Two new meta-anlyses published by MERG alumni and members

Two new meta-analyses have recently been published, first-authored by MERG alumni, Dr. Bridget Kiger Lee and Dr. Carlton J. Fong. In Review of Educational Research, Dr. Lee, Dr. Patall, Dr. Cawthon, and Rebecca Steingut conducted a meta-analysis on the effectiveness of drama-based instruction on student outcomes. In The Journal of Positive Psychology, Dr. Fong, Dr. Zaleski, and Dr. Leach conducted a meta-analytic investigation on the antecedents of flow, with a particular emphasis on the challenge-skill balance. Find out more about these articles below!

The Effect of Drama-Based Pedagogy on PreK-16 Outcomes: A Meta-Analysis of Research from 1985 to 2012 (click here for full article).

The President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities report heartily supported arts integration. However, the President’s Committee called for a better understanding of the dimensions of quality and best practices. One promising arts integration method is drama-based pedagogy (DBP). A comprehensive search of the literature revealed 47 quasi-experimental DBP intervention studies conducted since 1985. The literature showed that designs were generally weak for making causal inferences and that outcomes other than achievement were infrequently studied. A meta-analysis of this research suggested that DBP has a positive, significant impact on achievement outcomes in educational settings. Effects were strongest when the intervention (a) was led by a classroom teacher or researcher rather than a teaching artist, (b) included more than five lessons, and (c) was integrated into English language arts or science curriculum compared to other domains. Positive effects across psychological and social outcomes were found. Implications for policy and practice are discussed.

The Challenge-Skill Balance and Antecedents of Flow: A Meta-analytic Investigation (click here for full article).

Flow is an intrinsically motivating state of consciousness characterized by simultaneous perception of high challenge and skill. The position that challenge–skill balance is the primary antecedent for achieving a flow state is unclear, and more research is needed to examine its impact on flow within multiple domains. Therefore, a meta-analysis was conducted on 28 studies examining the challenge–skill balance related to flow and intrinsic motivation in a variety of contexts. The results indicated that the relationship between challenge–skill balance and flow was moderate, and smaller with intrinsic motivation. Moderator analyses revealed weaker correlations when individuals were from an individualistic culture, in work or education contexts, using experience sampling method, and self-reporting state flow vs. trait. Compared to other theorized antecedents, challenge–skill balance was a robust contributor to flow along with clear goals and sense of control.