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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A study of relationships among instructional style (open vs. non-open), architectural design (open space vs. non-open space) and measures of self concept and reading and mathematics achievement of third grade children Lukasevich, Ann


The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between instructional style, architectural design, and selected cognitive and affective outcomes of third grade children. A total of 321 subjects who had been taught for two or more years in either self-contained classrooms or open space classrooms in an instructional program which could be classified by the DISC teacher questionnaire as open or nonopen were examined in this study. This classification of subjects according to program and facility, resulted in four sub-groupings allowing a 2X2 design to be utilized to investigate main effects and interaction of program and facility on measures of achievement and self-concept. The measures of achievement used were four subtests of the Canadian Tests of Basic Skills, and the measures of self-concept used were nine subtests of the Sears Self-Concept Inventory. In addition, the interaction of these same school factors and the three individual difference variables - intelligence, socio-economic status, and sex -on these same measures was studied. In order to adjust for possible pre-existing differences among the subjects, the same three individual difference variables were used as covariates in the data analysis. Scores for the Canadian Cognitive Abilities Test were used as the measure of intelligence, and scores for Blishen's Socio-Economic Index were used as the measure of socio-economic status. Thirteen separate stepwise regression analyses were performed to test for significant differences between program and facility groups, and their interaction with each other and with sources of individual differences. A total of seven null hypotheses were tested, two pertaining to main effects, and five pertaining to interaction. The results of the analyses revealed significant differences at the .05 level between the groups being studied in the case of five of the thirteen variables studied. In summary, these findings showed the following results: 1 . That type of facility and type of program appeared to be unrelated to most of the cognitive outcomes examined. However, test results did show that children taught in open space classrooms had a significantly more favourable self-concept in relation to School Subjects, and that children taught by traditional programs achieved significantly better in Reading Comprehension. 2. That children scored significantly higher in Mathematics Concepts when taught in self-contained classrooms by traditional teaching methods. 3. That for the variables, Convergent Mental Ability and Social Virtues, open programs produced significantly better scores than traditional programs given self-contained classrooms, whereas nonopen programs produced significantly better scores than open programs given open space classrooms. Based upon the empirical evidence of this study, and limited by the restrictions of the design and the procedures, the following educational implications are suggested: 1. Higher achievement in Reading Comprehension may be gained when reading is taught by a conventional style in either self-contained classrooms or open space classrooms. 2. Higher achievement in Mathematics Concepts may be gained when mathematics is taught by a conventional style in self-contained classrooms. 3. Pupil self-concept in relation to School Subjects may be enhanced when children are taught in open space classrooms rather than self-contained classrooms. 4. Better Convergent Mental Ability and better Social Virtues may be enhanced when children are taught by an open style rather than a traditional style given self-contained classrooms, and when children are taught by a traditional style rather than an open style given open space classrooms.

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