Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award

December 1985


The purpose of the study was to determine the relationships among Piagetian levels of cognitive development, linguistic skills, and reading achievement in elementary pupils. The subjects were 212 pupils in grades K-3 at a school in Sullivan County, Tennessee. The subjects were administered conservation tests of number, quantity of matter, and length and linguistic tests of syllabication, synthesis of phonemes into words, and analysis of words into phonemes by the researcher. Scores on pre-reading skills from the reading subtests of the Metropolitan Readiness Tests and scores on meaning vocabulary, reading comprehension, and word study skills from the Stanford Achievement Test were used for reading variables. Significant correlation coefficients for the relationships among each pair of variables were moderate to high for the total group, for girls, and for boys. There tended to be high correlations of pairs of reading variables, pairs of linguistic variables, and pairs of cognitive variables. Pre-reading skills correlated well with all linguistic variables, conservation of number, and conservation of quantity of matter. The ANOVA and Newman-Keuls procedures were used to determine differences among levels. There were significant differences between each pair of age levels on reading variables for boys, for girls, and for the total group. For the linguistic variables, there were significant differences between the means of Level 1 (age 5 1/2 to 6 1/2) and Level 2 (age 6 1/2 to 7 1/2) for boys, for girls, and for the total group, but only 6 of 48 significant differences among Levels 2, 3 (age 7 1/2 to 8 1/2), and 4 (age 8 1/2 to 9 1/2). For the conservation variables, there was one significant difference between Level 3 and Level 4, but 28 of 36 significant differences among the other levels, showing much change below Level 4 on conservation skills. Girls performed significantly better than boys on reading comprehension, word study skills, and composite reading skills. Reading comprehension was significantly better for girls than for boys on Level 4. There were no significant differences on other reading subtests. There were no significant differences between boys and girls on linguistic and Piagetian tasks. The t-test was used to measure differences.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access