Date of Award

1987

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

School

School of Education

Program

Higher Education Administration EdD

First Advisor

Bernard M. Lall

Second Advisor

Samuel T. Harris

Third Advisor

Frederick Kosinski

Abstract

Problem. A Nation at Risk reported that the average achievement score of high-school students on most standardized tests is lower now than it was a quarter of a century ago, and the majority of the brightest students fail to achieve according to their ability. A salient problem in educating pupils is that of attaining reading comprehension achievement scores comparable to their intellectual potential. This study examines the effects of administrator implemented homogeneous and heterogeneous grouping on the reading achievement of selected sixth-grade students.

Method. This was a quasi-experimental study using parametric techniques. The tests for hypotheses were analysis of variance, analysis of covariance, and multiple linear regression. This study compares the reading comprehension achievement of an experimental group and a control group. It also compares the interaction of gender as a factor in reading achievement due to instructional grouping techniques. There were 113 sixth-grade students in the experimental group and 59 students in the control group.

Results. Nine hypotheses were tested for three reading group levels: (1) high ability, (2) average ability, and (3) low ability. Reading achievement was not affected to a statistically significant degree at alpha = .05 by either instructional approach--homogeneous or heterogeneous--regardless of reading group ability level. Hypotheses applicable to both high-ability and average-ability students exposed to homogeneous instruction found no significant differences related to gender. However, low-ability female students scored significantly higher than low-ability male students. Hypotheses applicable to both high-ability and low-ability students exposed to heterogeneous instruction found no significant differences related to gender. However, average-ability male students scored significantly better than average-ability female students.

Conclusions. Academic performance, as measured by sixth-grade reading scores, was not affected to a statistically significant degree by the instructional approach--homogeneous or heterogeneous--regardless of reading group ability level. Although there was a degree of inconsistency in regard to gender, average-ability male students tended to perform better in reading classes when exposed to heterogeneous instruction and low-ability female students tended to perform better in reading classes when exposed to homogeneous instruction.

Subject Area

Reading (Elementary), Reading--Ability testing.

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