Visual-motor perception of first grade children

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Swickard, Ruby Shelton
Lumpkin, Donavon D.
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Thesis (Ed. S.)
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The purposes of the study were to (1) determine the correlation of visual-motor performance (as measured by a visual-motor integration test and writing assessment) with achievement scores in reading skills and spelling, and (2) to examine the possible effectiveness of using paper-pencil motor training as a means of aiding the development of perceptual-motor, handwriting, and reading skills.At the beginning of the school year, 76 first grade children in four classes in one school were given the following tests: the-Beery and Buktenica Developmental Test of Visual-Motor Integration, Metropolitan Achievement Tests, Primer Level, "Part 1: Listening for Sounds," and "Part 2: Reading" (items 1-28), and a handwriting test. Near the end of the academic year, in May, the copying children were given the same tests with the addition of five items on the Reading subtest, and a spelling test taken from the vocabulary of the Ginn series, Reading 360 Performance scores were used for within-group correlations of the variables and for comparisons of class achievement.Two of the classes received no special instruction in visual-motor perception. One experimental class was instructed with the Frostig Developmental Program in, Visual Perception, Pictures and Patterns, which uses geometric forms or drawings of objects for practice in perception, while the other experimental class utilized a program specifically designed for this study which employs alphabet and word-forms presented with the same worksheet format.Analysis of the data indicated that the observed within-group correlation of pretest scores of visual-motor integration and writing was significant at .40 (above .23 necessary to be statistically significant from zero). Visual-motor performance correlated significantly with listening for sounds (.28), but not with reading (.14). Correlations of pretest writing and reading skills were significant, .57 with listening for sounds, and .48 with reading as measured by the Metropolitan tests.In contrast with pretest results, the within-group correlations of posttest scores for the variables showed a very low correlation of VMI with writing (.12), and a lower correlation of writing with reading skills (.28 for both Metropolitan subtests). Correlation of VMI and reading skills showed a minimal significant correlation of .23 with reading, and .31 with sounds which was higher than the relationship noted in pretest score correlations.Correlation of pretest scores with posttest results was suggested for possible predictive use. The correlation of pretest writing with posttest listening for sounds (.42), with reading (.58) and spelling (.58) indicated that this comparison might be worthy of consideration for further investigation.To determine the effectiveness of visual-motor training a comparison was made of the four treatment groups using the pretest and posttest scores of performance on the visual-motor, writing, listening for sounds, and reading tests. In order to establish that the pretest scores of the classes were not significantly different and that the classes were equivalent, a multivariate and univariate analysis of variance with treatment for sex differences was made. The results indicated that the four treatment groups were not significantly different on the variables tested except for one measure of writing which was therefore not included in. the posttest analysis.The null hypothesis that there is no statistically significant difference between the vectors of mean posttest scores of children receiving perceptual-motor training and those who did not was not rejected, (F4 68 = .5193; p (.72). It was also concluded that there was no statistically significant difference between the performances of the two experimental groups, (F4,68 = .6408, p < .63); there was no statistically significant difference in the scores of performance of the two comparison groups, (F4 68 = .88, p < .4779).Although development of visual-motor perception may be important as a componentof growth and learning, the results of this study do not show significant correlation with reading achievement in first grade. Significant differences were not disclosed in two different approaches to perceptual motor development, one employing geometric forms, and the other alphabet letter symbols.