Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)

Program

Educational Leadership

Date of Award

May 1983

Abstract

The purpose of the study was to (1) compare the performance on left and right hemisphere processing tasks of male and female kindergarten students from three instructional approaches, and (2) to determine the effectiveness of an educational application: the use of "hands-on" inquiry-oriented science activities designed to engage the right hemisphere in improving left and right hemisphere processing. Subjects included 79 students enrolled in intact kindergarten classes representative of three instructional approaches: (1) the Traditional-Conventional Instructional Approach, (2) the Montessori Approach, and (3) the Open Activity-Centered Instructional Approach. The students were randomly assigned for treatment to experimental and control groups. To the experimental group student teachers presented lessons developed from the Curriculum Guide accompanying Lavatelli's American Science and Engineering Program Kit. The control group participated in regular classroom lessons. The students were pretested and posttested on the same instruments. Two subtests were indicative of left brain hemisphere processing: the SRA Primary Mental Abilities Verbal Meaning subtest and the WISC-R Digit Span subtest. Two subtests were indicative of right brain hemisphere processing: the SRA Primary Mental Abilities Spatial Relations subtest and the WISC-R Block Design subtest. The following conclusions were drawn from the findings: (1) Although there was no statistically significant difference, females from all three instructional approaches scored consistently higher on left hemisphere tasks than males from those same instructional approaches. (2) Despite a lack of statistically significant differences, males from all three instructional approaches scored consistently higher on right hemisphere tasks than females from those same instructional approaches. (3) Although the only significant difference was found in the Montessori class, experimental groups from all three instructional approaches scored consistently higher on right brain hemisphere tasks than the control groups from those same instructional approaches. (4) The students in the Montessori class scored significantly higher on the right brain posttest scores than the students in either the Open Activity-Centered approach or the Traditional-Conventional approach.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

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