Newhook, Ross W. (1993) The psychometric versus the basic skills model of literacy and numeracy : competing or complementary approaches? Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.
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This study examines the relative and confounding effects of the psychometric and the basic skills models of achievement on literacy and numeracy. Specifically, it addresses six questions. First, how responsive are the psychometric and basic skills factors to changes in family environment? Secondly, does family environment affect basic skills achievement over and above the effects of the psychometric model? Thirdly, when controlling for the impact of the psychometric and basic skills measurement models on reading, does family background have any effect? Fourthly, does family background have effects on mathematics achievement over and above the effects of the psychometric and basic skills models? Fifthly, does the psychometric model have independent effects on literacy and numeracy over and above the effects of family background and basic skills? Finally, does the basic skills model have independent effects on literacy and numeracy over and above the effects of the family background and psychometric models? -- All data for this study were obtained from The Structure of Elementary School Achievement (SESA) Project. Only relevant information was used. These data have been collected from eight schools located in urban and rural areas of the province. Students completed standardized academic aptitude and achievement tests over a three year period. The parents also completed a questionnaire. -- Principal component analysis was conducted as an aid to describing the psychometric properties of the instrument. Path analysis was conducted using the results from a multiple regression analysis wherein the effects of each variable was examined in light of and individually from the other predictor variables. The alpha reliabilities and construct validities of the measures fell well within acceptable ranges. -- On the basis of the data analysis it was found that by themselves neither academic aptitude nor basic skills accounts for a comprehensive theory of literacy and numeracy. It was also found that while the direct effects of socioeconomic status on achievement was negligible, the indirect effect via academic aptitude and basic skills, was quite powerful. In other words, children from advantaged homes tend to achieve at a higher level than individuals from less privileged backgrounds. Results further show that a family's socioeconomic status does affect basic skills achievement beyond the effects of academic aptitude and socioeconomic status governs academic aptitude and basic skills which, in turn, affects both literacy and numeracy. Also, the direct effect of the psychometric model on math, when controlling for socioeconomic status and basic skills, is powerful. Similar results have been found for reading. A final result of the data analysis shows that the direct effect of basic skills on math and reading, when controlling for socioeconomic status and academic aptitude, is powerful. -- It would appear that while the basic skills an individual acquires as a result of schooling are quite powerful, they are in fact governed to a great extent by one's academic potential. Also, there appears to be a great deal that schools can do to compensate for a deprived socioeconomic background. There is little doubt that the psychometric and basic skills models are certainly complementary. To develop an accurate profile of an individual's learning style, it is necessary to take all three of socioeconomic status, academic potential and basic skills factors into account.
|Item Type:||Thesis (Masters)|
|Additional Information:||Bibliography: leaves 143-153.|
|Department(s):||Education, Faculty of|
|Library of Congress Subject Heading:||Literacy--Psychological aspects; Numeracy--Psychological aspects; Psychometrics|
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