Ralph, Joseph Stewart (1971) Socioeconomic inputs versus school inputs related to grade six written language achievement in a rural area of Newfoundland. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.
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The present study was designed to discover which of socioeconomic factors or school input factors were more closely associated with written language achievement on the part of Grade Six students in a rural Newfoundland area. Complete data was secured and used for 361 boys and 323 girls. -- Two measures of language achievement were selected. They were, the Canadian Tests of Basic Skills Language subtests and a paragraph writing test. Ten hypotheses were set up and tested. -- The first hypothesis predicted sex differences in language achievement and that girls would achieve more highly than boys. This proved to be an acceptable hypothesis. Subsequent hypotheses were tested for boys and girls separately as well as for both groups combined. -- The second hypothesis predicted that higher verbal intelligence would be associated with higher pupil language scores. This proved to be an acceptable hypothesis. Subsequent hypotheses were tested with the effects of intelligence controlled by the statistical technique of partialing. The acceptance of the first two hypotheses determined the format for testing and reporting the remainder. That is, the remaining hypotheses were tested for boys and girls separately and with intelligence statistically controlled. -- Hypothesis 3 predicted that fathers' occupations would be positively associated with pupils' language achievement, and Hypothesis 4 predicted that mothers' education would be positively associated with pupils' language achievement. Both proved to be acceptable hypotheses for both sexes on both language measures until intelligence was partialled out. Then the significance disappeared. -- Hypothesis 5 predicted that children from larger families would do less well on each of the language measures than children from smaller families. This proved to be true for the sub-group of girls and the whole group on the language skills measure, but not on the paragraph writing measure. With the effects of intelligence removed the significance disappeared. -- Hypothesis 6 predicted that absenteeism would be negatively associated with pupils' language achievement, and Hypothesis 7 predicted that teachers' qualifications would be positively associated with pupils' language achievement. With the effects of intelligence removed, both hypotheses were rejected. -- Hypothesis 8 predicted that class size would be positively associated with pupils' language achievement. This hypothesis was rejected for the sub-group of boys but accepted for the girls. Even with intelligence partialled out, the association was statistically significant. -- Hypothesis 9 predicted that older school buildings would be associated with lower pupils' achievement in language. This hypothesis was rejected. However, it should be noted that the median age of the schools was only 13 years, and that only 24 per cent were over 20 years old. -- The major part of the study concentrated on Hypothesis 10 which predicted that the socioeconomic factors of the pupils environment would be more closely associated with language achievement than the school input factors. This hypothesis was tested and accepted. An overall conclusion, therefore, of the study is that socioeconomic factors of the pupil's environment cannot be ignored by school authorities if they are genuinely interested in preparing programs that will provide the best learning opportunities for all their pupils. The quality of the education is not measured only in terms of school buildings, smaller classes and higher teachers' qualifications. A far greater impact on language achievement was found to be made by a child's family and home background.
|Item Type:||Thesis (Masters)|
|Additional Information:||Bibliography: leaves -154.|
|Department(s):||Education, Faculty of|
|Geographic Location:||Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador--Trinity Bay Region|
|Library of Congress Subject Heading:||Written communication--Study and teaching (Elementary)--Newfoundland and Labrador; Students--Newfoundland and Labrador--Economic conditions; Students--Newfoundland and Labrador--Social conditions|
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