Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Miller, Elwyn R. (Professor of education)

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Education


Ability grouping in education


The primary purpose of the study was to examine the null hypothesis that ability grouping, as practiced in the fifth grade of the Lena-Winslow Schools, did not significantly improve the academic achievement of the pupils as measured by standardized tests. After several years of ability grouping in the Lena School, it seemed desirable to determine if ability grouped pupils were actually achieving better than non-ability grouped pupils. The fifth grade pupils in the Winslow School who were non-ability grouped served as the control group. The pupils in the experimental group were chosen from the ability grouped fifth grade pupils in the Lena School. The pupils involved in this study were pre- and post- tested. From One of the Iowa Test of Basic Skills achievement test was administered at the beginning of the school year. From Two of the same test was administered at the end of the school year. To assess intellectual aptitude, test scores made by the pupils in the research sample on the California Short-Form Test of Mental Maturity were used. The intelligence quotient and the pre-test score of each of the twenty-two pupils in the control group were matched as nearly as possible with the intelligence quotient and pretest score of a pupil in the experimental groups. Thus, twenty-two matched pairs were formed. On the basis of the matching, a measure of control of individual differences was achieved. The means of the post-test scores of the control and the experimental groups were determined. The significance of the difference between these two means was determined by the use of the t-test. The computation of t_revealed a value of .494. When applied to the table of t_with twenty-one degrees of freedom, this value was smaller than that demanded for significance at the .05 level of confidence. Thus, the null hypothesis that ability grouping of fifth grade pupils in the Lena-Winslow Schools did not result in greater academic achievement cannot be rejected. The primary purpose of grouping pupils in the Lena School according to ability was to improve academic achievement. The study revealed that the improvement was not statistically significant. As a result, a new method of grouping was planned for next year.


Includes bibliographical references.


vi, 59 pages




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