling more generally helps us to understand why learning comes effortlessly in some domains (e.g., language) but only with extensive instruction and cognitive effort in others (e.g., mathematics); why many students’ self-concepts are more strongly influenced by physical traits and social relationships than by academic achievement; and why many problematic social behaviors, including bullying, persist in school settings. The articles in this special issue provide cutting edge reviews and empirical studies informed by this perspective and help to solidify the foundation for the nascent field of evolutionary educational psychology.
Frustration is a common emotional experience in teachers’ lives. Despite its ubiquity, frustration in the classroom has been largely ignored as a focus of study in modern emotion and motivation research. In this study, we bring together an interdisciplinary body of work to stimulate renewed interest in the study of frustration pertaining to teachers and their students. First, we discuss common sources of frustration and explain why even minor frustrations discourage goal attainment. Then, we present recommendations for ways in which teachers can reduce the occurrence of this common yet understudied emotion through empathy, simplification, and reappraisal. We conclude by discussing the personal attributes that teachers draw upon to overcome frustration and highlighting additional open questions and areas of future studies.
In this article, we introduce the umbrella construct of “we-ness” to unite a broad array of researchers seeking to design motivationally supportive learning environments for Black students. Drawing from a variety of culturally informed perspectives both inside and outside of the psychology discipline, we outline the cultural significance of (1) Freedom Dreaming (2) Stressing the Communal “Why,” (3) Re-membering, and (4) Steering and Voicing. We explain how these motivationally influential practices are essential for acknowledging and leveraging students’ cultural assets in learning contexts, and for supporting students’ development as community leaders and change agents. We propose questions for future research on we-ness in educational psychology and suggest communally engaged methodological approaches that are crucial for advancing school-based partnerships that focus on the we-ness experiences of historically marginalized populations. We end by situating the study of we-ness in a broader set of assumptions that can guide future equity-focused research inquiry on motivation and social processes.
Few question the value of teacher-student relationships (TSRs) for educational outcomes. TSRs are positively associated with students’ achievement and engagement, as well as teachers’ well-being. Building and maintaining these crucial classroom relationships, however, is not easy. Drawing on prominent motivation theories in educational psychology, I present the Motivating Teacher-Student Relationships framework for understanding what motivates teachers to build positive TSRs. In particular, I focus on how teachers’ motivational beliefs about TSRs energize, direct, and sustain their efforts to engage in relationship-building behaviors and, thus, lead to positive relationships with their students. To build positive TSRs, teachers must believe it is their role to build TSRs, value TSRs, and believe they can successfully build TSRs (i.e., have relational self-efficacy). These beliefs are shaped by teachers’ sociocultural contexts and can facilitate or undermine the development of these learning relationships. With a greater understanding of how motivational beliefs influence social relationships, the field of education can more effectively develop theoretically grounded interventions to improve TSRs and mitigate inequality.
This meta-analysis reviews 79 studies ( N = 46,605) that examined the existence of gender difference on intelligence in school-aged children. To do so, we limited the literature search to works that assessed the construct of intelligence through the Wechsler Intelligence Scales for Children (WISC) batteries, evaluating eventual gender differences in indices and subtests. The theoretical framework we adopted is the cross-battery approach which locates cognitive abilities into different levels, also considering the possible mediating effect of the version of the WISC being used. As for broad abilities, a notable discrepancy emerged in favour of males for visual and crystallized intelligence, while female/male differences on fluid intelligence were negligible. Conversely, females’ performance on the processing speed factor was superior. Interesting results emerged at the subtest levels, albeit with less pronounced differences in performance. Results generally showed that older versions of WISC batteries displayed larger gender differences compared to the most recent ones.
Research suggests that children suffering from different types of disorders (learning disorders, behavioral disorders, or intellectual disabilities) are sometimes evaluated differently simply due to the presence of a diagnostic label. We conducted a multilevel meta-analysis of experimental studies (based on data from 8,295 participants and on 284 effects nested in 60 experiments) to examine the magnitude and robustness of such label effects and to explore the impact of potential moderators (type of evaluation, diagnostic category, expertise, student’s gender, and amount and type of information). We found a moderately negative overall label effect (Hedges’ g = -0.42), which was robust across several types of evaluation, different samples, and different diagnostic categories. There was no indication that expertise and the gender of the child moderated the effect. Presenting participants with only a label yielded the strongest negative effect of g = -1.26, suggesting that the effect was dependent on the amount of information being presented to participants. We conclude that labeling a child can exacerbate negative academic evaluations, behavioral evaluations, evaluations of personality, and overall assessments of the child. Further implications for theory and future research are discussed.
This study updates and extends prior work on institutional and individual productivity in educational psychology journals (Cognition and Instruction, Contemporary Educational Psychology, Educational Psychologist, Educational Psychology Review, Journal of Educational Psychology) from 2015 to 2021. As in previous studies, the University of Maryland, College Park, was the top-producing institution. Several universities (e.g., University of Tübingen) emerged as highly productive compared to previous time periods. Using two approaches to measure individual productivity, we found that Richard Mayer, Ulrich Trautwein, Fred Paas, Patricia Alexander, and Logan Fiorella claimed the top spots. We also identified productive early career scholars and, for some, recognized connections to productive doctoral advisors. Overall, compared to prior years, authors of educational psychology journal articles were increasingly working from non-US institutions and in larger teams (higher mean number of authors per article). A discussion of these trends and future directions for research are included.
Bullying is a serious behavior that negatively impacts the lives of tens of millions of adolescents across the world every year. The ubiquity of bullying, and its stubborn resistance toward intervention effects, led us to propose in 2012 that adolescent bullying might be an evolutionary adaptation. In the intervening years, a substantial amount of research has arisen to address this question. Therefore, the goal of this review is to consider whether evidence continues to support an evolutionary perspective that bullying is an adaptation that remains adaptive for some individuals in favorable contexts. In addition, we consider new ideas related to this hypothesis , explore how an evolutionary theory of bullying intersects with other influential perspectives, including ecological and social learning theories, and discuss applied implications for interventions. Our review of the evidence published since our 2012 paper provides very consistent and strong support for the hypothesis that adolescent bullying is, at least in part, an evolutionary adaptation that is currently adaptive regarding at least five evolutionarily relevant functions (the Five "Rs"): Reputation, Resources, deteRrence, Recreation, and Reproduction. We note that bullying is a facultative adaptation that is conditionally adaptive, subject to cost-benefit analyses. Finally, we discuss how an evolutionary theory of bullying frequently complements alternative theories of adolescent bullying rather than conflicting or competing with them. An interdisciplinary approach to bullying that includes evolutionary theory is thus likely to afford stronger options for both research and prevention efforts.
STEM careers are among the fastest growing and highest paid occupations throughout the world. However, persistent social inequities in STEM domains emerge early for Black and Latinx adolescents, creating numerous barriers to their pursuit of STEM. Developmental and motivational theories highlight parents as a source of strength and support for students’ STEM motivational beliefs. We conducted a systematic review of the existing work on parents’ STEM socialization processes that shape Black and Latinx adolescents’ STEM motivational beliefs. As part of this goal, we examined the variability within Black adolescents and within Latinx adolescents based on (a) other demographic factors (e.g., gender) and (b) racial/ethnic promotive and inhibitive factors (e.g., racism). The systematic literature search and eligibility screening yielded 36 relevant peer-reviewed, empirical journal articles published between January 2000 and January 2020. Overall, a majority of studies found support for positive relations between parents’ STEM-specific support and adolescents’ motivational beliefs among Black and Latinx families. Additionally, most studies included analyses within each racial/ethnic group, and about half of all articles included racial/ethnic promotive or inhibitive factors, such as familism or racism. In our discussion, we highlight an agenda for future research and discuss bridging theoretical perspectives to better position research to more accurately describe STEM motivation among youth from historically underrepresented groups.
The importance of creativity for learning, an equitable education, and a competitive nation warrants a broader and deeper understanding of this topic, including how creativity is assessed. This review focuses on subjective creativity assessment, a popular assessment approach that uses judges’ subjective definitions of creativity, and examines its reliability and validity evidence collected from 84 empirical studies under the theoretical frameworks of the 2014 Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing and rater-mediated assessments. The main findings include: 1) The reviewed studies vary across domains, characteristics of subjects/objects and raters, and rating instructions and scales; 2) The major reliability evidence was provided by Cronbach’s alpha and correlations of rating scores, and the major validity evidence came from the evidence based on relationships with other variables through the use of correlations; 3) Cronbach’s alpha values differed through an interaction between domains and judges’ expertise level, and correlations of rating scores differed by domain and judges’ expertise level; 4) There was strong convergent validity evidence between creativity and novelty but a weak discriminant validity evidence between creativity and technical goodness and liking. These findings suggest that the subjective creativity assessment approach shows a good level of reliability and validity but has some degrees of unreliability and invalidity that need to be addressed with good research practices and more advanced measurement theories and methods.
After being taught how to perform a new mathematical operation, students are often given several practice problems in a single set, such as a homework assignment or quiz (i.e., massed practice). An alternative approach is to distribute problems across multiple homeworks or quizzes, increasing the temporal interval between practice (i.e., spaced practice). Spaced practice has been shown to increase the long-term retention of various types of mathematics knowledge. Less clear is whether spacing decreases performance during practice, with some studies indicating that it does and others indicating it does not. To increase clarity, we tested whether spacing produces long-term retention gains, but short-term practice costs, in a calculus course. On practice quizzes, students worked problems on various learning objectives in either massed fashion (3 problems on a single quiz) or spaced fashion (3 problems across 3 quizzes). Spacing increased retention of learning objectives on an end-of-semester test but reduced performance on the practice quizzes. The reduction in practice performance was nuanced: Spacing reduced performance only on the first two quiz questions, leaving performance on the third question unaffected. We interpret these findings as evidence that spacing led to more protracted, but ultimately more robust, learning. We, therefore, conclude that spacing imposes a desirable form of difficulty in calculus learning.
The present conceptual literature review analyzes 50 studies that systematically examined the effects of authentic learning settings on cognitive or motivational learning outcomes. The analysis focuses on describing the context of the studies, the design elements of authentic learning settings, and the pursued intentions of authenticity. The review further describes the effects of authentically designed learning settings on cognitive outcomes, motivational outcomes, and learners’ perceived authenticity revealed by previous research. Building on these findings, we conducted Epistemic Network Analysis (ENA) of contrasting cases to identify design elements and intentions of authenticity characterizing studies that show high effectiveness for cognitive and motivational outcomes versus those with low effectiveness. The ENA results suggest, for instance, that providing authentic materials (as a design element of authentic learning settings) to resemble real-life experiences (as an intention of authenticity) could be a double-edged sword, as they feature both authentically designed learning settings with low effects on cognitive outcomes and settings with high effects on motivational outcomes. Overall, the results of the present literature review point to critical limitations of previous research, such as a lack of clear definitions and operationalizations of authentic learning. Consequently, we draw specific conclusions about how future research could improve our understanding of how to create and implement powerful methods of authentic learning.
Sana and colleagues (2022) have raised a number of challenges regarding the opera-tionalisation of constructs and selection of articles to Chen et al.'s (Educational Psychology Review 33:1499-1522, 2021) suggestion that resting from cognitive activity could possibly allow for working memory recovery and so explain some of the data on the spacing effect. In our response, we indicate that the goal of our proposed framework was to try to resolve some mixed results of the spacing and interleav-ing effects and offer an alternative explanation for those mixed results, rather than proposing a theory of everything. We acknowledge that there are other important factors, which does not however, provide grounds for rejecting our hypothesis. Additional empirical studies are needed to determine whether rest and its effect on working memory are important when analysing the spacing effect.
The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of embodied learning on children’s pre-reading and word reading skills. We conducted a three-armed randomized controlled trial including two intervention groups and one control group. One hundred forty-nine children from grade 0 (5–6 years old) who had just started school were recruited from 10 different classes from four elementary schools. Within each class, children were randomly assigned to receive teaching of letter-sound couplings and word decoding either with whole-body movements (WM), hand movements (HM), or no movements (CON) over an 8-week period. Children were evaluated on pre-reading, word reading, and motor skills before (T1), immediately after (T2), and after 17–22 weeks of retention period (T3) following the intervention. Between-group analysis showed a significant improvement in children’s ability to name letter-sounds correctly from T1 to T2 (p < 0.001) and from T1 to T3 (p < 0.05) for WM compared to CON. HM and WM improved significantly in naming conditional letter-sounds from T1 to T2 (p < 0.01, p < 0.01) compared to CON and from T1 to T3 for the HM group compared to CON (p < 0.05). We did not find an effect on word reading or a correlation between motor skill performance and reading. Results from the present study suggest that there are beneficial effects of using whole-body movements for children. Hand motor movements indeed also had a performance effect on letter-sound knowledge; however, the whole-body movements had longer-lasting effects. We do not see an effect on whole word reading.
Teachers’ burnout has severe consequences for themselves and their students. The identification of factors related to burnout can provide valuable information about the relevance of interindividual differences. Beyond work-related factors, burnout is assumed to be affected by individuals’ personality traits, and several empirical studies already exist that have investigated this association in teachers. However, a comprehensive meta-analytical examination is missing so far. The current meta-analysis, including 18 primary studies with 19 samples (total N = 4,724), aimed to examine the relation between burnout dimensions (emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and
reduced personal accomplishment) and the Big Five personality traits (neuroticism, extraversion, openness to experience, agreeableness, and conscientiousness) in teachers. In addition, moderating effects of teachers’ professional level were investigated. In line with our expectations, neuroticism was positively related to all three burnout
dimensions, with medium-sized effects found for emotional exhaustion and depersonalization and a small effect size found for reduced personal accomplishment. The other significant associations between personality traits and burnout dimensions were negative. Apart from a nonsignificant association between emotional exhaustion and openness, all associations were rated as small to medium. The moderator analyses did not show any support for moderating effects of teachers’ professional level concerning the associations between burnout dimensions and personality traits.
This study describes and investigates the immersion principle in multimedia learning. A sample of 102 middle school students took a virtual field trip to Greenland via a head mounted display (HMD) or a 2D video as an introductory lesson within a 6-lesson inquiry-based climate change intervention. The HMD group scored significantly higher than the video group on presence (d = 1.43), enjoyment (d = 1.10), interest (d = .57), and retention in an immediate (d = .61) and delayed posttest (d = .70). A structural equation model indicated that enjoyment mediated the pathway from instructional media to immediate posttest, and interest mediated the pathway from instructional media to delayed posttest score, indicating that these factors may play different roles in the learning process with immersive media. This work contributes to the cognitive affective model of immersive learning, and suggests that immersive lessons can have positive longitudinal effects for learning.
There is growing interest in understanding the extent to which natural environments can influence learning particularly in school contexts. Nature has the potential to relieve cognitive overload, reduce stress and increase wellbeing—all factors that are conducive to learning. This paper provides a PRISMA-guided systematic review of the literature examining the effects of nature interventions on the cognitive functioning of young people aged 5 to 18 years. Examples of nature interventions include outdoor learning, green playgrounds, walks in nature, plants in classrooms and nature views from classroom windows. These can vary in duration and level of interaction (passive or active). Experimental and quasi-experimental studies with comparison groups that employed standardized cognitive measures were selected, yielding 12 studies from 11 papers. Included studies were rated as being of high (n = 10) or moderate quality (n = 2) and most involved short-term nature interventions. Results provide substantial support for cognitive benefits of nature interventions regarding selective attention, sustained attention and working memory. Underlying mechanisms for the benefits were also explored, including enhanced wellbeing, cognitive restoration and stress reduction—all likely to be contributors to the nature-cognition relationship. The cognitive effects of nature interventions were also examined according to age and school level with some differences evident. Findings from this systematic review show promise that providing young people with opportunities to connect with nature, particularly in educational settings, can be conducive to enhanced cognitive functioning. Schools are well placed to provide much needed ‘green’ educational settings and experiences to assist with relieving cognitive overload and stress and to optimize wellbeing and learning.
Both children and adults have been shown to benefit from the integration of multisensory and sensorimotor enrichment into pedagogy. For example, integrating pictures or gestures into foreign language (L2) vocabulary learning can improve learning outcomes relative to unisensory learning. However, whereas adults seem to benefit to a greater extent from sensorimotor enrichment such as the performance of gestures in contrast to multisensory enrichment with pictures, this is not the case in elementary school children. Here, we compared multisensory- and sensorimotor-enriched learning in an intermediate age group that falls between the age groups tested in previous studies (elementary school children and young adults), in an attempt to determine the developmental time point at which children’s responses to enrichment mature from a child-like pattern into an adult-like pattern. Twelve-year-old and fourteen-year-old German children were trained over 5 consecutive days on auditorily presented, concrete and abstract, Spanish vocabulary. The vocabulary was learned under picture-enriched, gesture-enriched, and non-enriched (auditory-only) conditions. The children performed vocabulary recall and translation tests at 3 days, 2 months, and 6 months post-learning. Both picture and gesture enrichment interventions were found to benefit children’s L2 learning relative to non-enriched learning up to 6 months post-training. Interestingly, gesture-enriched learning was even more beneficial than picture-enriched learning for the 14-year-olds, while the 12-year-olds benefitted equivalently from learning enriched with pictures and gestures. These findings provide evidence for opting to integrate gestures rather than pictures into L2 pedagogy starting at 14 years of age.
Teachers’ social-emotional competence has received increasing attention in educational psychology for about a decade and has been suggested to be an important prerequisite for the quality of teacher-student interactions and student outcomes. In this review, we will summarize the current state of knowledge about the association between one central component of teachers’ social-emotional competence—their empathy—with these indicators of teaching effectiveness. After all, empathy appears to be a particularly promising determinant for explaining high-quality teacher-student interactions, especially emotional support for students and, in turn, positive student development from a theoretical perspective. A systematic literature research yielded 41 records relevant for our article. Results indicated that teachers reporting more empathy with victims of bullying in hypothetical scenarios indicated a greater likelihood to intervene. However, there was neither consistent evidence for a relationship between teachers’ empathy and the degree to which they supported students emotionally in general, nor with classroom management, instructional support, or student outcomes. Notably, most studies asked teachers for a self-evaluation of their empathy, whereas assessments based on objective criteria were underrepresented. We discuss how these methodological decisions limit the conclusions we can draw from prior studies and outline perspective for future research in teachers’ empathy.
What could possibly be a meaningful conversation between educational researchers and movement scientists? Curiously, they have much in common. Both groups of researchers increasingly: (1) appreciate the human capacity to enact perceptually guided movement as an overarching psychological model of thinking, problem solving, and learning; (2) theorize the development of perceptual structures, including actual and imaginary percepts, as a key epistemic vehicle for solving motor-control problems; and (3) promote a view of abstract thinking as movement-grounded and movement-oriented perceptual dynamics. Probing toward theoretical synergy between these traditionally disparate fields of research, the present
Retrieval practice is beneficial for both easy-to-learn and difficult-to-learn materials, but scant research has examined students’ use of self-testing for items of varying difficulty. In two experiments, we investigated whether students differentially regulate their use of self-testing for easy and difficult items and assessed the effectiveness of students’ self-regulated choices. Undergraduate participants learned normatively easy and normatively difficult Lithuanian-English word pair translations. After an initial study trial, participants in the self-regulated learning groups chose whether they wanted to restudy an item, take a practice test, or remove an item from further practice. Participants chose to test items repeatedly while learning but dropped both easy and difficult items after reaching a criterion of about one correct recall per item. Consequently, final test performance 2 days later was lower for difficult items versus easy items, and performance was lower in the self-regulated learning group than in an experimenter-controlled comparison group (in Experiment 1). In Experiment 2, we tested hypotheses for why participants reached a similar number of correct recalls for both easy and difficult items. Three new groups included different scaffolds aimed at minimizing potential barriers to effective regulation. These scaffolds did not change participants’ learning choices, and as a result, performance on difficult items was still lower than on easy items. Importantly, participants planned to continue practicing items beyond one correct recall and believed that an optimal student should practice difficult items more than easy items, but they did not execute this plan during the learning task.
Observing category exemplars in an interleaved manner is more beneficial for inductive learning than blocked (massed) presentation, a phenomenon termed the interleaving effect on inductive learning. However, people tend to erroneously believe that massed is more beneficial than interleaved learning, and learners prefer the former during self-regulated learning. We report four experiments designed to investigate whether explicit instructions, which include individual performance feedback and the interleaving effect results from previous research, can (1) correct metacognitive illusions regarding the interleaving effect, (2) promote self-employment of interleaving, and (3) facilitate category learning. In addition, the current study explored (4) whether the intervention effect is long-lasting and (5) transferable to learning of categories in other domains. Experiments 1–4 established the effectiveness of the instruction intervention to enhance metacognitive appreciation of the interleaving effect, to promote self-employment of interleaving, and to facilitate learning of new categories. The intervention effect was long-lasting (at least 24 h; Experiment 2), and transferable to learning of categories in different domains (Experiments 3 and 4). These findings support the practical use of the instruction intervention.
Educators read narrative fiction with children not only to promote their literacy skills, but also to support their sociomoral development. However, different approaches strongly diverge in their explanations and recommended instructional activities. Informed by theoretical understandings of reader-text transactions, this integrative review presents three different conceptions about how children learn socially from narrative fiction. The first approach explains sociomoral learning through narrative fiction by children’s extraction and internalization of the text’s moral message. The second approach refers to children’s training of mindreading and empathy as they become immersed in a fictional social world and imaginatively engage with the fictional characters’ perspectives. The third approach focuses on children’s social reasoning development through engagement in argumentative dialogues with peers about the complex sociomoral issues raised in narrative fiction. The article aims to theoretically position a wide range of literary programs to clarify their psychological foundations as well as critically discuss their strengths and limitations.
Policymakers, conceptualized here as principals, disagree as to whether US student performance has changed over the past half century. To inform conversations, agents administered seven million psychometrically linked tests in math (m) and reading (rd) in 160 survey waves to national probability samples of cohorts born between 1954 and 2007. Estimated change in standard deviations (sd) per decade varies by agent (m: –0.10sd to 0.27sd, rd: –0.02sd to 0.12sd). Consistent with Flynn effects, median trends show larger gains in m (0.19sd) than in rd (0.04sd), though rates of progress for cohorts born since 1990 have increased in rd but slowed in m. Greater progress is shown by students tested at younger ages (m: 0.31sd, rd: 0.08sd) than when tested in middle years of schooling (m: 0.17sd, rd: 0.03sd) or toward the end of schooling (m: 0.06sd, rd: 0.02sd). Young white students progress more slowly (m: 0.28sd, rd: 0.09sd) than Asian (m: 46sd, rd: 0.28sd), black (m: 0.36sd, rd: 0.19sd), and Hispanic (m: 0.29sd, rd: 0.13sd) students. These ethnic differences generally attenuate as students age. Young students in the bottom quartile of the SES distribution show greater progress than those in the top quartile (difference in m: 0.08sd, in rd: 0.15sd), but the reverse is true for older students. Moderators likely include not only changes in families and schools but also improvements in nutrition, health care, and protection from contagious diseases and environmental risks. International data suggest that subject and age differentials may be due to moderators more general than just the United States.
Handwriting (HW) training seems to boost recognition of visual graphs and learning to read more than other learning experiences. However, efects across studies
appear to be variable and the underlying cognitive mechanism has been elusive. We
thus conducted a meta-analysis on 50 independent experiments (with 1525 participants) to determine the magnitude of this HW beneft in visual graph recognition,
while enlightening the underlying cognitive mechanism, by investigating four types
of moderators: training program (type of control training, presence/absence of phonological training, and HW tasks adopted); set size and training regime (duration
and frequency of session and total amount of training); granularity of visual discrimination and perceptual learning tasks; and age of participants. The beneft from
HW training was moderate-to-large and signifcant (Hedge’s g = 0.58, SE = .09)
and was also modulated by the type of control training (larger relative to motor, g
= 0.78, than to visual control, g = 0.37), phonological training (larger when it was
absent, g = 0.79, than present, g = 0.47), and granularity of visual discrimination
(larger for fne-grained, g = 0.93, than coarse-grained, g = 0.19). These results seem
consistent with symbolic accounts that hold that the advantage from HW training in
visual graph recognition is about perceptual learning rather than the motor act. Multiple meta-regressions also revealed that training regime moderated the HW beneft.
We conclude that HW training is efective to improve visual graph recognition, and
hence is still relevant for literacy instruction in the present digital era.
Recent research has integrated developmental and dimensional perspectives on epistemic beliefs by implementing an approach in which profiles of learners' epistemic beliefs are modeled across multiple dimensions. Variability in study characteristics has impeded the comparison of profiles of epistemic beliefs and their relations with external variables across studies. We examined this comparability by integrating data on epistemic beliefs about the source, certainty, development, and justification of knowledge in science from six studies comprising N = 10,932 German students from elementary to upper secondary school. Applying latent profile analyses to these data, we found that profiles of epistemic beliefs that were previously conceptualized were robust across multiple samples. We found indications that profiles of epistemic beliefs homogenize over the course of students' education, are related to school tracking, and demonstrate robust relations with students' personal characteristics and socioeconomic background. We discuss implications for the theory, assessment, and education of epistemic beliefs.
The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s10648-022-09661-w.
In their recent paper, Chen et al. (Educational Psychology Review, 2021) propose that rest periods between deliberate learning characterize the spacing effect and the alternation between skills without rest characterizes the interleaving effect. In this commentary, we show that this theory is inadequate in two aspects. First, the operationalization of their constructs are problematic—their mechanism of rest-from-deliberate-learning mismatches their operationalization (e.g., they code deliberate learning activities that should not allow for working memory recovery as rest-from-deliberate-learning), and their definition of whether stimuli require discriminative contrast appears to depend on the study outcome. Second, their systematic review neglects a large body of literature that is incompatible with their theory. For example, they neglect classic spacing studies on vocabulary learning, and their theory of spacing effects as being a result of working memory recovery cannot account for lag effects or interactions found in the literature. We conclude that there are almost certainly mechanistic differences between spacing and interleaving effects, but the mechanisms are likely not mutually exclusive, as defined by Chen and colleagues.
Based on the premise that the experience of care is a fundamental component of motivation to learn, this paper explores the conceptual underpinnings of care within the contexts of teacher-student and peer relationships at school. Drawing from ecological and developmental traditions, theoretical models of caring relationships are discussed with respect to the transactional nature of dyadic relationships, representations of relationship affordances, and group-level relationship systems. Ways in which these perspectives are translated into commonly studied school-based constructs and assessments are then described. Finally, remaining issues and questions to guide further advances in theory and measurement are presented.
Teachers’ belief systems about the inclusion of students with special needs may explain gaps between policy and practice. We investigated three inter-related aspects of teachers’ belief systems: teachers’ cognitive appraisals (e.g., attitudes), emotional appraisal (e.g., feelings), and self-efficacy (e.g., agency to teach inclusive classrooms). To date, research in this field has produced contradictory findings, resulting in a sparse understanding of why teachers differ in their belief systems about inclusive education, and how teachers’ training experiences contribute to their development of professional beliefs. We used meta-analysis to describe the level and range of teachers’ beliefs about inclusive education, and examine factors that contribute to variation in teachers’ beliefs, namely (1) the point in teachers’ career (pre-service versus in-service), (2) training in special versus regular education, and (3) the effects of specific programs and interventions. We reviewed 102 papers (2000–2020) resulting in 191 effect sizes based on research with 40,898 teachers in 40 countries. On average, teachers’ cognitive appraisals, emotional appraisals, and efficacy about inclusion were found to be in the mid-range of scales, indicating room for growth. Self-efficacy beliefs were higher for preservice ( M = 3.69) than for in-service teachers ( M = 3.13). Teachers with special education training held more positive views about inclusion than regular education teachers ( d = 0.41). Training and interventions related to improved cognitive appraisal ( d = 0.63), emotional appraisal ( d = 0.63), and self-efficacy toward inclusive practices ( d = 0.93). The training was particularly effective in encouraging reflection of beliefs and, eventually, facilitating belief change when teachers gained practical experience in inclusive classrooms. Six key findings direct the next steps.
Our understanding of multiple goals has been advanced through the lines of research that focus on their pursuit of academic achievement goals and of academic and social goals. These prior efforts, however, are not free from conceptual and methodological limitations. To further advance the field, we put this paper together with two purposes in mind. First, we propose a goal complex model as a new approach to studying the coordination, consequences, and social contexts of pursuing multiple goals. In doing so, we highlight the role of academic goals as the means towards pursuing social goals as the end goals. Second, we proffer a model that explains sociocultural influences on the development of social and academic goals as well as goal complexes. To this end, we highlight the role of parents, teachers, and classmates/peers in promoting students’ social and academic goals and in facilitating the formation of goal complexes through these key social agents’ influences on the students’ goal-related beliefs. Conceptual implications and methodological recommendations for future research on students’ multiple goals are discussed. Together, the goal complex approach and the sociocultural model we present in this paper provide the field with directions for future research that seeks to better understand students’ pursuit of multiple goals as they navigate complex sociocultural demands in their day-to-day tasks.
Human cognitive architecture has evolved throughout history, thus facilitating the processing of certain types of knowledge that emerged early on in evolution and that have an adaptive benefit (e.g., recognizing faces or food). Despite its complexity, primary knowledge is processed almost effortlessly, as opposed to secondary knowledge which developed later during the course of evolution and which requires extra cognitive resources and motivation for processing (e.g., “academic” knowledge, such as mathematics or grammar). Primary knowledge also constitutes the basis for secondary knowledge. Using primary knowledge to encourage individuals to invest in a task that is not motivating has therefore been used in recent studies as a promising avenue of research. This study presents 3 experiments in which university students had to complete statistics exercises — statistics being renowned as a difficult discipline typically disliked by students. The task presented problem-solving exercises which were identical in structure but which differed in content, by referring to either primary or secondary types of knowledge. Primary knowledge content, particularly when presented first, enhanced performance and efficiency while maintaining motivation during problem solving. Participants appeared to be unaware of this positive effect. By contrast, secondary knowledge content had a negative effect on performance and seemed to reduce motivation when presented first. These findings suggest that the use of easy-to-process primary knowledge can enhance learning — simply by manipulating task content and presentation order.
Indigenous communities demonstrate immense cultural strengths despite being impacted by mental health and academic disparities due to ongoing systemic racism and historical trauma. Given that schools are a context in which indigenous youths’ needs have potential to be met through preventive intervention, this scoping review explores and summarizes the cultural relevance of school-based prevention interventions that have been implemented with students from indigenous backgrounds. We included articles published between January 2010 and February 2021 that included descriptive, outcome, and/or program development data on school-based prevention programs used with indigenous students in the USA and Canada. The initial search yielded 2131 articles for review, and ultimately 35 articles describing 27 interventions were included in the final sample. The majority of the programs (n = 20) were focused on substance use prevention or sexual and reproductive health and targeted adolescents in middle and high school; only five programs focused on mental health, social-emotional learning, and academics. All interventions were culturally consonant, but the program development process differed: 11 interventions were culturally grounded (i.e., developed based on values and beliefs of a specific cultural group) with one being community initiated (i.e., grassroots development), and 17 were culturally adapted (i.e., the tailoring of an existing intervention for a specific cultural group). We describe each intervention and its cultural components and provide commentary on how school-based prevention and social-emotional learning interventions can promote academic success for indigenous students in the USA and Canada.
Educators generally accept that basic learning and memory processes are a product of evolution, guided by natural selection. Less well accepted is the idea that ancestral selection pressures continue to shape modern memory functioning. In this article, I review evidence suggesting that attention to nature’s criterion—the enhancement of fitness—is needed to explain fully how and why people remember. Thinking functionally about memory, and adopting an evolutionary perspective in the laboratory, has led to recent discoveries with clear implications for learning in the classroom. For example, our memory systems appear to be tuned to animacy (the distinction between living and nonliving things) which, in turn, can play a role in enhancing foreign language acquisition. Effective learning management systems need to align with students’ prior knowledge, skill, and interest levels, but also with the inherent content biases or “tunings” that are representative of all people.
Why does conscientiousness matter for education? How is conscientiousness conceptualized in the field of research on education? How do socio-emotional (SE) skills relate to conscientiousness? In an effort to help answer these questions, we review the current research on conscientiousness in education. Specifically, we examine (1) how conscientiousness is defined, (2) the assessment of conscientiousness, (3) the relation between conscientiousness and educational outcomes, (4) whether too much conscientiousness may be a bad thing, (5) the relation between conscientiousness and conceptually related educational constructs, (6) the changeability of conscientiousness and the importance of that fact to education, and (7) the challenges of assessing conscientiousness across cultures.
In higher education, many students make poor learning strategy decisions. This, in part, results from the counterintuitive nature of effective learning strategies: they enhance long-term learning but also cost high initial effort and appear to not improve learning (immediately). This mixed-method study investigated how students make learning strategy decisions in category learning, and whether students can be supported to make effective strategy decisions through a metacognitive prompt, designed to support accurate monitoring of effort and learning. Participants (N = 150) studied painting styles through blocked and interleaved practice, rated their perceived effort and perceived learning across time, and chose between either blocked or interleaved practice. Half of the participants (N = 74) were provided with a metacognitive prompt that showed them how their subjective experiences per strategy changed across time and required them to relate these experiences to the efficacy of learning strategies. Results indicated that subjective experiences with interleaved practice improved across time: students’ perceived learning increased as their perceived effort decreased. Mediation analysis revealed that the increased feeling of learning increased the likelihood to select interleaved practice. The percentage of students who chose interleaved practice increased from 13 to 40%. Students’ learning strategy decisions, however, did not benefit from the metacognitive prompt. Qualitative results revealed that students initially had inaccurate beliefs about the efficacy of learning strategies, but on-task experiences overrode the influence of prior beliefs in learning strategy decisions. This study suggests that repeated monitoring of effort and learning have the potential to improve the use of interleaved practice.
This meta-analysis aims to quantitatively synthesize the relation between the essential
components of reading and reading comprehension in children whose frst language is
Spanish and who are learning to read in Spanish in a monolingual setting. Searches were
conducted in WOS, Scopus, and ERIC from 2000 to 2021. We used a random efects
model and Fisher’s z as an index of efect size. We found 33 studies involving 146
efect sizes between the essential components of reading and reading comprehension.
The essential components included phonological awareness, morphological awareness,
alphabetic principle, fuency, vocabulary, and oral comprehension. Results of the meta�analysis revealed that (1) most studies have focused on understanding the relation
between phonological awareness or alphabetic principle and reading comprehension,
(2) the largest efect sizes were between phonological awareness and reading
comprehension, and between fuency and reading comprehension, and (3) there is a large
heterogeneity across studies which is explained, in part, by factors such as age, country
where the study was conducted, and the reading comprehension tests used. Implications
for practice and future research are discussed.
This study comprises two meta-analyses conducted to investigate relations between socioeconomic status (SES) and academic achievement, with a focus on macro-level, micro-level, and methodological moderating variables in primary and secondary education. The first meta-analysis is based on 326 empirical studies with 949,699 students from 47 countries and areas, and the second is based on three international large-scale assessments (i.e., PISA, TIMSS, and PIRLS) with 1230 independent samples of 5,095,283 students from 105 countries and areas. We found moderate correlations between SES and academic achievement across the world, rs = .22 ~ .28. Moderation analyses revealed that (a) these relations have strengthened since the 1990s; (b) GDP per capita and economic equality did not affect the relations; (c) higher net enrollment ratio and longer duration of compulsory education did not weaken these relations; (d) the relations stayed stable or even strengthened across grades in concurrent and longitudinal designs. Taken together, our findings suggest that educational expansion that focuses on increasing educational opportunities does not seem to reduce inequalities in academic outcomes between high-and low-SES school children in educational systems on the national level. Quality indicators for educational expansion, however, should be considered in setting educational policy to achieve inclusive, equitable education.
Schoolteacher and early childhood educator wellbeing is associated with their ability to provide high-quality educational experiences to students and children in their care. Given the importance of this topic, this systematic review sought to (1) identify available evidence-based wellbeing initiatives for educators and schoolteachers, (2) appraise the quality of evidence demonstrating the efficacy of these initiatives, and (3) summarise the characteristics of these initiatives. In total, 23 studies on 19 distinct initiatives were identified. Although most initiatives improved schoolteacher wellbeing, the quality of available evidence is modest, especially for early childhood educators. Existing teacher and educator wellbeing initiatives predominantly target individual and not systematic determinants of educator wellbeing, even though wellbeing of these groups is determined by a combination of personal and education setting influences. More research is needed to improve the evidence on teacher and early childhood educator wellbeing initiatives, as well as development of initiatives that aim to change workplace demands and education setting culture.
It is frequently assumed that learner characteristics (e.g., reading skill, self-perceptions, optimism) account for overestimations of text comprehension, which threaten learning success. However, previous findings are heterogenous. To circumvent a key problem of previous research, we considered cognitive, metacognitive, motivational, and personality characteristics of learners ( N = 255) simultaneously with regard to their impact on the judgment biases in prediction and postdiction judgments about factual and inference questions. The main results for the factual questions showed that men, lower reading skill, working memory capacity, and topic knowledge, yet higher self-perceptions of cognitive and metacognitive capacities yielded stronger overestimations for prediction judgments. For inference questions, a lower reading skill, higher self-perceptions of metacognitive capacities, and a higher self-efficacy were related to stronger overestimations for prediction and postdiction judgments. A higher openness was a risk factor for stronger overestimations when making predictions for the inference questions. The findings demonstrate that learner characteristics are a relevant source of judgment bias, which should be incorporated explicitly in theories of judgment accuracy. At the same time, fewer learner characteristics were actually relevant than previous research suggests. Moreover, which learner characteristics impact judgment bias also depends on task requirements, such as factual versus inference questions.
Many emotion regulation assessments have been developed for research purposes, but few are frequently used in schools despite the rapid growth of social and emotional learning programs with an explicit focus on emotion regulation in schools. This systematic review provides an overview of emotion regulation assessments that have been utilized with children and adolescents of grades 1–12 or ages 6–18 in school-based research or practice within the USA over the past two decades. Qualitative analyses on the operational definition, administration and feedback, sampling characteristics, and psychometric evidence of the assessments were carried out to illuminate factors that may bridge the gap between researchers in assessment development and educators in assessment use. Emotion regulation assessments were identified via searches in educational research, psychological assessment, and social–emotional learning databases. Measure development and validation studies were then sought using academic search engines. A total of 25 assessments and 55 studies met the inclusion criteria. Results revealed divergent conceptualizations of emotion regulation, trade-offs between methodological rigor and practicality, limited transformation of raw data into actionable information, under-sampling of marginalized or disadvantaged groups, and insufficient psychometric evidence across assessments. More work is needed to enhance the scientific rigor (e.g., evidence-based recommendations and limitations for assessment use), practical relevance (e.g., sustainable use and perceived utility for students and educators), and equitable reach (e.g., accessibility and fairness for diverse student populations) of emotion regulation assessments for educational purposes.
While the importance of reading development for understanding Chinese literacy acquisition and impairment is well documented, what underlies Chinese spelling development is not well understood. Although some spelling development theories have been proposed and have provided rich and detailed descriptions of the processes and skills involved in spelling development, the current understanding of spelling, at least in Chinese, is fragmented because many factors that influence spelling acquisition have been studied in various fields and have not been unified into a single coherent model. In addition, theories in alphabetic languages, which focus on phonological skills, are not easily applied to Chinese. Furthermore, few discuss spelling development with a particular focus on the complexity of the Chinese writing system. This review identifies the critical skills and knowledge of learning to spell Chinese that are necessary and develops a Chinese spelling model based on the background of features of the Chinese writing system. Four types of skills are included in the model, namely, phonological, visual-motor, visual-orthographic, and semantic skills. In addition, the development of these skills is discussed. The conceptual model indicates that Chinese spelling development relies more on pure visual-motor and phonological skills in the early stages and gradually depends more on visual-orthographic and semantic skills subsequently, once the basic skills are acquired. Theoretically, the proposed model integrates different component skills that are needed in Chinese spelling according to the features of the Chinese writing system. Practically, the proposed model points to a new way of understanding and diagnosing spelling difficulties in Chinese.
Previous research has shown that three comparison types are involved in the formation of students’ academic self-concepts: social comparisons (where students compare their achievement with their classmates), dimensional comparisons (where students compare their achievement in different subjects), and temporal comparisons (where students compare their achievement across time). The 2I/E model provides a framework to describe the joint effects of these comparisons. To date, it has been tested in 12 empirical studies. However, integration of these findings is lacking, especially in terms of yielding reliable estimates of the strength of social, dimensional, and temporal comparison effects. We therefore conducted an individual participant data (IPD) meta-analysis, in which we reanalyzed the data used in all prior 2I/E model studies (N = 45,248). This IPD meta-analysis provided strong support for the 2I/E model: There were moderate social comparison effects, small to moderate dimensional comparison effects, and small temporal comparison effects on students’ math and verbal self-concepts. Moreover, several moderating variables affected the strength of these effects. In particular, the social and temporal comparison effects were stronger in studies using grades instead of test scores as achievement indicators. Older students showed weaker social comparison effects but stronger dimensional comparison effects compared to younger students. Social comparison effects were also stronger in academic track schools compared to nonacademic track schools. Gender and migration background had only very small impacts on the strength of single comparison effects. In sum, this IPD meta-analysis significantly enhances our knowledge of comparison making in the process of students’ self-concept formation.