The effect of higher order thinking skills on the gifted and LEP (Limited English Proficient) population in two rural southwestern elementary schools.
Committee ChairClark, Donald C.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe purpose of this study was to seek answers to the following questions: (1) What is the difference between student academic achievement based on the Cognitive Ability Pre-Test as compared to their academic achievement based on the Cognitive Ability Post-test after thinking skills were regularly emphasized to the sample? (2) What are the rural teachers' attitudes toward the higher order level thinking lessons? (3) What are the rural students' attitudes toward the higher level thinking lessons? The population for this study included the Gifted and ESL (LEP-Limited English Proficient) students and their teachers in two rural Southwestern elementary schools. The study covered a three month time period. The students were exposed to higher order thinking skills three times per week with communication and cooperative learning encouraged. The teachers were given an attitude questionnaire constructed to indicate teacher attitude toward worth of the program and various aspects of its implementation. The teacher attitude questionnaires were analyzed in five parts and the results were represented on charts. The results were that the teachers had a more positive than negative attitude toward the worth and implementation of the program, and wanted it to continue. The students were given an attitude questionnaire constructed to indicate student attitude toward worth of the program and various aspects of its implementation. The student attitude questionnaires were analyzed in five parts and the results were represented on charts. The results for the students were that the students were supportive of the activities in the program and felt that the program helped to give them a better understanding of their thinking ability and skills. There appeared an improvement in the ESL student's self-esteem. Achievement for the pre and post-tested students was measured by the Cognitive Abilities Test in the areas of verbal, quantitative and non-verbal skills. T-tests were used to compare student results on the pre- and post-tests. All groups showed some average improvement or no change, and in each group more students improved than declined or remained the same. The improvement in non-verbal skills by the gifted student group can be conclusively attributed to the experimental program. The combined results of the Cognitive Abilities Pre and Post-test scores and the teacher and student attitude questions were used to make recommendations for program improvement.
Degree ProgramEducational Foundations and Administration