Date of Award

8-1985

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Department

Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Dr. Frances Moroney Whited

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine if the quality of writing of third grade students instructed in a structured method of writing would vary from that of a similar group instructed in an unstructured method. The element of learning style that denoted a preference for structure or lack of preference for structure was considered to determine any significant relationship with writing achievement.

This study was conducted over a ten-week period with twenty-four third-grade students. Pre-treatment and post-treatment writing samples were collected. One group of students, (Group I) was instructed using a structured approach to writing. The other group (Group II) was instructed in an unstructured approach to writing. The element of the Learning Styles Inventory: Primary Version that pertained to structure was administered to all subjects.

Data comparing pre-treatment and post-treatment scores of Group I and Group II were analyzed using a dependent t test. Data comparing post-treatment scores of Group I and II were analyzed using an independent t test. Chi-square was used to determine any relationship between writing achievement and learning style.

The analysis of the data revealed that Group I, the group using the structured method, showed a significant gain from pre-treatment to post-treatment samples. There was no significant difference between pre-treatment and post-treatment samples of Group II, but there was some gain. There was no significant difference between the post-treatment scores of Group I and Group II. There was no significant relationship between writing scores and learning style for Group I or Group II.

Based on analysis of the data, the conclusion can be drawn that both groups improved using a process-based writing approach. The structured group demonstrated significant gains. Learning style did not seem to have any relationship to the writing achievement of this group of student over the ten-week treatment period.

Interest in the writing process and the inter-relatedness of learning style and writing achievement reveals numerous areas for further research. This supports awareness of learning styles and use of a process approach to writing in the classroom.

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