Title

An Analysis of the Effects of a Preschool Program for Parental Involvement on Reading Readiness

Date of Award

5-1-1975

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Teaching & Learning

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a school district training parents to teach pre-reading skills to their four-year-old children through home-based learning activities. These activities were carried out through an experimental program in Independent School District 742 which has its central administrative offices in St. Cloud, Minnesota.

The method used to evaluate the effects of the experimental program was to test a sample of the experimental group and a control group upon matriculation to kindergarten in September, 1973, and at the end of the school year in May, 1974. The test used was the Screening Test of Academic Readiness (STAR) which was administered to fifty-seven experimental group children and 139 control group children. In addition, the Wisconsin Design R.ecord Form xjas used to test children in both groups in May, 1974, to assess the number of reading skills achieved. Analysis of co-variance was used to analyze differences in the STAR data and analysis of variance was used to analyze differences in the Wisconsin Design data. All data was tested for significance at alpha .05.

In addition to the above mentioned analysis, a questionnaire was sent to parents of all children who were in the two groups. The purpose of the questionnaire was to assess whether there were differences in the two groups of parents relating to their response to the education of and educational program for their children. Analysis of the questionnaire was done by determining frequencies, percentages, mean, and median responses for each item.

Analysis of the data \

The results of the STAR and Wisconsin Design testing were that:

1. Null hypothesis A-l which stated that there is no significant relationship between the independent variables of sex, socioeconomic status, first sibling, father involvement, length of time in the program, and their interactions and the test results on the Screening Test of Academic Readiness for the experimental group was not rejected.

2. Null hypothesis A-2 which stated that there is no significant relationship between the independent variables of sex, socioeconomic status, first sibling, father involvement, length of time in the program and their interactions and the number of reading skills achieved as shown on the Wisconsin Design Record Form was in part rejected and in part not rejected. There was a significant difference in reading skills achieved for sex (females scored higher at alpha .05) and for the interaction of sex and father involvement (father-involved males scored higher than non-father-involved males at alpha .05).

3. Null hypothesis B-l which stated that there is no significant relationship between the experimental and control group for the independent variables of sex, socioeconomic status, first sibling, and their interactions, and the test results on the Screening Test of Academic Readiness was not rejected.

4. Null hypothesis B-2 w*hich stated that there is no significant relationship between the experimental and control group for the independent variables of sex, socioeconomic status, first sibling, and their interactions and the reading skills achieved as shown on the Wisconsin Design Record Form was not rejected.

The results from the questionnaire were that:

1. There was very little difference in parental involvement for the two groups except that Parent-Teacher Association participation was greater for experimental group parents.

2. There was very little difference between the txjo groups studied in the amount and type of educational activities done in the home.

3. There was a difference between the two groups of parents in rating the school adjustment of their children (experimental group parents rated their children higher in school adjustment than control group parents rated their children).

4. There was very little difference between the two groups of parents in their support of schools.

The conclusions of the study were that:

1. There is no significant relationship between sex, socioeconomic status, first sibling, father involvement, length of time in the program, and the acquisition of pre-reading skills for the children in the experimental group as tested by the Screening Test of Academic Readiness and the Wisconsin Design Record Form. The only exception was that the involvement of fathers in the experimental preschool program was an aid to boys in the acquisition of skills as measured by the Wisconsin Design Record Form.

2. There is no significant relationship between the experimental and control group and the acquisition of pre-reading skills as measured by the Screening Test of Academic Readiness and the Wisconsin Design Record Form.

3. Experimental group parents did not become more involved in the kindergarten activities of their child than control group parents, nor did they spend more time with their kindergarten child in educationally related activities.

4. A greater percentage of experimental group parents perceived their kindergarten child as having a better school adjustment than control group parents judging their child's school adjustment.

5. Experimental group parents did not support the schools to any greater degree than parents who were not in the preschool program.

Recommendations of the study included:

1. Additional research on the sample studied 2. Lengthening the program until the children who participate complete grade one 3. Continuation of the program for a random sample of children and parents until the children complete grade six 4. A thorough needs assessment in the community 5. A greater coordination of research nationally

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