Brode, Leland||Frerichs, Allan H.
M.S. (Master of Science)
Department of Secondary Professional Education
Do the academic achievement, attitude toward school and self-concept of low ability, underachieving students improve when they have participated in a program of study which builds on success and utilizes independent study? A group of eight high school sophomores participated in the study. This was not a random sample but a very carefully chosen group. These students, together with their parents, were interviewed by a guidance counselor of the school. There was not a basic characteristic that identified the students; however, they had several things in common. Their chronological age was one to two years above their academic placement and they scored in the lower 10 per cent on the achievement and aptitude tests upon entering high school. These students had not experienced academic success in either junior high school or in high school--as measured by their report cards and teachers' comments. The students selected to be in the class also had an inadequate self-concept, an inability to adjust socially and academically to the traditional classroom and a lack of motivation. These students were of lower ability and they were underachieving at their own level of ability. These students, however, could not be classified as having learning disabilities and needing special education. The class utilized various techniques of independent study. The students individually decided whether they would read books or magazines and which stories in the texts they would read. Sometimes they would make up their own questions and answer them, and sometimes they would write a composition on what they had read. This was up to them. If a student preferred to study grammar on a particular day, he was allowed to do so. The program did not culminate with any major project or research report. The students' academic performance was compared to their performance the previous year. The students' school attitudes and self-concepts at the beginning of the year were compared to their self-concepts and attitudes at the end of the year. Interviews were conducted by the writer during the year to determine if any observable change had taken place. There was no conclusive evidence that the self-concept, as measured by an Attitude Inventory, improves in a program which builds on success and utilizes independent study. The attitude of students toward school, as measured by an Attitude Inventory, improves in a program which builds on success and utilizes independent study. There was no conclusive evidence that the academic achievement in English, as measured by the Language Usage (Grammar) section of the Differential Aptitude Test, improves in a program which builds on success and utilizes independent study. The academic achievement in English, as measured by the Reading section of the Sequential Tests of Educational Progress, improves in a program which builds on success and utilizes independent study. The attitude and self concept, as determined by the interviews, improve in a program which builds on success and utilizes independent study.
Alex, David Irwin, "A study of a program of independent study for the low ability, underachieving high school student in English" (1970). Graduate Research Theses & Dissertations. 590.
v, 51 pages
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