Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


College of Psychology

First Advisor

Abraham S. Fischler

Second Advisor

Joseph Lipson

Third Advisor

Robert Jones


Four perceptual training programs were incorporated into an individualized kindergarten curriculum for disadvantaged children. One program stressed general auditory and visual perceptual skills, a second auditory skills specific to decoding, a third visual skills specific to decoding, and a fourth auditory and visual skills specific to decoding. Each of the four treatment groups were taught by the same teachers. Post-tests included IQ, auditory and visual measures of reading readiness, and two learning rate tests, the Murphy-Durrell learning rate test which uses a look-say instructional method, and a parallel learning rate test constructed by the investigator using a linguistic instructional approach. Although there was a significant difference between groups at the end of the treatment period, no group or groups outperformed the others on all post-test measures. The auditory visual specific skill group registered significantly greater gains than the other three groups on IQ, and scored significantly higher than the auditory group on visual but not auditory reading post-tests. There was no interaction effect between treatment group and IQ level, auditory perception level or visual perception level as measured by the pre-tests. The investigator hypothesized that groups trained in specific visual skills would outperform the others on the Murphy-Durrell Learning rate test, and that the groups trained in specific auditory skills would outperform the others on the Linguistic Learning rate test. This hypothesis was not supported. A trend in the direction of the hypothesis suggested that a longer training period may have produced more definitive results.

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