Fischler College of Education: Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2015

Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Abraham S. Fischler College of Education

Advisor

Sherry Burke

Committee Member

Elizabeth Brennan

Abstract

Many students have to perform well on achievement tests in order to pass grade levels and matriculate into higher levels of education. Previous research suggests that the increased pressure on student performance on achievement tests could have serious implications on students’ anxiety levels and self-efficacy. Students with learning disabilities may have difficulty performing well on tests, but they still have to take achievement tests. Relaxation techniques could have a positive effect on student achievement and lower test anxiety in students with learning disabilities.

Study participants included second- through fifth-grade students with learning disabilities and their teachers in a private school. Students in the experimental group learned relaxation techniques, and students in the control group listened to a book on tape. Both groups took achievement tests to determine if there were changes in the levels of test anxiety and achievement before and after the intervention. Students in the experimental and control groups gave their perceptions of what they learned after the intervention phase of the study. In addition, teachers completed a survey to determine whether they observed students in the control and experimental groups using the relaxation techniques in testing situations.

Results of the study suggested there were no significant differences between students’ levels of test anxiety and achievement. However, the researcher provided several recommendations for future research studies in this subject area.

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