A comparison of the effects of a program of selected perceptual development activities and a supplementary reading program on reading achievement

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1973

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Abstract

The problem of this study was to compare the effects of a perceptual development program and a supplementary reading program on reading achievement. Specifically, it sought to determine if a perceptual development program would contribute more to improvement in reading than a supplementary reading program. A sub problem was to determine if a perceptual development program was more beneficial for below grade level readers than for above grade level readers. The subjects were fifty-four second grade students at Stewart Elementary School in Hitchcock, Texas. There were twenty-seven below grade level readers and twenty-seven above grade level readers. For the purpose of this study, below grade level readers were defined as those who scored one month or more below their actual grade level on the reading section of the California Achievement Test Above grade level readers were those who scored one month or more above their actual grade level. The subjects were randomly assigned to eitherthe perceptual development group, supplementary reading group or control group. The control group engaged in gross motor activities to control for the Hawthorne effect. The perceptual development program consisted of six activities—suspended ball, balance beam, bean bags, chalkboard activities, basic body movements, and peg board. The supplementary reading program was the Science Research Associates Reading Laboratory Ia. The control group did calisthenics, played games, ran relay races, and performed on the overhead ladder and parallel bars. The experimental conditions lasted six weeks. The criterion measure was raw scores on the reading section of the California Achievement Test. Forms X and W were alternately administered as a pre test, a post test at the completion of the experiment, and a post test five weeks after the completion of the experiment. The data were analyzed by a three factor mixed design with repeated measures on one factor. This made possible a test for differences on the main effects of methods of instruction, ability levels, and trials. All interactions of the main effects were also tested. The methods of instruction were perceptual development program, supplementary reading program, and control. The ability levels were above grade level readers and below grade level readers. The trials were a pre test, a post test at the end of the experiment, and a post test five weeks after termination of the program. The analysis of variance yielded the following statistical findings: 1. The F ratio for methods of instruction revealed that the mean differences between methods of instruction were not significant. 2. The F ratio for ability levels revealed that the mean difference between ability levels was significant. 3. The F ratio for trials indicated that the mean differences between trials were significant. 4. The F ratio for the interaction of methods of instruction and ability levels was not significant. 5. The F ratio for the interaction of methods of instruction and trials was not significant. 6. The F ratio.for the interaction of ability levels and trials was not significant. 7. The F ratio for the interaction of methods of instruction by ability level by trials was not significant. Within the limits of this study the following conclusions seemed warranted: 1. Neither the perceptual development program nor the supplementary reading program was more effective than engaging in gross motor activities as remedial programs for the improvement of reading achievement. 2. The reading achievement level has no bearing on the effectiveness of a perceptual development program or a supplementary reading program. 3. It is concluded that no long range effects occur as a result of a perceptual development program or a supplementary reading program.

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