The Effect Of Prekindergarten Experiences On The Intellectual And Academic Performance Of Culturally Deprived Children
Huff, Ronald Overt
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The problem. The purpose of the study was to examine the effect of a formal prekinderqarten education proqram on culturally deprived children. Retention of intellectual qrowth due to prekindergarten treatment was examined. The specific aspects of reading readiness, reading and mathematics achievement, measured intelligence, visual motor skills, language usage, and concept formation among the different groups of children were also investigated. Procedure. Subjects were identified for the study by meeting specific eligibility criteria of the regulations as set down by Title I, Elementary and Secondary Education Act legislation and who resided in a midwestern school system during the period beginning with the school year 1973-74 and ending with the school year 1975-76. The first project year included an experimental school-based group. Change in measured intelligence was determined for this group by comparing scores taken at the time of beginning one year's participation in the project and at the end of grade one. During the second project year, a comparison between an experimental school-based group and a control group was made regarding reading and mathematics achievement change and status in reading readiness. During the third project year, comparisons were made between an experimental school-based group, an experimental home-based group, and a control group regarding differences in measured intelligence, visual motor skills, language usage, and concept formation. Findings. For the experimental group from the first project year, the analysis indicated no change regarding measured intelligence. In the second project year, the analysis indicated no significant difference between the experimental and control groups regarding changes in reading or mathematics achievement, or in reading readiness status. For the third project year, a comparison between the two experimental groups and the control group indicated the following (p < .05): the performance of the school-based group surpassed that of the control group in measured intelligence; there was no significant differences among the three groups regarding a comparison of visual motor skills; the performance of the school-based group surpassed that of the home-based group and the control group regarding language usage; and the performance of the school-based group surpassed that of the home-based group regarding concept formation. Conclusions. The findings indicated the following conclusions: (1) Children who attend a school-based prekindergarten educational program benefit more in measured intelligence and language usage, but not in visual motor skills, over children who do not participate in any prekindergarten educational program; (2) Children who attend a school-based prekindergarten educational program benefit more in language usage and concept formation, but not in measured intelligence or visual motor skills, than do children who participate in a home-based prekindergarten educational program; (3) Children who attend a prekindergarten educational program do not show significantly greater growth in reading or mathematics achievement, nor in reading readiness status than children who do not participate in any prekindergarten educational program by the time they reach the end of their kindergarten year; (4) Children who attend a prekindergarten program do not show a change in measured intelligence from the beginning of the prekindergarten year to the end of the first grade. Recommendations. Recommendations included: (1) If a school district is considering the implementation of a prekindergarten program, it would appear that the school-based approach is the most effective; (2) All school districts should utilize an evaluation procedure similar to that used in this study in appraising prekindergarten programs; (3) Future studies should consider the measurement of human characteristics other than those of the cognitive area.
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