A comparison of multi -year instructional programs (looping) and regular education programs utilizing scale scores in reading

Gregory Waymon Patterson, Tennessee State University


The purpose of this study was to investigate the affect of the multi-year instructional concept on student achievement in reading. The study sought to examine and compare multi-year instructional programs (looping) with traditional, single-year classrooms. Data was collected using the norm-referenced section of the Terra Nova Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP) standardized achievement test in reading from the school years 1997–98 and 1998–99. The subjects were students in grades 1 through 4 enrolled in seven culturally diverse elementary schools in Metropolitan Nashville-Davidson County, Tennessee, public schools. The schools were randomly selected. Four null hypotheses were tested using analysis of variance (ANOVA) tests at the .05 level of statistical significance. The independent variables were classroom treatment, race, gender, and school year. The dependent variable was the total reading scale scores from the Terra Nova TCAP achievement test. Statistically significant differences in TCAP total reading achievement test scale scores between elementary students in looping classes and those in non-looping classes were not found. When hypotheses were tested based on gender and gender/race, statistically significant differences did not exist. All four null hypotheses were retained. Educational backgrounds and professional experience of teachers were examined to determine if those factors could have influenced the outcome of student reading achievement. Data analysis indicated no statistically significant differences between teachers of looping classrooms and teachers of traditional, single-year classrooms existed based on education, local teaching experience, or total experience in the profession. Research pertaining to multi-year instructional programs should continue. Further research could disclose techniques that promote increased student learning and achievement. Based on the findings of this study, it was recommended that future research include other geographic locations and school sites, academic subjects other than or in addition to reading, other achievement assessment instruments. Among other recommendations was the replication of this study employing genuinely random methods of student and teacher assignment to treatment groups to ensure heterogeneous sampling. However, random assignment of students and teachers to classrooms is infrequently achieved and beyond the control of the researcher.

Subject Area

School administration|Literacy|Reading instruction

Recommended Citation

Gregory Waymon Patterson, "A comparison of multi -year instructional programs (looping) and regular education programs utilizing scale scores in reading" (2000). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3007619.