Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Virginia Morrison, Ph. D.
The study was concerned with investigating student achievement testing results, age and sex differences, and teaching practices between a behavioral objective type program and a convetional type program (arbitrarily defined) for the teaching of reading to third grade children as measured by standardized test instruments.
Thirty-one third grade students (16 boys and 15 girls) in the experimental class, with a median age of eight years, were compared with a control class of 33 students (19 boys and 14 girls), with a median age of nine years, as available small samples. Both groups were taught by one teacher.
The instructional materials selected were Houghton Mifflin’s Panorama and workbook for the behavioral or experimental class. Follett’s New Faces, New Places was used by the conventional group. Lippincott’s Reading in Phonics lessons were used by both groups twice weekly. The Stanford Achievement Reading Test—Form W, Primary II was administered as pre-and post-test instruments.
Testing procedures for both groups with respect to time allotment, administration, and administrator for each test were consistent.
All pre- and post-test measures were collected and translated into appropriate numerical equivalents. From these data, means and standard deviations were established for both groups as well as within age and sex groupings. The Fisher t-test of significant differences between independent group means was used in handling the data. “z” scores were applied to all data to equate an uncontrolled group variances.
Teaching methodologies of two audio-recorded lessons were coded with an interaction analysis system measuring teacher verbalism.
The variables of age and sex revealed no significant differences appearing in the measured results of the study.
Teaching methodologies by the same teacher of both groups were proven to be significantly consistent based on types of teacher verbalism.
Although the experimental group exhibited pre-test superiority by age, rated cognitive abilities, vocabulary and paragraph meaning, and composite test means, the control group showed significant pre- to post- test gains in both paragraph meaning and composite means. Observational reports by the teacher, however, indicated superior affective attitudes and interests in reading for the experimental group.
Consistent with Gerhard’s study, the findings, based on standard achievement tests, “…indicated no significant differences between the experimental and control groups.” In the present study, the experimental group showed no significant gains in both paragraph meaning and composite means. Observational reports by the teacher, however, indicated superior affective attitudes and interests in reading for the experimental group.
Consistent with Gerhard’s study, the findings, based on standard achievement tests, “…indicated no significant differences between the experimental and control groups.” IN the present study, the experimental group showed no significant gains from pre-to post-test. Thus, a conventional-factual approach was congruent with the achievement measures of the control group employed in the study.
Test exercises, in view of word choices for young children, seem not to be consistent with children’s oral or written language. It seems logical to assume that such test construction may not enhance the reader’s comprehension.
According to Chall, “…low IQ pupils achieved best results with phonic approaches.” The lower achieving control group excelled at a significant level in pre- to post-test measures. Since both groups were exposed to bi-weekly phonics instruction, such impact may have been greater on the control group.