COMMON TEACHING INTERVENTIONS RANKED BY META-ANALYSIS EFFECT SIZE

As teachers, we get exposed to so many different teaching interventions each year that it would be impossible to effectively implement all of them in the classroom. Perhaps more to the point, it should be noted that these different methodologies naturally vary in their efficacy as teaching tools and cannot, therefore, produce equal results in regard to student learning.

As, of course, there are only so many teaching hours in a day, and given the fact that this time is subdivided to accommodate multiple subjects, it can be an overwhelming task to wade through the array of recommended teaching interventions and determine which of these will best serve to promote student success. To that end, I wanted this article to help demystify the process of choosing appropriate teaching methods and highlight those which have the highest probability of improving student learning outcomes. I was inspired by Dr. John Hattie’s work, which ranks teaching factors according to their effect sizes (ES) in meta-analysis. Hattie’s work, however, provides a more generalized view of teaching factors. In this research, I have tried to focus explicitly on commonly used teaching strategies as much as possible. That being said, I have used Hattie’s data, as much as possible for this chart. Indeed, the first 6 pages of the 26-page long bibliography for this article are all citations to John Hattie.

Hattie’s work is sometimes criticized for its taking effect sizes out of multiple different meta-analyses. However, I think this can sometimes, be the best way to create broadly applicable extrapolations for teachers. For example, we have several meta-analyses on the subject of phonics, some showing phonics to have a high yield, and others showing it to have a low yield. Generally speaking, the more rigorous the inclusion criteria is the lower the effect size is. Critics of phonics would suggest that this proves, phonics is a low-yield strategy. However, the majority of education research is not based on randomized control trial (RCT) studies. And while I hope in the future that it is primarily based on RCT studies, I do not think it is fair, to compare the results of RCT studies, to non RCT studies and make the conclusion that the RTC studies showed poor results. I, therefore, think that until we have a greater body of RCT research, taking the mean ES from multiple meta-analyses can give us a more generalizable result, for teachers, to take approximate judgments. 


I compiled the results of nine separate meta-analyses, which examined 681 different quantitative studies, on the efficacy of different reading interventions. While I do not think specific effect size numbers are overly important, I do believe they provide us with a less subjective measure for determining which teaching interventions are the most likely to be successful. And, while small differences in effect size, like the 0.02 point difference between Read-Aloud and Answering Questions, may not be materially instructive, it would, I believe, be fair to say that large differences, like the 1.37 point difference between RTI and Ear Reading, are substantive enough to arbitrate which strategies are likely to have the greatest success in motivating classroom learning. By viewing the extant literature and available statistics in this light, I believe it is possible to empower teachers to make more informed decisions about how best to optimize the use of their available time and resources.  


Generally speaking, if an intervention has an effect size (ES) of greater than 0.70 the intervention could be called a high yield instructional strategy. If the intervention has an ES of 0.40 - 0.69, the intervention could be called a moderate yield instructional strategy, and if the intervention has an ES lower than 0.40, it should be referred to as a low yield strategy. While the actual statistical data can, at times, be less clear-cut, particularly when variables are inconsistent or when studies employ different effect size calculations, the use of meta-studies to synthesize this data does help to mediate possible discrepancies and provides a means of comparing and cross-examining results as a way of holding individual studies to a higher degree of accountability. And, although this article does analyze studies with different effect size calculators, which has been a criticism of John’s Hattie’s work, the existing data on this subject is limited and there are too few studies to allow for more restrictive inclusion criteria. 


Acknowledging, then, that the specific numbers which appear in this article may be off by slight degrees relative to one another, I posit that the individual numbers, themselves, are less relevant than the proportional deviation between different interventions, as the resulting hierarchy is not so dependent on numerical exactness as to be upended by the difference of a few hundredths of a decimal point.

Special thanks to John Hattie, for inspiring me to start studying education, on a higher level, and for all his contributions to the academic study of education.

Written by Nathaniel Hansford
Last Edited 6/2/2021

References: 


Phonics:
J, Hattie. (2021). Visible Learning Metax. Retrieved from <https://www.visiblelearningmetax.com/>.

Repeated Reading:
J, Hattie. (2021). Visible Learning Metax. Retrieved from <https://www.visiblelearningmetax.com/>. 


Whole Language:

J, Hattie. (2021). Visible Learning Metax. Retrieved from <https://www.visiblelearningmetax.com/>. 


Reading Recovery: 

J, Hattie. (2021). Visible Learning Metax. Retrieved from <https://www.visiblelearningmetax.com/>. 


Summarization: 

J, Hattie. (2021). Visible Learning Metax. Retrieved from <https://www.visiblelearningmetax.com/>. 


Mnemonics: 

J, Hattie. (2021). Visible Learning Metax. Retrieved from <https://www.visiblelearningmetax.com/>. 


Practice Testing: 

J, Hattie. (2021). Visible Learning Metax. Retrieved from <https://www.visiblelearningmetax.com/>. 


Rehearsal and Memorization: 

J, Hattie. (2021). Visible Learning Metax. Retrieved from <https://www.visiblelearningmetax.com/>. 


Teaching test taking: 

J, Hattie. (2021). Visible Learning Metax. Retrieved from <https://www.visiblelearningmetax.com/>. 


Deliberate Practice: 

J, Hattie. (2021). Visible Learning Metax. Retrieved from <https://www.visiblelearningmetax.com/>. 


Meta-cognition Strategies: 

J, Hattie. (2021). Visible Learning Metax. Retrieved from <https://www.visiblelearningmetax.com/>. 


Student control over learning:
J, Hattie. (2021). Visible Learning Metax. Retrieved from <https://www.visiblelearningmetax.com/>. 


Student Centered Teaching: 

J, Hattie. (2021). Visible Learning Metax. Retrieved from <https://www.visiblelearningmetax.com/>. 


Learning Styles: 

J, Hattie. (2021). Visible Learning Metax. Retrieved from <https://www.visiblelearningmetax.com/>. 


Feedback: 

J, Hattie. (2021). Visible Learning Metax. Retrieved from <https://www.visiblelearningmetax.com/>. 


Peer and Self Assessment: 

J, Hattie. (2021). Visible Learning Metax. Retrieved from <https://www.visiblelearningmetax.com/>. 


Formative Assessment:

J, Hattie. (2021). Visible Learning Metax. Retrieved from <https://www.visiblelearningmetax.com/>. 


RTI: 

J, Hattie. (2021). Visible Learning Metax. Retrieved from <https://www.visiblelearningmetax.com/>. 


Frequent Testing: 

J, Hattie. (2021). Visible Learning Metax. Retrieved from <https://www.visiblelearningmetax.com/>. 


Classroom Discussion: 

J, Hattie. (2021). Visible Learning Metax. Retrieved from <https://www.visiblelearningmetax.com/>. 


Direct Instruction: 

J, Hattie. (2021). Visible Learning Metax. Retrieved from <https://www.visiblelearningmetax.com/>.

Reciprocal Teaching: 

J, Hattie. (2021). Visible Learning Metax. Retrieved from <https://www.visiblelearningmetax.com/>. 


Discovery Based Teaching: 

J, Hattie. (2021). Visible Learning Metax. Retrieved from <https://www.visiblelearningmetax.com/>. 


Inquiry Based Learning: 

J, Hattie. (2021). Visible Learning Metax. Retrieved from <https://www.visiblelearningmetax.com/>. 


Problem Based Teaching:

J, Hattie. (2021). Visible Learning Metax. Retrieved from <https://www.visiblelearningmetax.com/>. 


Jigsaw Method: 

J, Hattie. (2021). Visible Learning Metax. Retrieved from <https://www.visiblelearningmetax.com/>. 


Cooperative Learning: 

J, Hattie. (2021). Visible Learning Metax. Retrieved from <https://www.visiblelearningmetax.com/>. 


Clear Goals: 

J, Hattie. (2021). Visible Learning Metax. Retrieved from <https://www.visiblelearningmetax.com/>. 


Appropriately Challenging Goals: 

J, Hattie. (2021). Visible Learning Metax. Retrieved from <https://www.visiblelearningmetax.com/>. 


Cognitive Task Analysis: 

J, Hattie. (2021). Visible Learning Metax. Retrieved from <https://www.visiblelearningmetax.com/>. 


Technology For Elementary Students: 

J, Hattie. (2021). Visible Learning Metax. Retrieved from <https://www.visiblelearningmetax.com/>. 


Technology for Secondary Students: 

J, Hattie. (2021). Visible Learning Metax. Retrieved from <https://www.visiblelearningmetax.com/>. 


Giving All Students Laptops:

J, Hattie. (2021). Visible Learning Metax. Retrieved from <https://www.visiblelearningmetax.com/>. 


Collaborative Teacher Efficacy: 

J, Hattie. (2021). Visible Learning Metax. Retrieved from <https://www.visiblelearningmetax.com/>. 


Teacher Estimates of Achievement:

J, Hattie. (2021). Visible Learning Metax. Retrieved from <https://www.visiblelearningmetax.com/>. 


Not Labelling Students: 

J, Hattie. (2021). Visible Learning Metax. Retrieved from <https://www.visiblelearningmetax.com/>. 


Self Reported Grades: 

J, Hattie. (2021). Visible Learning Metax. Retrieved from <https://www.visiblelearningmetax.com/>. 


Growth Mindset vs Fixed Mindset: 

J, Hattie. (2021). Visible Learning Metax. Retrieved from <https://www.visiblelearningmetax.com/>.   



Iterative Approach: 

Reference: 2011 Durkin, Rittle-Johnson, & StarBethany Rittle-Johnson, and Michael Schneider. (2011). Developing Conceptual and Procedural Knowledge of Mathematics. Oxford Press.


Problem Based Learning For Science Outcomes:

M, Ayaz and M, Söylemez. (2015). The Effect of the Project-Based Learning Approach on the Academic Achievements of the Students in Science Classes in Turkey: A MetaAnalysis Study. Education and Science. Vol 40: Issue 178.


Inquiry Based Learning for Inquiry Skills: 

A, Lazonder and R,Harmsen. (2016). Meta-Analysis of Inquiry-Based Learning: Effects of Guidance. Review of Educational Research. Vol. 86, No. 3.


Inquiry Based Learning for Knowledge skills:

A, Lazonder and R,Harmsen. (2016). Meta-Analysis of Inquiry-Based Learning: Effects of Guidance. Review of Educational Research. Vol. 86, No. 3.


Active vs Passive Learning: 

S, Freeman, et al. (2014). Active learning increases student performance in science, engineering, and mathematics. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in the United States of America. Retrieved from <https://www.pnas.org/content/111/23/8410?fbclid=IwAR3t3KHBnPw_SaXYvLBfo7uWkqS746TCFoCl0KK3f7HXP-P4MLGhNEtwq18>.


Ability Grouping: 

Steenbergen-Hu, S. (2016). What One Hundred Years of Research Says About the Effects of Ability Grouping and Acceleration on K–12 Students’ Academic Achievement. Review of Educational Research, 86(4), 849–899.



Grade Skipping:

Steenbergen-Hu, S. (2016). What One Hundred Years of Research Says About the Effects of Ability Grouping and Acceleration on K–12 Students’ Academic Achievement. Review of Educational Research, 86(4), 849–899.



Individualized Curriculum: 

Steenbergen-Hu, S. 2016  meta-analysis 


Grade Skipping: 

Steenbergen-Hu, S. (2016). What One Hundred Years of Research Says About the Effects of Ability Grouping and Acceleration on K–12 Students’ Academic Achievement. Review of Educational Research, 86(4), 849–899.


Feedback: 

Wisniewski B, Zierer K, Hattie J. The Power of Feedback Revisited: A Meta-Analysis of Educational Feedback Research. Front Psychol. 2020;10:3087. Published 2020 Jan 22. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2019.03087


Private Schools: 

Shakeel, M. Danish and Anderson, Kaitlin and Wolf, Patrick, The Participant Effects of Private School Vouchers Across the Globe: A Meta-Analytic and Systematic Review (May 10, 2016). EDRE Working Paper No. 2016-07, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2777633 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2777633


Charter Schools:

Achievement. Department of Economics, University of California, San Diego, and National Bureau of Economic Research. Retrieved from <https://sandera.ucsd.edu/publications/DISC%20PAPER%20Betts%20Tang%20Charter%20Lit%20Review%202018%2001.pdf>.


Kumon:
N, Hansford. (2021). Is Kumon Hype or High Yield. Pedagogy Non Grata. Retrieved from <https://pedagogynongrata.com/kumon-meta-analysis>. 


Daily 5: 

N, Hansford. (2021). Daily-5 Meta-Analysis. Pedagogy Non Grata. Retrieved from <https://pedagogynongrata.com/daily-5-meta-analysis>. 


Phonics Delivered by a Tutor:

Linnea, et al. (2001). Systematic Phonics Instruction Helps Students Learn to Read: Evidence From the National Reading Panel’s Meta-Analysis. Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. Retrieved from <https://www.dyslexie.lu/JDI_02_02_04.pdf>. 



Phonics for Low economic students: 

Linnea, et al. (2001). Systematic Phonics Instruction Helps Students Learn to Read: Evidence From the National Reading Panel’s Meta-Analysis. Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. Retrieved from <https://www.dyslexie.lu/JDI_02_02_04.pdf>. 


Phonics Delivered with Direct Instruction: 

Linnea, et al. (2001). Systematic Phonics Instruction Helps Students Learn to Read: Evidence From the National Reading Panel’s Meta-Analysis. Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. Retrieved from <https://www.dyslexie.lu/JDI_02_02_04.pdf>. 


Phonics for Kindergartens: 

Linnea, et al. (2001). Systematic Phonics Instruction Helps Students Learn to Read: Evidence From the National Reading Panel’s Meta-Analysis. Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. Retrieved from <https://www.dyslexie.lu/JDI_02_02_04.pdf>.

Phonics for Reading Disabled Students: 

Linnea, et al. (2001). Systematic Phonics Instruction Helps Students Learn to Read: Evidence From the National Reading Panel’s Meta-Analysis. Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. Retrieved from <https://www.dyslexie.lu/JDI_02_02_04.pdf>. 


Phonics for Grade 1s: 

Linnea, et al. (2001). Systematic Phonics Instruction Helps Students Learn to Read: Evidence From the National Reading Panel’s Meta-Analysis. Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. Retrieved from <https://www.dyslexie.lu/JDI_02_02_04.pdf>. 


Phonics Compared to Whole Language: 

Linnea, et al. (2001). Systematic Phonics Instruction Helps Students Learn to Read: Evidence From the National Reading Panel’s Meta-Analysis. Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. Retrieved from <https://www.dyslexie.lu/JDI_02_02_04.pdf>. 


Synthetic Phonics: 

Linnea, et al. (2001). Systematic Phonics Instruction Helps Students Learn to Read: Evidence From the National Reading Panel’s Meta-Analysis. Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. Retrieved from <https://www.dyslexie.lu/JDI_02_02_04.pdf>. 


Phonics for Grades 2-6: 

Linnea, et al. (2001). Systematic Phonics Instruction Helps Students Learn to Read: Evidence From the National Reading Panel’s Meta-Analysis. Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. Retrieved from <https://www.dyslexie.lu/JDI_02_02_04.pdf>. 


Analytic Phonics: .

NRP. (2010). National Reading Panel. Teaching Children to Read. An Evidence-Based Assessment of the Scientific Research On Reading and Its Implications for Reading. Retrieved from < https://www.nichd.nih.gov/sites/default/files/publications/pubs/nrp/Documents/report.pdf>.


Spelling Instruction: 

Graham, Steve, and Michael Hebert. Writing to Read: Evidence for How Writing Can Improve. Carnegie Corporation Time to Act Report. Washington, DC: Alliance for Excellent Education, 2010. Print.


Spelling Strategies:

Graham, Steve, and Michael Hebert. Writing to Read: Evidence for How Writing Can Improve. Carnegie Corporation Time to Act Report. Washington, DC: Alliance for Excellent Education, 2010. Print.


Writing Reactions: 

Graham, Steve, and Michael Hebert. Writing to Read: Evidence for How Writing Can Improve. Carnegie Corporation Time to Act Report. Washington, DC: Alliance for Excellent Education, 2010. Print.


Increasing Writing: 

Graham, Steve, and Michael Hebert. Writing to Read: Evidence for How Writing Can Improve. Carnegie Corporation Time to Act Report. Washington, DC: Alliance for Excellent Education, 2010. Print.


Writing Notes:

Graham, Steve, and Michael Hebert. Writing to Read: Evidence for How Writing Can Improve. Carnegie Corporation Time to Act Report. Washington, DC: Alliance for Excellent Education, 2010. Print.


Answering Questions: 

Graham, Steve, and Michael Hebert. Writing to Read: Evidence for How Writing Can Improve. Carnegie Corporation Time to Act Report. Washington, DC: Alliance for Excellent Education, 2010. Print.  


Writing Methods: .

Graham, Steve, and Michael Hebert. Writing to Read: Evidence for How Writing Can Improve. Carnegie Corporation Time to Act Report. Washington, DC: Alliance for Excellent Education, 2010. Print.


Main Idea:

Stevens EA, Park S, Vaughn S. A Review of Summarizing and Main Idea Interventions for Struggling Readers in Grades 3 Through 12: 1978–2016. Remedial & Special Education. 2019;40(3):131-149. doi:10.1177/0741932517749940.


Ear Reading: 

A Synthesis of Read-Aloud Interventions on Early Reading Outcomes Among Preschool Through Third Graders at Risk for Reading Difficulties. (2011). Journal of Learning Disabilities., 44(3), 258–275.

Continuous Reading: 

Hall MS, Burns MK. Meta-analysis of targeted small-group reading interventions. Journal of School Psychology. 2018;66:54-66. doi:10.1016/j.jsp.2017.11.002.


Guided Reading: 

OKKINGA, M. et al. Effectiveness of Reading-Strategy Interventions in Whole Classrooms: a Meta-Analysis. Educational Psychology Review, [s. l.], v. 30, n. 4, p. 1215–1239, 2018. DOI 10.1007/s10648-018-9445-7.:


Sing Spell Write: 

OKKINGA, M. et al. Effectiveness of Reading-Strategy Interventions in Whole Classrooms: a Meta-Analysis. Educational Psychology Review, [s. l.], v. 30, n. 4, p. 1215–1239, 2018. DOI 10.1007/s10648-018-9445-7. 


Read Aloud:

OKKINGA, M. et al. Effectiveness of Reading-Strategy Interventions in Whole Classrooms: a Meta-Analysis. Educational Psychology Review, [s. l.], v. 30, n. 4, p. 1215–1239, 2018. DOI 10.1007/s10648-018-9445-7. 


Reading Ques: 

OKKINGA, M. et al. Effectiveness of Reading-Strategy Interventions in Whole Classrooms: a Meta-Analysis. Educational Psychology Review, [s. l.], v. 30, n. 4, p. 1215–1239, 2018. DOI 10.1007/s10648-018-9445-7. 


Explicit Instruction for Math: Getsen, Et al. (2009). A Meta-analysis of Mathematics Instructional Interventions for Students with Learning Disabilities: Technical Report. Instructional Research Group. Retrieved from <https://www.researchgate.net/publication/266864172_A_Meta-analysis_of_Mathematics_Instructional_Interventions_for_Students_with_Learning_Disabilities>


Use of Heuristics:

Getsen, Et al. (2009). A Meta-analysis of Mathematics Instructional Interventions for Students with Learning Disabilities: Technical Report. Instructional Research Group. Retrieved from <https://www.researchgate.net/publication/266864172_A_Meta-analysis_of_Mathematics_Instructional_Interventions_for_Students_with_Learning_Disabilities>



Scaffolded Math Examples:  R, Getsen, Et al. (2009). A Meta-analysis of Mathematics Instructional Interventions for Students with Learning Disabilities:Technical Report. Instructional Research Group. Retrieved from <https://www.researchgate.net/publication/266864172_A_Meta-analysis_of_Mathematics_Instructional_Interventions_for_Students_with_Learning_Disabilities>


Formative Assessment for Math: 

R, Getsen, Et al. (2009). A Meta-analysis of Mathematics Instructional Interventions for Students with Learning Disabilities: Technical Report. Instructional Research Group. Retrieved from <https://www.researchgate.net/publication/266864172_A_Meta-analysis_of_Mathematics_Instructional_Interventions_for_Students_with_Learning_Disabilities>


Formative Assessment, Coupled with Optional Targeted Instruction:

 R, Getsen, Et al. (2009). A Meta-analysis of Mathematics Instructional Interventions for Students with Learning Disabilities: Technical Report. Instructional Research Group. Retrieved from <https://www.researchgate.net/publication/266864172_A_Meta-analysis_of_Mathematics_Instructional_Interventions_for_Students_with_Learning_Disabilities>


Formative Assessment, Coupled with Student Goal Setting: 

R, Getsen, Et al. (2009). A Meta-analysis of Mathematics Instructional Interventions for Students with Learning Disabilities: Technical Report. Instructional Research Group. Retrieved from <https://www.researchgate.net/publication/266864172_A_Meta-analysis_of_Mathematics_Instructional_Interventions_for_Students_with_Learning_Disabilities>


Providing Feedback for Math: 

R, Getsen, Et al. (2009). A Meta-analysis of Mathematics Instructional Interventions for Students with Learning Disabilities: Technical Report. Instructional Research Group. Retrieved from <https://www.researchgate.net/publication/266864172_A_Meta-analysis_of_Mathematics_Instructional_Interventions_for_Students_with_Learning_Disabilities>


Providing Feedback with Goal Setting: 

R, Getsen, Et al. (2009). A Meta-analysis of Mathematics Instructional Interventions for Students with Learning Disabilities:


Technical Report. Instructional Research Group. Retrieved from <https://www.researchgate.net/publication/266864172_A_Meta-analysis_of_Mathematics_Instructional_Interventions_for_Students_with_Learning_Disabilities>


Peer Tutoring (multi age):

R, Getsen, Et al. (2009). A Meta-analysis of Mathematics Instructional Interventions for Students with Learning Disabilities: Technical Report. Instructional Research Group. Retrieved from <https://www.researchgate.net/publication/266864172_A_Meta-analysis_of_Mathematics_Instructional_Interventions_for_Students_with_Learning_Disabilities>


Peer Tutoring (same age): 

R, Getsen, Et al. (2009). A Meta-analysis of Mathematics Instructional Interventions for Students with Learning Disabilities: Technical Report. Instructional Research Group. Retrieved from <https://www.researchgate.net/publication/266864172_A_Meta-analysis_of_Mathematics_Instructional_Interventions_for_Students_with_Learning_Disabilities>


Reward Systems For Math: 

Methe, S., Kilgus, S., Neiman, C., & Riley-Tillman, T. (2012). Meta-Analysis of Interventions for Basic Mathematics Computation in Single-case Research. Journal of Behavioral Education, 21(3), 230-253. Retrieved July 25, 2020, from www.jstor.org/stable/43551228


Cover Copy Compare (for math facts):
Methe, S., Kilgus, S., Neiman, C., & Riley-Tillman, T. (2012). Meta-Analysis of Interventions for Basic Mathematics Computation in Single-case Research. Journal of Behavioral Education, 21(3), 230-253. Retrieved July 25, 2020, from www.jstor.org/stable/43551228


Interspersal: 

Methe, S., Kilgus, S., Neiman, C., & Riley-Tillman, T. (2012). Meta-Analysis of Interventions for Basic Mathematics Computation in Single-case Research. Journal of Behavioral Education, 21(3), 230-253. Retrieved July 25, 2020, from www.jstor.org/stable/43551228


Speed Based Interventions: 

Methe, S., Kilgus, S., Neiman, C., & Riley-Tillman, T. (2012). Meta-Analysis of Interventions for Basic Mathematics Computation in Single-case Research. Journal of Behavioral Education, 21(3), 230-253. Retrieved July 25, 2020, from www.jstor.org/stable/43551228

CRA: 

Methe, S., Kilgus, S., Neiman, C., & Riley-Tillman, T. (2012). Meta-Analysis of Interventions for Basic Mathematics Computation in Single-case Research. Journal of Behavioral Education, 21(3), 230-253. Retrieved July 25, 2020, from www.jstor.org/stable/43551228