Verbal and visual learning in a sample of Native American children: A study of the effects of practice on memory
AuthorShah, Minoo Gunwant, 1964-
KeywordsEducation, Bilingual and Multicultural.
Education, Educational Psychology.
Sociology, Ethnic and Racial Studies.
AdvisorMishra, Shitala P.
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.
AbstractThe purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of learning and rehearsal on verbal and visual memory in 15 Native American students ranging in age from 9 to 16 years. Subjects were administered the Verbal Learning (VL) and Visual Learning (VIL) subtests of the WRAML. These subtests assess the ability to retain verbal (list of words) and visual (location of designs) information presented over 4 trials. A 5th trial assesses retention after a short delay. The study additionally aimed to relate scores on these tasks with overall scores on the WRAML, the WISC-III and the DAS. A description of mean standard/scaled scores for each of these measures is provided. Concurrent with previous research, mean Verbal IQ on the WISC-III was significantly below the normative mean while the Performance IQ was in the average range. Mean Verbal and Visual Memory Indexes on the WRAML reflected this pattern. Performance on all three subtests of the DAS (Arithmetic, Spelling, Word Reading) were significantly below average. Results of one-way repeated measures ANOVAs based on z scores indicate no significant difference from the norm in overall performance on both learning subtests. However, z scores on the VL subtest showed a significant difference across trials. While performance on the VL subtest was slightly below the normative average on trial 1, this difference appears to have been erased by trial 2. Performance on delayed recall trials for both subtests were comparable to the norm group. Correlation coefficients show a significant relation between the learning subtests and the Visual, Learning and General-Memory Index scores on the WRAML. They also show a significant relation between the VL subtest and the Verbal and Full Scale IQs on the WISC-III. Neither of the learning subtests shows a significant correlation with subtests on the DAS. Results argue against a verbal learning "weakness" in Native American children. Findings also suggest that instead of focusing on teaching to the Native Americans' "visual strength," the use of a multi-trial approach when presenting Native American children with verbal material in English would enhance learning and retention.
Degree ProgramGraduate College