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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Parental involvement in an experimental reading program, grades 2-7 Giffin, Ray


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of parental involvement in the reading program at home, while controlling the effects of teacher instruction and curriculum content within the school reading program. A major difference between this study and others reviewed herein is that comparisons of reading gains were made within class groups for children who were involved in a home reading program and children who were not involved in a home reading program, thus controlIing teacher and school curriculum variables. The study addressed two questions: (1) Would children who regularly read to their parents at home and received coaching demonstrate better achievement on a standardized reading test than children who did not? (2) Can the relationship between intelligence and reading achievement be used to explain the gains in reading achievement which may be registered by children involved in a home reading program? Eight class groups representing grades two to seven and consisting of a total of 190 students were used in the research. The students in each class group were arranged in order of performance using pre-treatment scores from a Gates-MacGinitie Reading Test (1965). Then students in each class group were assigned to either the experimental (home reading) group or the control (non home reading) group, using a method of controlled alternate assignment. The Otis-Lennon Mental Ability Test (1967) was also administered, with parental permission, to the students in the eight class groups so that the results could be used as a covariate measure with post-treatment reading scores obtained from another administration of the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Test (1965). Pre-testing of reading ability was carried out in February of 1985. Students were assigned as described above to experimental or control groups and the Otis-Lennon Test of Mental Ability (1967) was administered in September of 1985. Experimental intervention began, with experimental group children reading to parents at home, in October of 1985 and continued until February of 1986. Control group children were involved in math and spelling tasks at home during this period. Post-testing of reading ability was carried out at the end of February 1986. Analyses of data followed. The experimental treatment had made a difference. This was indicated by the following observations: 1. Question one was answered by the fact that the difference in mean T-scores of the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Tests (1965) for the experimental and control groups was greater after the experimental treatment had been applied than before; 2.92 T-scale points difference after treatment compared to 1.27 T-scale points difference before treatment. 2. Question one was also addressed by the analysis of covariance which was conducted using Gates MacGinitie and Otis-Lennon test scores to answer question two of this research. An examination of tables 4 and 5 wl11 show that a significant difference existed between Gates-MacGinitie scores for the experimental and control groups on the post-test measure which had not existed between the groups on the pre-test measure . (P <0.05) 3. An analysis of covariance was conducted using Gates-MacGinitie and Otis-Lennon test scores. As expected there was a highly significant relationship between reading pre-test/post-test scores and Otis-Lennon scores. (Pearson's r = .6145) Question two was answered in the affirmative by the fact that when the effects of I.Q. were statistically controlled a significant difference existed between post-test experimental and control group reading scores (p < 0.05) which had not existed at the beginning of the study. The results of this study led to the conclusions that involving parents at home in listening to their children read and giving them support and encouragement does make a difference in the student's reading ability. This study supports the conclusion of similar earlier studies that I.Q. differences amongst subjects cannot explain differences in reading achievement gains that result from such a home reading program. Another important conclusion to be drawn from this study is that teacher and curriculum variables within the school cannot be used to explain differences in reading performance gains for experimental group subjects. The results of this study also generated some recommendations for parental involvement in reading programs and some suggestions for further research. Educators who are interested in the teaching of reading may wish to pursue these recommendations and suggestions further.

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