Date of Award

1986

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Education

Program

Curriculum and Instruction PhD

First Advisor

Robert D. Moon, Jr.

Second Advisor

Robert J. Cruise

Third Advisor

Hans-Jorgen Holman

Abstract

Problem. Information was not found in the literature concerning whether an individual, beginning reader or problem reader, consistently recalled a greater percentage of nonsense words attempted from a card reader with the right ear and right visual field (a Left Hemisphere Method), or with the left ear and left visual field (a Right Hemisphere Method), and whether one of these two methods achieved better results than using both eyes and both ears (the Both Hemispheres Method).

Method. This pilot study employed case study/clinical, formative methodology with eighteen boys and nine girls, ages 6-12 in preschool through grade four. The probability theory, based on the binomial distribution, was used to analyze whether any child, in six sessions, consistently recalled more words with the Left or the Right Hemispheric Method, and thus inferred a hemispheric preference. A chi-square was used to analyze whether a significant difference existed between the problem readers who were classified by their schools as making adequate progress, with a trend toward one hemispheric method, versus problem readers classified as making poor progress.

Careful observations made during the testing sessions offered educational insights.

Results. Two out of twenty-seven children recalled more words with the Left Method in all six sessions and were found to have a significant preference. None consistently preferred the Right Method.

Of twenty problem readers older than six, ten showed no trend toward either the Left or Right Methods--they were the poor readers. The other ten, who were making adequate progress, showed a trend toward one method.

Conclusion. Readers older than six may need a trend toward the Left or Right Hemispheric Method in order to make adequate progress. If so, readers without a trend may need help to develop a lead hemisphere.

Selected Observations. Multiple testings showed considerable daily variation in some subjects. This variation suggests that one day of testing may not adequately measure the way a child learns.

Excellent readers, when confronted with words written in a symbol-alphabet, behaved like poor readers. However, they began developing a phonetic structure. Such behavior suggests all readers may need to acquire a phonetic system to read well.

Subject Area

Cerebral dominance, Reading--Ability testing

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