Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Center for the Advancement of Education


This report described a program for improving student achievement, as measured by the California Test of Basic Skills, and levels of self-esteem, as measured by the Piers-Harris Children’s Self-Concept Scale, in a middle school in a suburban/rural district of middle to upper middle class population. Analysis of problem symptoms revealed initial perceptual impairments, low levels of self-esteem relative to intellectual and school factors, and a consistent history of below grade level achievement levels. Contributing factors were also found to exist in familial structure and attendance and behavioral factors. The research project sought to improve student performance in these areas through the intensive use of cooperative learning strategies as a means of instruction. Student involvement in these activities took place both within Resource Room classes and in cross-grouped classes with mainstream students. The results of the project indicated that student achievement levels increased as measured by Total Battery scores on the 1990 CTBS. Additionally, student self-esteem levels as measured by the Intellectual and School Status Factor of the Piers-Harris Scale increased from February 1989 to May1990. Further, the research project contributed to the development of improved instructional skills by teachers involved in the project, and a number of Resource Room students were provided the opportunity to return to completely mainstreamed schedules.

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