PhD Thesis Abstract

PhD Thesis Abstract

International Journal of Educational Development 21 (2001) 569 PhD Thesis abstract Achievement effects of multigrad...

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International Journal of Educational Development 21 (2001) 569

PhD Thesis abstract

Achievement effects of multigrade and monograde schools in the Turks and Caicos Islands Chris Berry

The purpose of this study is to compare the way in which multigrade and monograde primary schools in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) raise student reading achievement. It is hypothesised that students in multigrade schools will make more reading progress than students in monograde schools. It is further hypothesised that the difference will remain after testing for the influence of student gender, student first language, and monograde school location. In order to test the hypotheses, an ex post facto, quasi-experimental design is used. Multigrade is treated as the experimental group and monograde as the comparison group. The data used in the study were obtained from a sample of students drawn from the population of government primary schools in TCI during the period 1993-1996. The proportion of successful students is compared in the experimental and comparison groups. A student is counted as successful if he/she makes a specified amount of progress between the pretest and posttest.

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The results are somewhat mixed. They show that low achieving students in multigrade schools are significantly more successful than low achieving students in monograde schools. However, high achievers in monograde schools have a significant advantage as they grow older. There is also a gender effect such that low achieving boys have a significant advantage in multigrade schools, and high achieving girls have a significant advantage in monograde schools. These results remain substantially unaltered when the variables of first language and school location are taken into account. It is concluded that the results can at least partly be explained by differences in the approach to instruction in the two types of school. In multigrade schools, students are exposed to greater amounts of heterogeneous groupwork, while in monograde schools, there is more direct instruction from the teacher. The implications of the results are discussed in the areas of policy, practice, and future research.