Advisor(s) - Committee Chair
D.L. Redfield, C.R. Martray, L. Alexander
Department of Psychology
Master of Arts
The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships between specific cognitive variables and classroom achievement among a gifted population. The participants included 389 students in grades five eight enrolled in the Gifted and Talented Education program in a Southcentral Kentucky School district. An experimenter-developed teacher rating scale was used to document classroom achievement, the criterion variable. The predictor variables were (a) locus of control, as measured by the Intellectual Achievement Responsibility Scale; (b) the ability to clearly express thoughts and the elaboration, fluency, flexibility, originally, and organization of those thoughts, as measured by the Prose Quantification System; (c) knowledge of reading, mathematics, and language art, as measured by the Comprehensive Tests of Basic Skills; and (d) academic aptitude, as measured by the Test of Cognitive Skills. The first hypothesis stated that these cognitive variables were related to classroom achievement among the gifted. The second hypothesis stated that these relationships would rank from strongest to weakest in the following order: (a) knowledge of reading, mathematics, and language arts; (b) locus of control; (c) the ability to clearly express thoughts and the elaboration, fluency, flexibility, originality, and organization of those thoughts: and 9d0 academic aptitude. Stepwise Multiple Regression procedures identified knowledge of mathematics as the single best predictor model of classroom achievement (r=.29, p<.001). Zero Order Correlation coefficients were computed and indicated that the following variables were significantly related to classroom achievement: (a) knowledge of reading (r=.15, p<.05); (b) knowledge of mathematics (r=.23, p< .05). According to the Zero Order Correlation coefficients the first hypothesis was only supported in part. The lack of significant relationships may have been due to (a) limitations of the instruments used; (b) the questionable validity of teacher-assigned grades used to measure classroom achievement 9c0 nonlinear bivariate distributions of the data; 9d0 the restriction in range evidenced by classroom achievement, PQS scores, and TCS scores. The second hypothesis was also only supported in part. As predicted the strongest relationship was between classroom achievement and knowledge of reading (r=.15, p<.05). The next strongest relationship was between academic aptitude and classroom achievement (r=.10, p> .05). Which was predicted to be ranked last. The weakest relationships were between locus of control and classroom achievement (r=.07. p> .05): and the ability to express thoughts and the elaboration, fluency, flexibility, originality, and organization of those thoughts and classroom achievement (r=.07, p>.05). The failure of the last three variables to be ranked in the predicted order was likely due to chance factors, since all of these relationships were nonsignificant. It was recommended that future research (a) utilize instruments that were standardized and commonly used with the gifted; (b) increase the variability of the scores of the cognitive measures and classroom grades by using more grade levels and identified achievers and underachievers; (c) examine the validity of teacher-assigned grades; and (d) explore in depth the relationship between academic aptitude and classroom achievement to develop more reliable and valid predictors of giftedness and classroom achievement.
Child Psychology | Education | Psychology
Coty-Kieta, Sharon R., "A Study of Cognitive Variables Associated with Achievement Among a Gifted Population" (1986). Masters Theses & Specialist Projects. Paper 1722.