An Examination of the Effects of Classroom Structure on Third Graders' Reading and Mathematics Achievement

dc.contributor.advisorButcher, Keith A.
dc.contributor.advisorRangel, Virginia Snodgrass
dc.contributor.committeeMemberDavis, Bradley W.
dc.contributor.committeeMemberLong, Robert, III
dc.creatorOresanya, Lateef
dc.creator.orcid0000-0002-7766-7992
dc.date.accessioned2022-12-30T03:20:27Z
dc.date.available2022-12-30T03:20:27Z
dc.date.createdMay 2022
dc.date.issued2022-05-11
dc.date.updated2022-12-30T03:20:28Z
dc.description.abstractBackground: The struggle of school leaders to meet the established accountability standards is on the rise in the K-12 educational system. The challenge becomes compounded in Texas when students enter third grade and take the state standardized test for the first time. Elementary school teachers' demand to become specialized in content-specific subject areas has increased dramatically in response to accountability pressures. In improving student performance, the focus has been on other school elements, including classroom size, scheduling, novice teacher and teacher mentorship, professional training or development, and teacher certification. Researchers have conducted few empirical studies and less attention to classroom structures (e.g., traditional self-contained, departmentalized, or both) on learning and student achievement. Purpose: The study examined the effects of classroom structures on third-graders’ reading and mathematics student achievement using a causal-comparative (quantitative) design. This study provides an opportunity to examine the effects of the two classroom settings (combined and departmentalized classroom structures) on third graders' reading and mathematics achievement as measured by the 2019 State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) test and the 2019 district benchmark assessment. Research questions: (1) Is there a statistically significant difference in third-grade mean reading scale scores among schools that provided combined classroom settings versus those that provided departmentalized only classrooms? (2) Is there a statistically significant difference in third-grade mean mathematics scale scores among schools that provided combined classroom settings versus those that provided departmentalized only classrooms? Methodology: This was a non-experimental, quantitative, causal-comparative research design. The researcher conducted an independent samples t-test to compare the means of the two independent groups to determine whether there were statistical differences in their dependable variables: the 2019 STAAR and the district benchmark mean reading and mathematics scale scores. The researcher grouped the population into two, following the elementary school principal responses to the email request sent to identify the classroom setting (self-contained, departmentalized, or a combination of the two settings used for instructions in the 2018-2019 school year. The first group was the schools that provided a combined classroom (Group 1), and the second was the departmentalized only group (Group 2). Establishing the type of classroom structure for the students in each participating school is essential to assigning students to the two independent groups. Results: The study's group descriptive data showed that the third-grade reading and mathematics mean scores of the schools that provided the combined settings (group 1) were slightly higher than those that provided the departmentalized only setting (group 2) on the 2019 STAAR test and the Ren 360 district assessment. The two groups are independent and were measured using an independent samples t-test through the SPSS 28.0.0.0 version. The statistical analysis revealed that the combined setting students' higher mean scaled scores were not statistically significantly different (p>0.05) from the mean scaled scores of the departmentalized only students on both dependent variables. Also, the Cohen's d convention provides a more detailed perspective of the differences in effect sizes of the 2019 mean scores of the third graders' achievement in reading and mathematics between the two groups. A medium effect size of approximately 0.4 was the statistical outcome for the 2019 STAAR reading mean scores in favor of combined classroom setting over the departmentalized only setting. The 2019 Ren-360 reading, STAAR mathematics scores, and Ren-360 mathematics showed small effect sizes of 0.2, 0.3, and 0.3 respectively among schools that provided the combined settings and those that provided departmentalized only settings. Conclusion: There was no statistically significant differences in third-graders' reading and mathematics achievement among schools who provided combined classrooms and those that provided departmentalized only settings. However, the Cohen's d convention provides the magnitude of the differences in effect sizes of the 2019 mean scores of the third graders' achievement in reading and mathematics between the two groups that were not captured in the statistically significant outcome. For example, a medium effect size of the mean scores of the 2019 STAAR reading test gives the current research findings a more practical but limited significant application that favored the combined settings over the departmentalized only settings. Therefore, the combined group brings a unique perspective regarding the relevant of evidence-based data in determining the academic needs of young pupils entering the third grade, where state standardized testing begins. Therefore, it is suggested that collaboration between generalists and specialists may be beneficial for the students in fulfilling the instructional needs of those entering the third-grade level in reading or mathematics. Also, analyzing the academic data (e.g., the formative and summative assessments) of all students at the kindergarten, first, and second grades may help identify their educational needs, which may ultimately determine the type of classroom or organizational structure suitable for them in third grade. Findings such as students' exposure to different teaching factors in a combined setting and the possible effects on student achievement may provide additional perspectives or alternatives to the departmentalized structure. Therefore, the results of this quantitative study may provide additional guidance to instructional leaders preparing third-grade students for the rigor required to pass reading and mathematics state standardized tests.
dc.description.departmentEducational Leadership and Policy Studies, Department of
dc.format.digitalOriginborn digital
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.identifier.urihttps://hdl.handle.net/10657/13167
dc.language.isoeng
dc.rightsThe author of this work is the copyright owner. UH Libraries and the Texas Digital Library have their permission to store and provide access to this work. Further transmission, reproduction, or presentation of this work is prohibited except with permission of the author(s).
dc.subjectClassroom Structure
dc.subjectCombined Setting
dc.subjectDepartmentalized Setting
dc.subjectStudent achievement
dc.subjectIndependent Samples t-test
dc.titleAn Examination of the Effects of Classroom Structure on Third Graders' Reading and Mathematics Achievement
dc.type.dcmiText
dc.type.genreThesis
thesis.degree.collegeCollege of Education
thesis.degree.departmentEducational Leadership and Policy Studies, Department of
thesis.degree.disciplineHigher Education Leadership and Policy
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Houston
thesis.degree.levelDoctoral
thesis.degree.nameDoctor of Education

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