MODIFICATION OF PERCEPTUAL DISCRIMINATION STRATEGIES IN SLOW-INACCURATE SECOND GRADERS
Purpose. This study utilized two perceptual search strategies in an attempt to improve the MFFT performance of slow-inaccurate second graders. These children exhibit long reaction times yet commit many errors when solving problems with a high degree of uncertainty. The paired variants strategy involves successive comparisons of variant pairs until a discrepancy is noted, followed by checking the part in question with the standard. The serial analysis strategy involves comparing a single component part across the six variants and checking with the standard. Both procedures aid in discerning the duplicate on the MFFT. Method. From a pool of 296 second graders attending three elementary schools in a northeastern suburban school district, 100 were randomly selected for the development of local MFFT norms. This standardization process yielded the median MFFT parameters of nine for the total error score and 15 seconds for the mean reaction time score, based upon an 8-item MFFT. The final sample consisted of 61 slow-inaccurates who scored at least 10 errors and averaged over 15 seconds per MFFT item. The 61 subjects were randomly assigned to one of four conditions. These conditions were the paired variants and the serial analysis treatment groups and two control groups. The exposure control group received the training materials but no specific instructional strategies. The pre-posttest control group received the assessments. The two treatment groups and the exposure control group met twice weekly for 20-minute sessions over a four-week period. An initial MFFT posttest and a Gilmore Oral Reading posttest were administered one day after treatment. A month later, a delayed MFFT posttest was administered. Results. A main effect for time of testing on the MFFT error score variable was obtained across the four conditions. The 61 subjects exhibited significantly fewer mean errors on the initial and on the delayed posttests in comparison with the mean pretest error score. However, there were no significant differences between the means of the four experimental conditions on the initial and delayed posttests for either MFFT error score or MFFT reaction time score. Given the small sample size, a chi square was computed. A cutoff of five total errors was used, as it represents the average total MFFT error score for the 31 reflectives who comprised the slow-accurate quadrant in the norming procedures. The chi-square analysis revealed that whereas 12 of the 16 slow-inaccurates assigned to the paired variants condition achieved a total error score of five or less, 4, 6, and 3 subjects in the serial analysis, exposure control, and pre-posttest control groups, respectively, attained five errors or less. The paired variants procedure appeared to have helped more subjects achieve an error score within the functioning range of an average reflective for this school district. This statistically significant chi-square finding did not persist on the delayed posttest. The training strategies exhibited no significant effect on the Gilmore grade level accuracy and comprehension variables. Conclusions. The paired variants technique appeared to benefit a relatively greater number of subjects than did the other three experimental conditions on the initial posttest in terms of achieving five or fewer total MFFT errors, a core obtained by the average slow-accurate in the school district studied. A longer experimental intervention might have demonstrated a more long-term usefulness of training. The scanning strategies did not improve the Gilmore reading level scores. It appeared that only the MFFT reaction time variable measured the stable, underlying response disposition of conceptual tempo. The MFFT error score variable, however, was more malleable and appeared to reflect the effect of practice in that the children's scores improved over time, even without training in visual scanning.
SCHWARTZ, SANFORD ALAN, "MODIFICATION OF PERCEPTUAL DISCRIMINATION STRATEGIES IN SLOW-INACCURATE SECOND GRADERS" (1980). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8021005.