A comparative study on academic achievement gains of Paideia students versus students attending a traditional school setting

Loretta Kay Shepard, Tennessee State University

Abstract

The purpose of the study was to compare the academic achievement gains of students exposed to six years of a traditional school setting versus academic achievement gains of students exposed to three years of traditional school experiences and three years of the Paideia program with emphasis placed on critical thinking skills development.^ The samples were selected from two Nashville Davidson County Schools in Nashville, Tennessee. The sample receiving the traditional school experience was composed of thirty students who had attended Rosebank Elementary School for grades 1-6. The sample receiving the Paideia experience was composed of thirty students who had attended traditional schools for grades 1-3 and Buena Vista/Jones Paideia Magnet School for grades 4-6. The two groups were matched as closely as possible on four variables: sex, race, socio-economic levels, and one- or two-parent families.^ The instrument selected to measure the academic achievement gains was the Comprehensive Tests of Basic Skills (CTBS/4). The test provided scale scores which were particularly useful for measuring growth of the students from year to year for comparison purposes.^ A quasi-experimental, ex post facto design involving the use of a nonequivalent control group was used. The sample groups were pretested for baseline statistics, administered treatment, and posttested. The design controlled internal validity by controlling the main effects of history, maturation, testing, and instrumentation.^ The t test for dependent samples was used to compare the academic achievement gains made by the Paideia students from grade three to grade six. Likewise, the t test was used to compare the academic achievement gains made by the Traditional students from grade three to grade six. Then the t test for independent samples was used to compare the sixth grade achievement of the Paideia students versus the sixth grade achievement of the Traditional students. An ANOVA was computed to study interactions between sex, race, socio-economic levels, and treatment upon achievement gains.^ Paideia students scored higher on the third grade pretest and the sixth grade posttest than did the Traditional students. Both sample groups demonstrated significant achievement gains from the third grade to the sixth grade. Except in the area of math, the Traditional students had slightly higher gains. Both educational environments proved to be experiencing success in helping students to achieve academic gains. ^

Subject Area

Education, Elementary|Education, Curriculum and Instruction

Recommended Citation

Loretta Kay Shepard, "A comparative study on academic achievement gains of Paideia students versus students attending a traditional school setting" (1996). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI9801186.
http://digitalscholarship.tnstate.edu/dissertations/AAI9801186

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