Administrative data base for plant planning and utilization related to the cognitive gain of hyperactive male students in open-space and self-contained selected Texas public elementary classrooms



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One major concern that has confronted school administrators is how best to provide for the special and unique needs of the hyperactive children that comprise approximately four to ten percent of a typical school population. This study has focused on the serious administrative problem of providing effective classroom structure for these hyperactive children. Specifically, this research effort was undertaken to analyze the effects that open-space and self-contained classrooms had on the cognitive achievement of hyperactive male students. A review of the literature was undertaken to ascertain the relative statistical or experimental descriptive data available. No studies were found that were concerned specifically with hyperactivity and classroom structure but research available included information that indicated that structured situations for hyperactive students have been conducive for learning and have resulted in modified maladaptive behavior. In addition, available research included studies of the positive effect on hyperactivity of drugs, diet, operant conditioning, token exchanges, and the manipulation of other environmental factors. Pretest and posttest achievement data were collected on sixty randomly selected hyperactive elementary school pupils over a one-year period. The subjects were male and had been in the school district for three years including kindergarten, first, and second grades. Thirty of the students had been in open-space classrooms for all three years and thirty of the students had been in self-contained classrooms for all three years. Half of the students in each group were designated as hyperactive by medical doctors and the rest of each group were each designated as hyperactive by the independent judgment of at least three educators. An analysis of variance research design was used to analyze the independent and interactive effects that the type of classroom structure, intelligence, and a combination of classroom structure and intelligence, had on the cognitive achievement gains of the subjects in word meaning, word skill, paragraph meaning, spelling, and arithmetic. The Stanford Achievement Tests were used to measure achievement and the Otis-Lennon Mental Abilities Test measured the intelligence quotients. The findings of this study suggest: (1) the empirical evidence for two variables and the raw scores for the other three variables favor the open-space classrooms for the cognitive gain of hyperactive students when they are compared with their counterparts in self-contained classrooms. (2) hyperactive male pupils learn less than other male students from.the same classrooms, (3) hyperactive male pupils are below grade level and show a trend of regression, (4) hyperactive male pupils with low intelligence or average intelligence have significantly higher mean achievement gain than do the hyperactive male pupils with high intelligence in one of the variables,and the raw scores for the other four variables show that the high intelligence group learns less than the other two groups, (5) the combination of intelligence and classroom structure has no significant interactive effect on the cognitive gain of hyperactive pupils. Caution should be used by administrators as they consider this study because the empirical evidence is not strong enough to justify the placement of hyperactive students in open-space classrooms. However, because the statistically significant differences and the raw scores favor the open-space classrooms, additional studies are recommended that consider other independent variables such as (1) the degree of individualization of instruction and (2) the pupil-teacher ratio within the two kinds of classroom structure.