A Comparative Study Of The Effects Of Learning Style Prescriptions And/Or Modality-Based Instruction On The Spelling Achievement Of Fifth-Grade Students

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Turner, Nancy D'Isa
Spelling; Learning Style; Instruction; Students; Fifth-Grade; Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research; Educational Methods
thesis / dissertation description
ProblemLearning style has been studied extensively across the United States since the early 1970s. Much research has involved Rita and Kenneth Dunns' model and associated Learning Style Inventory. In 1991, Robert Zenhausern developed the Homework Disc software program which correlates with the Dunns' work and yields learning style prescriptions for students. The use of these study strategies at the elementary level has not been broadly examined. Therefore, this study investigated the effects of prescriptions on spelling achievement of fifth-grade students.MethodA total of 65 students (33 males, 32 females) in three intact groups participated in this study. The Control Group received instruction and studied in a traditional manner, an Instructional Group received modality-based instruction determined by preferences on the Learning Stvle Inventory. and an Individualized Group received similar instruction and independently applied prescription information. Four null hypotheses were formulated. The first three dealt with differences between pre- and posttests of the three groups and were analyzed using repeated measures analysis of variance and a priori tests. The final hypothesis concerned differences among adjusted posttest means of the three groups and was tested by both 3-way and 1-way analysis of covariance. Newman-Keuls tests were additionally done to identify the location of identified differences.Results1. Modality-based instruction alone did not significantly increase spelling achievement. 2. Spelling achievement was significantly increased (p < .05) when students independently applied learning style prescription information to completion of homework in addition to receiving modality-based instruction in the classroom.ConclusionsLearning style, experience, and personality are intricately connected, making complete individualization in the classroom nearly impossible. Therefore, students should be taught how to capitalize on their own preferences in order to increase learning.