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An evaluative study: Teaching three and four-year olds in a structured education program

Anderson, B. E.
This study examined the effectiveness of DISTAR Reading, Language, and Arithmetic on the academic achievement of three- and four- and five-year olds. During the first year of the study, 120 students participated. Eighty seven students remained at the conclusion of the second year. Eighty three five-year old kindergarten students from the local elementary school were added to the experimental group during the second year. A control group of 63 five-year old students with similar socio-economic status as the experimental group were randomly selected from local kindergartens for the second year of the study. Students in the control group received instruction developed by their teachers. All students were administered the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test, the Murphy Durrell Reading Readiness Analysis, and the Wide Range Achievement Test for pre- and post-test measures. Results indicate that five-year old students in the DI group demonstrated a significant increase in their mean IQ after one year. There was no significant increase for three- and four-year old students in the DI group or five-year old students in the control group. After two years in the program there was a significant increase in IQ for DI students who started the program as three- or four-year olds. Five-year old students in the DI group scored significantly better in reading than five-year old students in the control group. Three- and four-year old students in the DI group who received two years of instruction, scored significantly higher in spelling and reading than the five-year old students in the control group. Four-year old students in the DI group scored significantly higher in arithmetic than five-year old students in the control group. (Copyright © 2011, National Institute for Direct Instruction (NIFDI). All rights reserved).
Research areas:
Main publication type:
Program Effectiveness
DISTAR Reading; DISTAR Language; DISTAR Arithmetic; Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test; Murphy Durrell Reading Readiness Analysis; Wide Range Achievement Test
Unpublished Master of Science thesis: University of Utah
Design type:
Pretest posttest control group design
Fidelity monitored:
Students included:
Preschool students, kindergarten students
Salt Lake County, Utah, preschool, elementary school

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