THE EFFECT OF EDUCATIONAL SETTING ON STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT IN THE MIDDLE SCHOOL
AuthorHager, Lee LaVern
AdvisorClark, Donald C.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis study was undertaken to determine if there is a correlation between teachers' and administrators' perceptions of educational setting and student reading achievement as measured by standardized achievement tests. A questionnaire, based on the Likert scale, was used to collect the data. Respondents indicated their degree of agreement or disagreement on a four-point scale with 30 statements designed to measure acceptance of the concept of open setting as opposed to a more traditional setting. A mean of each school's responses was calculated in order to facilitate comparison between school setting and student reading achievement. The school means were then arranged from the lowest number, or most traditional setting, to the higher number, or most open setting. The mean of these means was calculated to determine the dividing line between traditional and open settings. Those schools above the mean are considered to have a more open setting, those below the mean are considered to have a more traditional setting. Each school submitted its standardized achievement test scores for total reading for the past five years, 1975-1979. An extrapolation of the Anchor Test Study was used to convert the various reading test scores. This extrapolation involved the calculation of the average differences between grades four, five, and six for each of the tests covered by the Anchor Test Study. (The Anchor Test Study allows only for comparisons through the sixth grade.) This average difference was used in this study to reflect the average differences between grades six, seven, and eight on the reading tests submitted by the study schools. Next, a comparison was made between the converted reading test scores and the schools' setting. This comparison revealed no correlation between setting and reading achievement. A second analysis involved the calculation of a correlation coefficient between the schools' instrument mean and average percentile rank (converted to Z scores) on the reading achievement test used by the school. These percentiles were derived from the actual test given by the school and did not involve the Anchor Test Study extrapolation. A moderate positive correlation was found (r .2937) between open school setting and higher student reading achievement. Based on the findings of this study, it was recommended that educators help determine the factors that influence cognitive development. A review of the literature discussed both negative and positive effects of open setting relative to cognitive and affective learning. As this study has shown, there is at least a moderate positive correlation between a more open educational setting and better student reading achievement. Therefore, it is recommended that the affective aspects of the educational setting be enhanced.
Degree ProgramGraduate College