Learning style preferences of achieving and underachieving 8th grade students.
Learning style preference is defined using the nine learning style dimensions identified by Linda Smith in her Learning Styles Inventory. Those nine are: projects, drill and recitation, peer teaching, discussion, teaching games, independent study, programmed instruction, lecture, and simulation.
In this causal-comparative study, 12 underachieving 8th grade students were selected as a defined group. They were classified as underachieving based on Stanford Achievement Test total battery scores at or above the 80th percentile and an overall GPA of 2.5 or below during the previous grading term.
Twelve achieving 8th grade students were selected as a comparison group. They were classified as achieving based on an overall GPA at or above 3.5 and Stanford Achievement Test total battery percentile scores which were similar to the defined group's total battery percentile scores.
Both sample groups were given the Smith/Renzulli Learning Styles Inventory. Results were tabulated and a t-test was conducted on each of the nine learning style dimensions to determine if a significant difference in learning preference occurred between the two sample groups.
Finally, a t-test was used to analyze the attendance data of students in the defined and comparison groups.
Results of the study showed a significant difference (p <.05) between the defined and comparison groups on the teaching games and drill and recitation learning style dimensions with the comparison group preferring teaching games and drill and recitation significantly more than the defined group.
No significant difference (p <.05) was found between the school attendance rates of the defined and comparison groups.
Tadlock, M. (1990). Learning style preferences of achieving and underachieving 8th grade students. (Doctoral dissertation). Miami University.
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