The Effects of Mobility on Fourth Grade Students' Achievement, Attendance, and Behavior
Holmberg, Sally J. Liechty
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The problem. Mobility causes a substantial disruption in the lives of students and families. The consequences of relocation can be enduring. It seems important for school personnel to ascertain the extent of the problems caused by frequent transfer. Planning appropriate educational programming and meeting the needs of mobile students is of utmost importance. This exploratory study was designed to examine student mobility as it relates to achievement in mathematics and reading, attendance, and classroom behavior of fourth-grade students in a medium-sized Midwest urban school district. Procedures. Data for the study were collected from a medium-sized urban school district. The cumulative records of fourth-grade students in eight identified elementary schools in the district and a teacher survey were utilized to gain information. Fourth-grade reading and mathematics report card grades were recorded as well as Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (I.T.B.S.) percentile rankings in reading and mathematics. Attendance information was also obtained from the student's permanent record. Teachers completed a behavior checklist called the Teacher's Report Form to indicate the adaptive functioning of a student in a classroom setting. Findinqs. Pearson-product moment correlations and stepwise multiple regression analyses were utilized in deternining the results in the study. Significant relationships were found between mobility and achievement and behavior. No significant relationship was found between mobility and attendance. Behavior and I.T.B.S. reading scores explained about 10% of tile variance when a stepwise multiple regression analysis was completed. Conclusions. The study indicates that there are two important things to consider. The first is to minimize the negative impact created by mobility on achievement, especially in reading. Second, help the new student learn to adjust to new school settings, new teachers and peers. Schools must take a proactive approach to the impact of mobility when the child enters the classroom door. Recommendations. Consideration must be given to improving assessment methods to ensure proper placement of the mobile student when they arrive in a new school setting. Staff development programs should include enhancing classroom strategies that will assist the mobile students. Strong counselor support and peer support groups for mobile students should be provided.
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