Group Title: relationship of program participation and parental teaching behavior
Title: The relationship of program participation and parental teaching behavior
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Title: The relationship of program participation and parental teaching behavior with children's standardized achievement measures in two program sites
Physical Description: viii, 81 leaves : ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Olmsted, Patricia Diann, 1940-
Publication Date: 1977
Copyright Date: 1977
 Subjects
Subject: Parent and child   ( lcsh )
Child rearing   ( lcsh )
Foundations of Education thesis Ph. D   ( lcsh )
Dissertations, Academic -- Foundations of Education -- UF   ( lcsh )
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Thesis: Thesis--University of Florida.
Bibliography: Bibliography: leaves 76-80.
Statement of Responsibility: by Patricia Diann Olmsted.
General Note: Typescript.
General Note: Vita.
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Bibliographic ID: UF00098104
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: alephbibnum - 000210053
oclc - 04168639
notis - AAX6872

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THE RELATIONSHIP OF PROGRAM PARTICIPATION AND PARENTAL
TEACHING BEHAVIOR WITH CHILDREN'S STANDARDIZED
ACHIEVEMENT MEASURES IN TWO PROGRAM SITES
















By

PATRICIA DIANN OLMSTED


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE COUNCIL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE
DEGREE OF DOCTOR CF PHILOSOPHY



UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

1977













ACKNOWLEDGMENTS


The author wishes to express her sincere gratitude to Dr. William

B. Ware for his scholarly assistance in the planning, development,and

writing of this work. His valuable assistance during all stages of

the project made possible its completion.

The author also wishes to express her appreciation to Dr. Ira J.

Gordon whose work in parent education launched this research study and

whose constant encouragement during the past few years has been invaluable.

Sincere thanks also go to Dr. Linda L. Lamme who assisted the

author in clarifying her thoughts and ideas regarding parent-child

reading.

Finally, special thanks are extended to the staff, parents, and

children in the two communities who participated in the study.




























ii












TABLE OF CONTENTS


ACKNOWLEDIGENTS ............

LIST OF TABLES . . . . . . . . . . . . .

ABSTRACT . . . . . . .

CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION ............
Statement of the Problem .. . . . .........

CHAPTER II


REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE ..
Parental Teaching Behavior and Child
Sorting Activities .. . ...
Puzzles . . . . . . .
Building Activities .. ....
Book Reading .....
Other Structured Activities
Summary . . . . . .
Parent Education Programs and Parent
The Florida Parent Education Program
The Present Problem ....

CHAPTER III

DESIGN AND PROCEDURES .. . .....
The Hypotheses .. . ......
Subset 1 ......
Subset 2
Subset 3 ......
The Design . . . . . . .
The Subjects ....
The Measures
The Procedure .....
The Collection of the Data
The Coding of the Videotapes
The Analysis of the Data .

CHAPTER IV


Performance .. ...







Teaching Behavior
. . . . . .


RESULTS . . . . . .
Descriptive Data .. ...
Desirable Teaching Behaviors
Reading Achievement ..
Mathematics Achievement .
Summary of Results .....


___












TABLE OF CONTENTS CONTINUED


CHAPTER V

DISCUSSION AND SUGGESTIONS FOR FUTURE RESEARCH ...
Discussion of the Findings ......
Suggestions for Future Research .. . ......
Conclusions . . . . . . . . . . .

APPENDIX A

Matching Faces Activity .......

APPENDIX B

Book Reading Activity .........

APPENDIX C

Coding Manual for Desirable Teaching Behaviors ...

REFERENCES ...........

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .. . . . ...........














LIST OF TABLES

TABLE PAGE

1 RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CHILD PERFORMANCE
AND PARENTAL TEACHING STYLE . . . ... .24

DESIRABLE TEACHING BEHAVIORS ......... 34

3 DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS OF THE FOUR
GROUPS OF SUBJECTS . . . . . .... .40

4 MEANS AND STANDARD DEVIATIONS OF MATERNAL
TEACHING TIMES (IN MINUTES) FOR THE MATCHING-
FACES ACTIVITY, THE BOOK-READING ACTIVITY,
AND THE TWO ACTIVITIES COMBINED . ... ..... 47

5 MEANS AND STANDARD DEVIATIONS OF NUMBERS OF
DTB'S AND ACHIEVEMENT SCORES FOR THE
FOUR GROUPS OF SUBJECTS . . . ..... .. .49

6 ANALYSIS OF DTB USAGE AS A FUNCTION OF
PROGRAM PARTICIPATION, SITE,AND THE
INTERACTION OF THE TWO VARIABLES . . .. .51

7 ANALYSIS OF READING ACHIEVEMENT SCORES AS
A FUNCTION OF PARENTAL DTB USAGE, PROGRAM
PARTICIPATION, SITE,AND THE INTERACTION-
BETWEEN PROGRAM PARTICIPATION AND SITE . .52

8 ANALYSIS OF MATHEMATICS ACHIEVEMENT SCORES
AS A FUNCTION OF PARENTAL DTB USAGE, PROGRAM
PARTICIPATION, SITE,AND THE INTERACTION
BETWEEN PROGRAM PARTICIPATION AND SITE . . 54














Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate Council
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of
the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy



THE RELATIONSHIP OF PROGRAM PARTICIPATION AND PARENTAL
TEACHING BEHAVIOR WITH CHILDREN'S STANDARDIZED
ACHIEVEMENT MEASURES IN TWO PROGRAM SITES


By

PATRICIA DIANN OLMSTED

August 1977

Chairman: William B. Ware
Major Department: Foundations of Education

A large number of parent education programs operating in the United

States have specified objectives for both parents and children. Although

the objectives for parents often include the improvement of parental

teaching skills, very few programs have included direct measurement

of these behaviors in their program assessment. In this study the teach-

ing behaviors of parents participating in the Florida Parent Education

Follow Through Program were directly assessed and compared to the

teaching behaviors of parents who had not participated in the program.

Also, the relationship between the use of the particular teaching

behaviors stressed by the program and child achievement behavior was

examined.

Follow Through (FT) and non-Follow Through (NFT) families in two

program sites served as subjects. In one community (A) all subjects

were white, while in the other community (B) all subjects were

black. All families in both communities were classified as low-income










according to federal guidelines. All children were currently in first

grade. For the FT sample only children who had also been in FT

kindergarten classrooms were considered while for the NFT sample no

family had ever been involved in a home visitation program. The sample

sizes for the four groups were A-FT = 34, A-NFT = 31, B-FT = 29,

B-NFT = 15.

The parent and child were videotaped locally in two interaction

situations: a matching-faces activity and a book-reading activity. In

the matching-faces activity the parent was asked to teach the child how

to find matching faces from an array of similar ones. In the book

reading activity the parent and child read a book together any way they

wished. Both interaction sessions were videotaped, and coding of the

frequency of use by the parent of each of the ten desirable teaching

behaviors (DTB's) stressed by the program was done at a later time. The

Stanford Achievement Test was administered locally and scores were pro-

vided for all children.

A 2 x 2 factorial design analysis of variance was used to examine

the teaching behaviors of FT and NFT parents from the two sites.

Because of unequal cell sizes the classical experimental approach was

used. The relationship between DTB use and child achievement (reading

and mathematics separately) was assessed with multiple regression

procedures also. Specific procedures to handle unequal cell sizes as

well as a combination of continuous and categorical variables were used.

RgardingDTB use, significant main effects were found for both

program participation and site. These results indicated that across

the two communities FT parents used significantly more DTB's than did










NFT parents. Also, the two groups of parents in community A used

significantly more DTB's than the two groups in community B.

Concerning the relationship between DTB use and child reading

achievement, the F value narrowly missed reaching statistical signifi-

cance. The result was still considered of practical significance since

factors such as the restricted population and primitive measurement were

present in this study. No significant relationship was found between

DTB use and child mathematics achievement. This was not surprising as

the DTB's are oriented toward language behavior.

The study demonstrated that a parent education program can

effectively modify the teaching behavior of parents, even when para-

professionals serve as home visitors. Site differences were also found

which illustrate the importance of considering site as a variable in

program assessment. The near significant relationship between use

of teaching behaviors stressed by the program and child reading achieve-

ment was encouraging. With improvements in measurement techniques and

better implementation of the program more striking results may be found.


viii


















CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION



During the past ten years parent education programs have become one

of the major vehicles of compensatory education. This increased attention

to the home as a learning environment and to parents as teachers of their

own children has developed for several reasons. First, there have

been several research studies which have supported the hypothesis that

parental teaching behavior influences the cognitive development of the

child (e.g., Flood, 1975; Hess, Shipman, Brophy, Bear, 1968; Streissguth

& Bee, 1972). Second, parent education programs of various types have been

shown to be feasible and successful in improving the cognitive performance

of disadvantaged children (e.g., Gordon, 1972; Karnes, 1970; Levenstein,

1971). Third, there are data available which suggest that these effects

are maintained for several years (e.g., Gordon & Guinagh, 1974; Levenstein,

1975; Weikart, 1975).

In most parent education programs the evaluation of the program con-

sists solely of administering intelligence or achievement tests to

children who are participants (e.g., Hahn & Dunstan, 1973; Karnes. Studley,

Wright, Hodgins, 1968). Thus, the evaluation of the program is based

solely on data obtained from children. Other programs have included

parent attitude questionnaires, home environment questionnaires, and/or

parent interviews as assessment instruments (e.g., Radin, 1972; Stern,

Marshall,6 Edwards, 1971; Strom,1974). These programs have gone beyond looking










at program effects which might have occurred in the children to look

at changes which might also have occurred in the reported home environ-

ment or in the attitudes of the parents. Of the over one hundred

parent education programs in which the participating child is at least

three years old, only five have used observation procedures to assess

the teaching behavior of the parents involved in the program (Barbrack,

1970; Boger, Kuipers, Cunningham, Andrews, 1974; Kuipers, Boger, & Beery,

1969; Olmsted & Ware, 1975; Wiegerink & Weikart, 1967). The results

of these studies provide little support for the hypothesis that parental

teaching behavior can be modified through a parent education program.

However, there are problems with both the implementation and evaluation

of these programs.

There are several reasons why it is important to include assessment

of parental teaching behaviors in the evaluation of a parent education

program. First, it is likely that changes in parental teaching behaviors

may appear before changes in child measures. Second, assessing parent-

child interaction will allow for a more detailed analysis of the parent

education program evaluation data. That is, it may be possible to deter-

mine if certain parental teaching behaviors are more highly related to

child outcomes.

One parent education program which assesses both parental teaching

behavior and child achievement is the Florida Parent Education Follow

Through Program. This program has its roots in parent-infant home visit

programs conducted by Dr. Ira J. Gordon and his associates during the

1960's (Gordon, 1967, 1969, 1971). In these infant programs, parapro-

fessionals (parent educators) made weekly home visits and demonstrated

various learning activities to the mother. The mother was then asked to










engage in these activities with her infant during the next week. The

foci of the program included the instructional behavior of the mother

as well as her general orientation toward childrearing and life.

In 1968 the Florida Parent Education Program became one of the

Follow Through Models. The Florida Parent Education Follcw Through

Program was basically a modification of the earlier parent-infant

programs. Mothers from the community were employed as paraprofessionals

and served as the major link between home and school. These mothers,

also called parent educators, spent half of their time working in the

classroom and half of their time making home visits. Weekly home visits

were scheduled for each child with the major activity of this home visit

being the teaching of a home learning activity. Other aspects of the home

visit included providing information regarding comprehensive services,

obtaining feedback from the mother about last week's learning activity,

and discussing various parent activities.

Specific teaching behaviors have been stressed by the Florida Follow

Through Program. These particular behaviors were selected because they

were found to relate to child growth in studies of either parent-child

interaction or classroom situation (e.g., Hess et al., 1968; Soar, 1970).

Each home learning activity stresses one or more of these specific teaching

behaviors and during the home visit these teaching behaviors are demon-

strated, discussed, and integrated into the task.

The Florida Parent Education Follow Through Model attempts to

improve a child's chances for success in school and in later life by

enriching the educational experiences of both the home and the school.

Through its activities the model endeavors to assist parents in becoming

better teachers of their own children and to increase their self-esteem










and feelings of control over their own lives and those of their children.

If the program is successful one would expect to see changes in the

teaching behaviors of parents as they interact with their children during

a learning activity. Furthermore, these changes in parental teaching

behavior should be related to changes in the child's school achievement

behavior.


Statement of the Problem

In this study two aspects of the Florida Parent Education Follow

Through Program will be examined. First, the teaching behavior of

parents who have been participating in the program will be compared to

that of parents who have not been participating to assess the effective-

ness of the model in modifying parental teaching behavior. Second, the

degree of parental usage of the specific teaching behaviors stressed by

the model will be related to children's school achievement performance.

There are several reasons why this study is important. First, find-

ing that it is possible to modify parental teaching behavior through a

parent education program wouldbe notable addition to the research in

this area, particularly because the key contact personnel are parapro-

fessionals. Second, having data on both parental teaching behaviors

and child academic performance will allow for the examinationof the relationship

between these two variables. It is also possible to assess the amount of

variation in achievement scores accounted for by the use of these

particular teaching behaviors. Finally, investigations of this type

may lead to future development of diagnostic and prescriptive techniques

to individualize the activities for families participating in a parent

education program.







5


Before conducting the study a search was made of the literature

to locate related studies and to develop an overall view of research

in the area.

















CHAPTER II

REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE



The two major purposes of this study were (1) to compare the teaching

behavior of parents who have participated the Florida Follow Through

Program to that of parents who have not participated in the program,

and, (2) to examine the relationship between the frequency of use of the

particular parental teaching behaviors stressed by the model and child

achievement behavior. The aim of this chapter is to provide a review

of the relevant literature related to this particular study. First,

research evidence for the relationship between parental teaching be-

havior and child performance will be discussed. Following this, parent

education programs in which there have been attempts to modify the

teaching behavior of parents will be discussed. Finally, a description

of the Florida Parent Education Follow Through Program will be given.

Parental Teaching Behavior and Child Performance

The relationship between these two variables has been examined by

many investigators using a variety of procedures. Much of the early

work in this area used interviews or questionnaires to obtain data

regarding the teaching behavior of parents (e.g., Almy, 1950; Milner,

1951). However, during the early sixties problems with the use of

questionnaires and interviews were discussed in the literature (e.g.,

McCord g McCord, 1961; Mednick & Shaffer, 1963; Yarrow, 1963), and










since that time direct observation has been the major technique used to

obtain parental teaching behavior data.

The review of literature was restricted by two variables, type of

data collected and nature of the child. First, only studies which

used direct observation of parent-child interaction in a structured

situation were considered. Second, the children in the studies had to

be between three and nine years of age and basically free from psychiatric

problems. The first restriction was considered because of the problems

with interviews and questionnaires noted above; and, because parental

teaching behaviors are more likely to occur in structured than in

unstructured situations. The age range of three to nine excluded parent-

infant studies in which different types of parental behaviors are

generally observed. The upper limit was used as it was the age of most

children when they left Follow Through programs and also served to

exclude studies in which preadolescent problems become manifest. The

second restriction also eliminated studies in which parents were given

instruction or training as "home therapists."

This literature search identified 22 studies which had examined the

relationship between parental teaching style and child performance.

Organized into subsets according to structured activity, these 22 studies

will be described briefly. The section will close with a summary of the

findings for the area as a whole.

Sorting Activities

One of the landmark studies of parent-child interaction using direct

observation was done by Hess, Shipman, Brophy, Bear (1968, 1969). In

this comprehensive study a variety of situations and observation techniques

were utilized. The study involved 163 black mother-child dyads from a










large urban community. Four different social class levels ranging from

families at the welfare level to families at the professional level

were studied. Although a variety of data collection procedures were

used, the ones of immediate interest include three different structured

situations: toy-sort, block-sort, and etch-a-sketch. In each of these

situations the mother was asked to teach her four-year-old child

specific activities. Live observations and audiotape recordings were

done for each type of activity.

Twelve maternal teaching variables were developed from the block-

sorting task and were related to two types of child variables: (1) process,

referring to child behaviors during the task, and (2) product, referring

to task performance scores and IQ scores. Most of the maternal teaching

variables (e.g., orientation and specific feedback) correlated signifi-

cantly with several child task performance variables, indicating that

there was a relationship between maternal teaching behavior and child

performance when measures of both are taken in the same situation.

Significant correlations were also found between most of the

maternal teaching variables and the child's Stanford-Binet score.

Finally, significant correlations were found between most of the maternal

teaching variables and two measures of later school achievement, teacher's

grades and standardized reading achievement test scores.

In another investigation Wiegerink and Weikart (1967) studied 21

mother-child dyads including both middle-class and lower-class subjects.

The 21 dyads were partitioned three times for separate data analyses.

These three partitions were not independent and included the following:

(1) completely successful and completely unsuccessful mothers as deter-

mined by the child's block-sorting posttest score, (2) elementary school










teachers, and (3) mothers who had participated in Weikart's Perry

Preschool Project. For the data analysis each mother's verbalizations

were divided into units and coded into one of seven categories. The

results indicated that the mother who was successful at teaching her child

relied more on positive motivation, specific verbal feedback requests,

and general verbal requests, while the mother who was unsuccessful

relied more on direct information and negative feedback. Distinct

social class differences were found, with the middle-class mothers

(including elementary school teachers) relying more on positive feedback,

specific verbal requests,and general verbal requests. Lower class

parents relied more on information giving and negative feedback. The

mothers who had participated in the Perry Preschool Program, although

they were all low-income, taught in a style intermediate between that

of the lower-class non-Perry Preschool mothers and that of the middle-

income mothers.

Wiegerink (1969) also used the eight-block task in his doctoral

dissertation. Sixty mothers and their four-year-old children comprised

the sample which was equally divided among the following three categories:

(1) economically advantaged, (2) economically disadvantaged with

average IQ child, and, (3) economically disadvantaged with retarded

child.

The mother's block-sorting behaviors were divided into units and

each unit was coded into one of six categories. A single rating was also

assigned to each mother which represented the "expansiveness" of her

teaching. This rating was developed by assigning positive or negative

scores to each of the six categories and summing across all behaviors.










A high value indicated an "expansive" teaching style while a low value

indicated a "restrictive" teaching style.

The relationship between maternal teaching style and child per-

formance was examined by correlating the seven teaching variables with

four child measures: Stanford-Binet score, Peabody Picture Vocabulary

Test score, block task test verbal score,and block task test performance

score. For the total group 19 of the 28 correlations were significant

at the .05 level, while for the disadvantaged group only, 13 of the 28

were significant. Since the maternal variables are intercorrelated as

are the child variables one has to interpret these findings with some

caution. However, there seems to be sufficient evidence to support the

idea of a relationship between maternal teaching style and child behavior.

Relationships among parental teaching behavior, parental categorization

style and child performance were explored by Romaine (1969). A

categorization test was administered to the parents and observations

were made of parent-child interaction in structured situations. Thirty-

three middle-class two-parent families comprised the sample. Each

parent interacted with the child in both a block-sorting task and a

story-telling task. Task structure was identical but the content

differed from one parent to the other. After performing several

univariate analyses to test various hypotheses and finding little

evidence of significant relationships among parental teaching behavior,

parental cognitive style, and child performance, Romaine turned to step-

wise multiple regression procedures. Using child scores on the block-

sorting posttest as the dependent variable, he regressed 22 different

teaching and categorization variables to those scores. A significant

relationship was found between child performance and a cluster of six










parental behaviors, but these results need to be interpreted with caution

due to the large number of variables included and the comparatively

small number of subjects. This cluster of six variables accounted for

50% of the variance in block-sorting scores and was characterized by

variables denoting task-orientation and positive emotion.

A second study examining parental teachingbehavior, cognitive

style,and child performance was conducted by Davis and Lange (1973).

Cognitive style as defined by Sigel (Sigel, Jarman, Hanesian, 1967)

was assessed in four-year-old children and the relationship between

this variable and parental task communication was examined. Sigel's

Styles of Categorization Test (SCT) identifies three basic styles:

descriptive (D), relational-contextual (RC), and categorical-inferential

(CI). The sample consisted of 28 middle-class two-parent families

with observations made of both father-child and mother-child interactions.

Each parent did a block-sorting and a story-telling task with the child,

with the content differing for the two situations. The parents'

statements during the interaction sessions were divided into "message

units" consisting usually of a single statement or question. Each

statement was then coded as D, RC,or CI according to the same criteria

used in scoring the SCT with the children.

Both parents used predominantly RC messages in both tasks. For the

other two categories, significantly more D messages were used in the

block-sorting task and significantly more CI were used during story-

telling. These results would be expected due to the nature of the various

tasks. Correlational analyses indicated no significant relationships

between the child's categorization style and the style of message units

used by the separate parents. For the parents combined, there was a










significant relationship found between the parents' use of D messages

in each task and the child's style of categorization. This was

explained by the author's saying that the D category was a particularly

salient one for children of this age.

Four ratings of maternal teaching behavior were used by Hubner

(1970) in a study with low-income Spanish-speaking families utilizing

an adaptation of the Hess et al. (1968) toy sort. Twenty-nine mother-

child dyads comprised the sample. The children were approximately five

years old and were enrolled in a compensatory preschool program. In-

structions were given in either English or Spanish, whichever the

mother preferred.

Ratings were made for four areas: orientation, ordering and

sequencing, verbal specificity, and, demand for feedback. Each

rating had a scale of four points. The children were tested on the

task after the mother taught it and were given a score ranging from zero

to six for their performance. The group of children was then split

into two groups -- high scorers and low scorers --and the maternal ratings

were related to child performance. Of the four ratings only demand for

feedback was found to be significantly related to child performance.

An examination of the relationship between parental teaching

behavior on an adaptation of the Hess et al. (1968) block sort and

child performance was done by Santin and Garber in Toronto (Santin &

Garber, 1974). The Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT) was administered

to the children in the study. The sample consisted of 33 parent-child

dyads from low-income housing projects with the children ranging in age

from 53 to 76 months. A stepwise multiple regression analysis was done

using 19 parental teaching variables to predict PFVT scores. Five of










the 19 contributed significantly with these five accounting for 59% of

the variance in PPVT scores. The five included amount of praising, non-

directive teaching strategies, amount of open questions, specificity

of introduction,and use of an advance organizer. These results must

be interpreted with caution due to the large number of variables and

the small number of subjects in the data analysis.

The last sorting-task study to be discussed was conducted by

Donovan (1975). In this study the relationship between parental teaching

behaviors and representational competence in children was examined.

Sixty white middle-class boys ages 3 and 4 were administered three

tasks assessing representational skills, a physical anticipation task,

a social anticipation task,and a spatial memory task. The parent-child

dyad was observed during the block-sort task and during a book reading

situation. Seven parental teaching behaviors were selected by the

author as the best measures of representational skill production,

five promoting development of this skill and two inhibiting development.

The set of seven parental teaching behaviors accounted for a

significant proportion of the variance in the composite representational

score (41%) (p. <.01). The same set of behaviors also accounted for a

significant proportion of the variance for each of the three tasks

separately. Further examination of the data indicated that the two

teaching behaviors hypothesized to be inhibitory to the development of

representational skill were the most powerful predictors out of the

original seven. These two teaching behaviors were focusing on physical

attributes and using commands without explanations.

A total of nine sorting activity studies were reviewed. Of this

number, seven indicated a significant relationship between parental










teaching behavior and child performance, one had mixed results,and

one found no relationship between the two variables of interest.

Puzzles

Puzzles have been the task selected by two different investigators,

one conducting a series of cross-nationality studies (Feshbach, 1973a;

Feshbach, 1973b), and one conducting a series of longitudinal studies

(Miller, 1969; Miller, 1975).

In the former set of studies Feshbach examined the feedback styles

of mothers and their four-year-olds in three different countries:

United States, Israel, and England. In each study the author sought to

examine relationships between feedback used by the mother and that used

by the child in a teaching situation. In each study the first phase

involved the four-year-old teaching a puzzle to a three-year-old. About

an hour later the mother was asked to teach her own four-year-old a

similar but more complex puzzle. The same categories for feedback

were used during each setting.

In the American study, 109 mother-child pairs were studied, being

approximately evenly distributed between lower-class and middle-class,

and between black and white ethnic groups. The findings indicated that

"In general, middle-class white children and their mothers used relatively

more positive than negative reinforcement, lower-class black children

and their mothers used more negative than positive reinforcement, with

the other two groups falling between these two extremes (1973b, p. 90).

When the relationship between the mother's and child's use of

feedback was examined, small but significant correlations were found

for the total sample for use of both positive and negative feedback.

Feshbach, however, felt these correlations were not interpretable due










to the social class and ethnic differences in use of feedback. When

similar correlations were computed within social class and ethnic

groups, the resulting values were all small and seven out of eight were

nonsignificant. Since the sample sizes of these separate groups

were much smaller, however, a higher correlation value would have been

needed to reach significance than that needed for the total population.

The Israeli sample consisted of 60 mother-child pairs, equally

divided into two social classes and containing equal numbers of boys

and girls. The same procedures developed for the American study were

followed in this study. As in the American study, correlations between

the mother's and the child's use of positive and negative feedback were

generally small and nonsignificant.

The third Feshbach study was conducted in England where the sample

consisted of 50 middle-class and lower-class white mothers and children.

None of the correlations between the mother's and child's use of positive

and negative feedback was found to be significant.

Two studies using puzzle solving as a task, but using a single

rating of maternal teaching behavior have been conducted by Miller (1969;

1975). In the first study 55 mother-child dyads were observed

working a jigsaw puzzle. The dyads were nearly equally distributed

among three socioeconomic levels: middle-class, upper-lower-class, and

lower-lower-class. Although not stated, it might be assumed that the

sample was Caucasian since the study took place in medium-sized towns

and rural areas in Wisconsin. The mother-child observation sessions

occurred near the end of the kindergarten year for all children. Reading

readiness test scores were obtained for the sample at the end of kinder-

garten and reading achievement scores were obtained at the end of first

grade.










Social class differences in teaching style were found among the

three socioeconomic levels. The middle-class mothers were significantly

more precise and specific in their teaching than were the lower-lower-

class mothers. The upper-lower-class mothers as a group fell between

the other two groups (not significantly different from either one).

The results relating maternal teaching style and child reading

behavior were analyzed within socioeconomic level. For the two

higher levels there was a significant correlation between maternal

teaching style and reading readiness at the end of kindergarten. Only

for the middle-class sample was a significant correlation found between

maternal teaching style and child reading behavior at the end of first

grade.

In a replication done in Illinois, Miller (1975) obtained reading

scores on the children for kindergarten, second grade,and third grade.

Within social class level no significant correlations were found between

maternal teaching style and child reading behavior in either kindergarten

or second grade. For the third grade three reading achievement scores

and the maternal teaching behavior for three socioeconomic levels were

correlated. Two of the nine correlations were significant, providing

little evidence of a relationship.

The results for the puzzle-solving studies were much less positive

than those for studies involving sorting activities. Of the four studies

reviewed, three resulted in mixed findings and one indicated a nonsigni-

ficant relationship between parental teaching behavior and child per-

formance.











Building Activities

House building (with blocks) and pyramid construction are the two

specific activities which fit into this category. See and her associates

at the University of Washington observed parent-child interaction in

both a structured teaching situation and an unstructured situation

(Bee, Van Egeren, Pytkowicz, Nyman, 5 Leckie, 1969; Bee & Streissguth,

1973; Streissguth & Bee, 1972). Only the former part of the study will

be discussed here. Social class differences were explored in this

study with a sample consisting of 76 lower-class mothers and 38 middle-

class mothers, all with four- to five-year-old children. The

instructional situation was a house building task. After a model

house was displayed, the child and mother were given an identical set

of blocks to those used in the model and asked to copy the model. The

mother was allowed to help as much or as little as she wished. The

mother's teaching behavior was divided into units and then coded into

one of several categories. Maternal categories used in the data

analysis consisted of such behaviors as question suggestions, nonquestion

suggestions, positive feedback, negative feedback,and nonverbal intrusion.

Patterns of maternal behavior were found to be related to child

performance on a battery of cognitive tests, but no specific details

were given concerning these patterns of behavior.

The second study in this group was conducted in England by Wood

and Middleton (1975). Twelve three-year-old children and their mothers

were observed building a pyramid from 21 blocks containing pegs and

holes. Each mother was instructed to assist her child in any way she

wished. After she had instructed the child, the mother was asked to










dismantle the pyramid and ask the child to reconstruct it on

his own.

Five measures were analyzed from the videotapes, three maternal

instructional measures (level of intervention, activity in the region

of sensitivity, sensitivity of the mother to feedback from the child's

activities), and two child postinstructional behaviors (probability

of a task appropriate construction, probability of an error). Level of

intervention was defined by five levels ranging from general verbal

instruction to demonstrating an operation. For activity in the region

of sensitivity, within each level of intervention the proportion leading

to success on the child's part was calculated and then the region of

sensitivity was defined as that level at which the child failed to

follow the most helpful instructions. As a measure of the sensitivity

of the mother to feedback from the child's activities the level of

intervention used following each success and failure of the child was

noted, and the combined total of success followed by less help and

failure followed by more help was considered as a proportion of all

interventions.

The authors stated: "Those mothers who systematically changed

their instructions on the basis of the child's response to earlier

interventions were most likely to see their child perform effectively

after instruction. They were also the most likely to determine and

concentrate upon the child's 'region of sensitivity to instruction' -

a hypothetical measure of the child's current task ability and his

readiness for different types of instruction." (p. 181).

The authors view effective instruction as a dynamic, problem-solving

activity on the part of the teacher (mother). The teacher must be alert










to the learner's behavior following each instruction or suggestion and

then decide on his/her next instruction based on the learner's performance.

Both of the studies using building activities as a structured activity

found significant relationship between child performance and the teach-

ing behavior of the parent.

Book Reading

Two studies which utilized book reading as the parent-child

activity were located. Hertzman (1973) videotaped mothers and their

three-year-old sons reading a book together with the sample consisting

of eleven middle-class dyads and eleven lower-class dyads. Both

verbal and nonverbal behaviors were observed. Scores on intelligence

tests of the children did not differ significantly across social class.

Data analysis indicated that certain behaviors of the mothers, such as

length of interaction sequence and use of explanation, were significantly

related to higher intelligence scores for the children across class.

Flood (1975) observed parent-child reading behavior in 36 mother-

child dyads. Although four ethnic groups and three socioeconomic levels

were represented in the sample, the major data analysis was done with the

total sample. Ten prereading tasks were administered to the sample of

three- and fDur-year old children and a single prereading score was

obtained for each child using factor analysis and factor score

coefficients. Fourteen different behaviors were tallied during the book

reading situation. A stepwise regression analysis indicated that four

of the behaviors in combination predicted a significant proportion of

the total variance in the child's prereading score. There four were:

number of words spoken by the child, questions asked by the parent after

the story was read, positive feedback during the story,and questions

asked by the parent before the story was read.










Other Structured Activities

The final five studies were all one-of-a-kind studies. Done by

different investigators in different locations each observed different

teaching behaviors in different situations. Bernhardt and Forehand

(1975) investigated the use and effectiveness of labeled and unlabeled

praise, with labeled praise defined as pointing out an aspect of

behavior in addition to a generally favorable comment and unlabeled

praise being only the favorable comment. Twenty lower-class and 20

middle-class white mothers with their five-year-old children con-

stituted the sample. During an initial ten minute unstructured

observation period the frequency of the mother's use of labeled and

unlabeled praise was recorded. No significant differences were found

in the frequency of use of each kind of praise between the two groups

of mothers. The middle portion of the session consisted of the child

choosing the picture he liked best from each of forty sets of two

pictures, with the mother praising his selection. Again no significant

differences were found between the two groups of mothers in their use of

labeled and unlabeled praise. The final situation used a marble-in-the-

hole game and bug-in-the-ear apparatus. Through the apparatus 50% of

the mothers in each group were given labeled praise statements and 50%

were given unlabeled praise statements to use when their child dropped

a marble in a particular hole. The results indicated that labeled

praise statements were more effective in changing the child's behavior

than unlabeled praise. These results can be related to those of

Hess et al. (1968), who found that specificity was an important

dimension of teaching behavior. However, the previous study focused

mainly on preresponse teaching behaviors, and Berhardt and Forehand (1975)











state "The finding that labeled praise was more effective in producing

'correct' behavior than unlabeled praise suggests that postresponse

labeling of behavior is also important in producing behavior change "

(p. 542).

An examination of the relationship between maternal behavior and

the motor performance of their three-year-old children was studied

in a sample of twenty lower-class families (Chreitzberg, 1969). The

mothers were asked to assist their children in four relatively difficult

motor tasks. A significant relationship was found between the level of

motor skill of the child and the frequency with which the mother

provided feedback concerning the quality of attempts. Since the total

number of variables examined was not given in the report, it is

difficult to evaluate the importance of this finding. However, the

fact that it agrees in general with the results of other studies lends

support for its consideration.

Feshbach, whose work was discussed earlier,had a student who

completed a study of the teaching styles of mothers whose children

were successful and mothers whose children were problem readers

(Bercovici, 1973; Bercovici & Feshbach, 1973). Each mother taught

her own child two tasks, matching pairs of faces and fitting pegs into

holes of varying depth, and also taught the same tasks to two other

children, one a successful reader and one a problem reader. The sample

consisted of forty middle-class white first grade children and their

mothers, with half of the children being readers and half being non-

readers. To complete the design an additional eighty first grade

children were used. Although there were problems with the study, the

major finding is still worth reporting. It was found that the mothers











of problem readers were significantly more intrusive and controlling

and used significantly more negative feedback than mothers of successful

readers.

The Maternal Teaching Style Instrument (MTSI) was developed at

the Demonstration and Research Center for Early Education (DARCEE) and

has been used in a series of studies conducted by personnel at the

center. The MTSI consists of ten cards containing pictures of

geometric forms. A set of rubber geometric forms matching the ones

pictured, accompanies each card. Generally the mother was given a

card with various geometric forms pictured in certain positions while

the child was given a card with some or all of the geometric form

pictures missing. The task was for the child to add the rubber forms

in such a way as to make his card look exactly like his mother's card.

The mother could help the child in any way, except by showing him her

card. A study examining relationships between the MTSI and ethnicity

and IQ of the child was undertaken in 1973 (Sandler, Stewart, Dokecki,

1973). Differences relating to IQ indicated that mothers of high IQ

children used more cue labels, more positive feedback, more gestures,

less negative feedback,and less physical contact than did mothers of

low IQ children. However, it was not indicated whether or not these

findings were significant.

The final study to be discussed was conducted as part of a

larger cross-cultural study in Japan and United States concerning the

development of school readiness. Dickson and Hess (1975) developed a

new situation in which to observe maternal teaching behavior called

the "Picture Book Communication Game." In the task two notebooks

containing identical sets of four pictures on each page were used.










In the first half of the session the mother described one of the set of

four pictures on each page of the notebook and the child tried to

select the correct picture from the corresponding page of his notebook.

In the second half of the session the roles were reversed, with the child

describing and the mother selecting. The sets of pictures ranged

from ones of simple objects to ones of complex patterns.

The sample consisted of 64 white mother-child pairs from a

range of socioeconomic backgrounds. The children were four years old

at the time. The mother's teaching behavior was measured by the number

of errors she made when she was describing the pictures. This measure

was related to the number of errors made by the child while he was

sending information and to twelve child cognitive measures. There was

a significant correlation (r=.38, p < .05) between number of errors

made by the mother and that made by the child. Of the twelve child

performance measures, seven showed a significant relationship with the

measure of maternal teaching behavior.

Summary

A list of the 22 studies just discussed and summaries of their

findings are presented in Table 1. Of the 22 entries in the table,

14 indicate a significant relationship, 6 denote mixed results, and 2

indicate a nonsignificant relationship between parental teaching style

and child performance. It is interesting to note that the two studies

which found a nonsignificant relationship between the two variables

of interest were two of the three studies using rating procedures to

assess parental teaching behavior. The third study employing ratings

had mixed results.














TABLE 1

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CHILD PERFORMANCE AND
PARENTAL TEACHING STYLE


Structured
Activity

Sorting Tasks


Puzzles


Investigators

Hess, Shipman, Brophy,
Bear
Hess, Shipman, Brophy,
Bear
Wiegerink & Weikart
Wiegerink
Romaine
Davis & Lange
Hubner
Santin E Garber
Donovan


Year Significant?


Feshbach
Feshbach
Miller
Miller


Building Tasks


Book Reading


Other


Streissguth & Bee
Wood & Middleton


Hertzman
Flood


Bernhardt & Forehand
Chreitzberg
Bercovici
Sandier, Stewart,&
Dokecki
Dickson & Hess


1975
1969
1973

1973
1975


Yes*

Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes-No**
No
Yes
Yes

Yes-No
Yes-No
Yes-No
No

Yes
Yes

Yes
Yes

Yes
Yes
Yes

Yes-No
Yes-No


* Yes = p <.05


** Yes-No = Mixed results











A variety of types of child data is reflected in Table 1. Some

studies collected the child data separately from the parent-child

interaction session and used such measures as intelligence tests,

achievement tests, and child teaching behavior. In other studies the

child was tested immediately after the session on the task taught by

the parent. Finally, a few studies used measures of the child's

behavior during the interaction session (e.g., performance on motor

tasks). Even with the variety of child measures, as well as different

ethnic groups, social classes,and parental teaching behaviors, a

fairly clear picture emerges. The results in Table 1 provide strong

evidence to support a significant relationship between parental

teaching style and child performance.

Parent Education Programs and
Parental Teaching Behavior

There have been a large number of parent education programs in

operation in the United States during the last fifteen years. Most of

these programs have specified objectives for parents generally falling

into one of three categories: "(1) Improving parental skill in 'teaching'

the child; (2) improving parents' responsiveness and sensitivity to

the child; and (3) improving the home setting in relation to the

nutritional and health arrangements for the child," (Gordon, Hanes,

Lamme & Schlenker, 1975,,p. II-2). It was noted that of the many parent

education programs having the improvement of parental teaching behavior

as an objective, few have included direct assessment of this behavior

as part of their program evaluation.

There are several reasons why it is important to include the

direct assessment of parental teaching behaviors in the evaluation of

a parent education program. First, it is likely that changes in parental










teaching behaviors may appear before changes in child measures. Most

parent education programs work directly with the parents and try to help

them further develop or use more effectively certain interaction

behaviors. The parent may then have to practice these particular

behaviors with the child for a period of time before attendant

changes will be noted in the child behaviors. A program which only

uses child measures for evaluation may be discontinued because no

changes have been found. There may, in fact, be changes occurring in

the interaction behaviors of parents, but these new behavior patterns

have not been in use long enough to bring about associated changes

in the child's behavior. Unless assessment of parental teaching

behaviors is included in program evaluation, programs which are

actually having an impact may be erroneously terminated.

Second, assessing parent-child interaction may allow for a more

detailed analysis of the parent education program data. That is, it

may be possible to determine if certain parental teaching behaviors

are more highly related than others to child performance. Also, it

may be possible to relate changes in the teaching behavior of parents

to changes in various measures of the children. Those children who

show greater gains on the child measures may be from families in which

greater changes in parental teaching behaviors are found.

Third, data resulting from this type of observation could be used

as one component of the evaluation of the home visitors. It may be

that certain home visitors are more skillful than others in helping

parents to be more effective teachers of their own children. Also,

some home visitors may be able to communicate effectively with the

parent about some teaching behaviors, but not about others. Parental










teaching data would be useful both to evaluate home visitors and to

identify those home visitors who may be able to serve as trainers

of others.

Finally, the assessment of parent teaching behavior can be one

type of process evaluation done in the program. Information can be

obtained regarding which teaching behaviors different parents are

currently using and this information can then be utilized to

individualize the program to fit the needs of the various families.

This individualization of the program would have two major benefits:

(1) the program would be more efficient in terms of both time and

money as only a portion of the total teaching behaviors would be

stressed with most families, and, (2) the families would probably

react more positively to the program since it would be tailored to

their particular situation; they could see by talking with other

families in the program that each family was having a different

experience.

Although there are several reasons why it is important to directly

assess parental teaching behavior in a parent education program, very

few programs actually include assessment of this behavior as part of

their program evaluation. Some programs administer intelligence or

achievement tests to the children and then use these data as indirect

evidence of the improvement in parental teaching behavior (e.g., Hahn &

Dunstan, 1975; Karnes et al., 1968). Other programs use parent

interviews or home environment questionnaires as assessment instruments

for this area of the program (e.g., Radin, 1972; Strom, 1974; Weikart

& Lambie, 1968). However, because of the problems inherent in the use

of self-report and recall data, these procedures leave much to be desired.










In recent years some parent education programs involving families

with infants have begun to use direct observation of parent-infant

interactions as one means of evaluation (e.g., Gordon & Jester, 1972;

Johnson, Leler, Rios, Brandt, Kahn, Mazeika, Frede,& Bissett, 1974).

However, a similar trend has not been noted in parent education

programs involving families with children three years of age or older.

Only five such programs have used observation procedures to assess the

teaching behaviors of parents involved in the program (Barbrack, 1970;

Boger, Kuipers, Cunningham, & Andrews, 1974; Kuipers, Boger, & Beery,

1969; Olmsted & Ware, 1975; Wiegerink & Weikart, 1967).

One study in this set is that of Wiegerink and Weikart (1967),

which was reported earlier. In this study it was found that mothers

who had participated in the Perry Preschool Program, although they

were all low-income, taught in a style intermediate between that

of the lower-class non-Perry Preschool mothers and that of the middle-

class mothers. It was not stated whether or not any of these

differences was statistically significant. No discussion of this

data could be found in any reports of the Perry Preschool Program.

Kuipers, Boger,and Beery (1969) used the Hess toy sort plus a

puzzle and a story telling task to assess changes in maternal teaching

behaviors related to three types of parent education programs. The

sample was drawn from families whose children were enrolled in six

different Head Start centers in a rural area. Each parent education

program was carried out in two centers, with twelve families being

tested at each site. The six centers differed in demographic variables

which make the results difficult to interpret, even though the programs

were assigned randomly to the centers. The parent education programs










lasted for twelve weeks with the dyads pre- and posttested on all tasks.

The data analysis indicated very few differences among the three groups

over the large number of variables which were examined.

Barbrack used both child measures and the MTSI to assess the

effects of three home visiting strategies: mother-involved cognitive,

child-centered cognitive, and mother involved physical training. The

sample consisted of ninety black families all of whom had a child

entering first grade after having completed a summer Head Start program.

Five comparable groups were used in the study, the three treatment groups

and two control groups. When the groups were compared on the two

child measures, Stanford Binet and Metropolitan Achievement Test,

the child-centered cognitive program was most effective. When the

groups were compared on the MTSI, a different result was found. The

mothers in the mother-involved cognitive group were statistically

superior to all other groups in five of fifteen categories of

teaching behavior. No report of a data analysis relating maternal

teaching style to child measures could be found.

The fourth study in this area was conducted by Boger, Kuipers,

Cunningham,and Andrews (1974). The Hess et al. (1968) toy sort task

was used to assess changes in the quality of parent-child interactions

for three different parent education program incentive conditions. The

sample consisted of parents and children in six day care centers in

different cities. No significant changes in parent-child interaction

were found based on either incentive or attendance. Differences in

parental teaching behavior between centers were found, but because the

centers deviated from each other in multiple ways it was impossible

to interpret these differences in a meaningful way.











The teaching behaviors of two groups of parents, a group which

had participated in the Florida Parent Education Program and a group

which had not participated in the program was assessed in two program

sites by Olmsted and Ware (1975). In each site, 22 low-income parent-

child dyads participating in the program and 22 low-income parent-child

dyads who had never been involved in a home visitation program were

videotaped reading a book together. Frequency counts of specific

parental teaching behaviors stressed by the program were made.

Significant parent education program effects and significant site

effects were both found. Further data analysis indicated that the same

four parental teaching behaviors were contributing to both the signi-

ficant difference found between sites and that found between program

and non-program parents. These four behaviors were asking questions

which have more than one correct answer, asking questions which require

more than one word as an answer, encouraging the child to enlarge upon

his response, and, giving the learner time to think about the problem.

Two questions related to the findings just discussed are (1) how

specifically defined were the teaching behaviors which were stressed by

the program, and (2) how did the evaluation of parental teaching

behavior relate to the behaviors stressed by the program? In the Perry

Preschool Program and the Barbrack program parental teaching behaviors

were defined only in general terms. In both cases the evaluation

consisted of assessing the use of specific behaviors. In the two Head

Start studies (Kuipers, et al.,1969; Boger et al., 1974) a large number

of specific teaching behaviors were demonstrated to the mother in a

short period of time. The evaluation of parental teaching behaviors

entailed assessing the use of many of these specific behaviors. In the











final study (Olmsted & Ware, 1975) a small number of specific teaching

behaviors were stressed for several months and the evaluation was

focused on these same specific behaviors. Thus, various degrees of

"match" are present in the five studies between the parental

teaching behaviors stressed by the program and the evaluation of

parental teaching style.

The data concerning the success of modifying parental teaching

behavior through a parent education program are meager. Of the five

studies discussed only one provided evidence of a change in parental

teaching behavior and this study has not been replicated. In addition,

none of the five studies examined the relationship between use of the

teaching behaviors stressed by the program and child performance.

There are two major questions to be explored: (1) Can parental

teaching behavior be modified through a parent education program, and,

(2) is the increased use of the specific teaching behaviors stressed

by the program related to child performance? Answers to these questions

were sought within the Florida Parent Education Program.

The Florida Parent Education Program

The Florida Parent Education Program had its beginnings in the

parent-infant home visit programs conducted by Ira J. Gordon and his

associates (1967; 1969; 1971). In these infant programs paraprofessionals

called parent educators made weekly home visits and demonstrated various

learning activities to mothers. The foci of the program included the

instructional behavior of the mother as well as her general orientation

toward childrearing and life.

In 1968 the Florida Program became one of the Follow Through Models.

The Florida Parent Education Follow Through Program was basically a










modification of the earlier parent-infant programs. Mothers from the

community were employed as parent educators and served as the major

link between the school and the home. The three emphases of the

program were "(I) the development of nonprofessionals as parent

educators and as effective participants in the classroom teaching

process; (2) the development of appropriate instructional tasks which

can be carried from the school into the home to establish a more

effective home learning environment; and, (3) development of parents

as partners in the educational program for their children," (Gordon,

Greenwood, Ware & Olmsted, 1974, p. 3).

Two major activities constituted the implementation of the Florida

Parent Education Follow Through Program, the home visit and the develop-

ment of the Policy Advisory Committee (PAC). Home visits were scheduled

weekly to the home of every child in the program. During a home visit,

a home learning activity was demonstrated and practiced by the parent

educator and the mother. The mother was then asked to do the same

activity with her child during the week. Other aspects of the home

visit included providing information regarding comprehensive services,

obtaining feedback from the mother about last week's learning activity,

and discussing various parent activities.

Through the PAC parents shared in the decision making processes

of the program. The PAC was composed mainly of parents in the program

with at least 50% of the voting members coming from low-income back-

grounds. The PAC participated actively in most areas of the program

such as personnel selection, proposal writing, comprehensive services

and evaluation. The PAC members received regular consultant assistance

to aid them in their development and to ensure that they truly shared


in the decision making processes of the program.










The three general emphases stated above were reflected in a set

of objectives which included all four groups of program participants:

parents, children, teachers, and parent educators. The seven objectives

for the parents covered areas such as teaching behavior, attendance

at PAC meetings, classroom volunteering, and serving on PAC committees.

The four child objectives included assessment in areas such as

achievement, attendance, and self-concept. There were four objectives

for teachers and four for parent educators which covered areas such as

teaching behavior and self-concept.

The program objective relating to parental teaching behavior was

central to this study. Associated with this objective were the

Desirable Teaching Behaviors stressed by the Florida Parent Education

Follow Through Program. These particular behaviors were selected

because they were found to be related to child growth in research

studies of either parent-child interaction or classroom situations (e.g.,

Hess et al., 1968; Soar, 1970). A listing of the ten Desirable

Teaching Behaviors is presented in Table 2.

Various theories of learning are represented by one or more of the

behaviors on the list. Each home learning activity stressed one or

more of these specific teaching behaviors and during the home visit

these behaviors were demonstrated, discussed,and integrated in the

task.

The Florida Parent Education Follow Through Program has been

implemented in eleven sites. The program itself has not had any

standardized sets of curriculum materials, but has been incorporated

into the ongoing curriculum at each site. Because of this and because

the sites differed in such aspects as size, geographic location, ethnic













TABLE 2

DESIRABLE TEACHING BEHAVIORS



1. Get the learner to ask questions.

2. Ask questions which have more than one correct answer.

3. Ask questions which require multiple word answers.

4. Encourage the learner to enlarge upon his or her answer.

5. Praise the learner when he or she does well or takes small

steps in the right direction.

6. Let the learner know when his or her answer or work is

wrong, but do so in a positive or neutral manner.

7. Get the learner to make judgments on the basis of evidence

rather than by guessing.

S. Give the learner time to think about the problem; don't

be too quick to help.

9. Before starting an activity, give the learner time to

familiarize himself or herself with the materials.

10. Before starting an activity, explain what you are going to do.










composition and socioeconomic composition, the ongoing program has

differed from one site to another. Due to the multiple aspects of

the program many sites have found it difficult to implement all

areas equally well. In some sites the major focus has been on the

quality of the home visit with concurrent concern for the teaching

behaviors of parents in the program. In other sites the development

of the PAC has been stressed with other parts of the program receiving

less attention. Thus, each site has its own profile of implementation,

with some aspects of the model receiving more time and emphasis than

others.

The Present Problem

The Florida Parent Education Follow Through Program endeavors to

improve a child's chances for success in both school and later life by

enriching the educational experience of both the school and the home.

One major objective of the program is to assist parents in becoming

more effective teachers of their own children. If the program is

successful in this area one would expect to see changes in the teaching

behaviors of program parents as they interact with their children in

a structured learning situation.

In this study two aspects of the Florida Parent Education Follow

Through Program will be examined. First, in two communities, one which

has stressed improving parental teaching behavior and one which has not

stressed this aspect of the model, the teaching behavior of parents

who have been participating in the program will be compared to that of

parents who have not been participating in the program. Second, the

frequency of usage of the specific parental teaching behaviors stressed

by the program will be related to child achievement performance.


















CHAPTER III

DESIGN AND PROCEDURES



In the Florida Parent Education Follow Through Program (FT) the

use of the desirable teaching behaviors (DTB's) by parents is only one

of several objectives of the program. In each of the eleven communities

in which the program is implemented, different emphases have been placed

on the various program objectives.

For the present study two FT communities were selected; one in which

considerable emphasis has been placed on the use of DTB's and one in

which less emphasis has been placed on this specific objective. The two

major purposes of the study were (1) to investigate the use of DTB's

by FT parents in comparison to that of non-Follow Through (NFT) parents

in each of the two communities, and, (2) to examine the relationship

among community, program participation, parental use of DTB's, and two

areas of child achievement, reading and mathematics. These two purposes

were investigated through different types of data analysis. For the first

purpose, frequency of DTB use was the dependent variable with program

participation and site as independent variables in a 2 x 2 factorial

design. For the second purpose, parallel analyses were done, one with

reading achievement scores as the dependent variable and one with

mathematics achievement scores as the dependent variable. In both of

these latter analyses, parental use of DTB's, program participation, and

site were the independent variables used in the multiple regression analysis.










The Hypotheses

The following hypotheses were formulated to be tested in the present

study. These hypotheses were divided into subsets according to the

dependent variable of interest.

Subset 1

The dependent variable for the hypotheses in this subset was the

frequency of use of the DTB's.

Hypothesis 1: There is no difference between parents who have

participated in the Follow Through program and

those who have not participated in the program

with respect to the frequency of use of DTB's.

Hypothesis 2: There is no difference between parents in

one community and those in the other

community with respect to the frequency

of use of DTB's.

Hypothesis 3: There is no interaction between program

participation and community with respect

to the frequency of use of DTB's.

Subset 2

For this subset of hypotheses reading achievement was the dependent

variable.

Hypothesis 4: There is no relationship between frequency

of use of DTB's and reading achievement.

Hypothesis 5: The relationship between frequency of use

of DTB's and reading achievement is similar

for the four groups of subjects in terms of

(a) slope and (b) intercept.










Subset 3

Mathematics achievement was the dependent variable for this subset

of hypotheses.

Hypothesis 6: There is no relationship between frequency

of use of UTB's and mathematics achievement.

Hypothesis 7: The relationship between frequency of use

of DTB's and mathematics achievement is

similar for the four groups of subjects in

terms of (a) slope and (b) intercept.


The Design

The Subjects

The subjects for this study included FT and NFT families in two

Florida Parent Education Follow Through Program sites. One site (A)

is a medium-sized community in the Northwest (population approximately

50,000) which has been implementing the program in approximately 30

classrooms since 1968. The other site (B) is a large southern city

(population over 500,000) which has been implementing the program since

1968 in approximately 35 classrooms.

In each community there is a large proportion of families from one

ethnic group and the data collection was restricted to this group. In
community A all families in both the FT and NFT groups were white,

while in community B all families in both groups were black. All

families in the study were classified as low-income based on the Poverty

Index of the Office of Economic Opportunity.

At the time of data collection, all children were enrolled in the

first grade. For the two FT groups only children who had also been in

FT kindergarten classrooms were considered for data collection. This










restriction insured that the mother was currently receiving at least

her second year of home visits. No family in the NFT groups had ever

been involved in a home visitation program. Except for two FT children

in community A, all FT and NFT children in both communities attended

the same schools.

In community A a total of 98 FT children met the criteria for

selection. Each child was assigned a number and a list of the names

was developed using a table of random numbers. The families were con-

tacted according to their position on the list. Within the data

collection period 34 FT parent-child pairs served as subjects. Approxi-

mately 30% of the families contacted did not participate in the study.

The main reasons for refusals included illness in the family or inability

to set up appointment times due to multiple jobs. In community B a total

of 70 FT children met the criteria for selection. The same procedures

were followed and a total of 29 mother-child sets served as subjects.

The percent of refusals was close to that in community A (32%) with the

reasons for refusals being similar.

The total number of NFT children meeting the criteria for selection

was 46 in community A and 27 in community B. The same procedures were

followed and within the data collection time period 31 families in

community A and 15 families in community B served as subjects. The

percent of refusal were 26% and 29% respectively, with illness and

multiple jobs being the major reasons for nonparticipation. In community

A despite numerous attempts contact was never made with four of the

NFT families while in community B the corresponding number was six. The

refusal rate for both communities was calculated using the number of

families which could be contacted as a total.










Demographic characteristics for the four groups of subjects are

presented in Table 3.



TABLE 3

DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS OF THE FOUR GROUPS OF SUBJECTS

Group Group Sex of Child Ethnic Group
Description Size %M %F %W %B

A FT 34 44 56 100

A NFT 31 52 48 100

B FT 29 45 55 100

B NFT 15 33 67 100



The Measures

Two parent-child interaction situations were used, a matching-faces

activity and a book-reading activity. In the first situation the mother

was asked to teach the child how to find matching faces from the array

of similar faces. Standard instructions and sample sets of faces were

used with the mother to help her become familiar with the task before

teaching it to her child (See APPENDIX A for the instructions and two

sets of faces.)

Pilot testing was done with a large number of sets of faces and

those with medium levels of difficulty were retained for the activity.

This pilot testing was carried out with low-income black and white ..

first-graders in Gainesville, Florida.

Four sets of faces were given to the mother to use while instructing

the child. Each set included either boy's faces or girl's faces and the

total number of faces in each set varied from four to eight.










Variations in the faces included such features as the eyes, ears, collars,

hats, and hairbows. Each set of faces was placed in a separate envelope.

Each face in each set had a number on the reverse side and on the inside

flap of the envelope were written the numbers of the two faces which

were identical. This allowed the parent and child to check the correct-

ness of their choices. The mother was allowed to teach the child any

way she wished and was allowed as much time as she wished. The matching-

faces activity was videotaped by local personnel. Coding of the usage

of the DTB's by the mother was done later from the videotape.

In the book-reading activity the mother and child read Tawny

Scrawny Lion by Kathryn Jackson. Standard instructions were read to

the mother before the book reading began which essentially indicated

that the parent could read the book with the child any way she wished.

(See APPENDIX B for instructions.) Videotapes were made of these

book-reading sessions and were later coded for the usage of the DTB's by

the mother.

The two different interaction activities were selected to provide

settings for the occurrence of each of the ten DTB's. Each learning

activity lends itself more to the occurrence of certain DTB's than to

others and the particular combination of activities used in this study

was selected to optimize the opportunity for the use of all ten DTB's.

For example, DTB #4 (Encourage the learner to enlarge upon his or her

answers.) is likely to occur during the book-reading activity, but is

less likely to occur during the matching-faces activity. On the other

hand, DTB #7 (Get the learner to make judgments on the basis of evidence

rather than by guessing.) is more likely to occur during the matching-

faces activity than during the book-reading activity.










Achievement test data for the children in both communities consisted of

standardized scores for the Total Reading and Total Mathematics sub-

tests on the Stanford Achievement Test Primary Level I Battery (1973).

This test was administered in each community as one aspect of the local

evaluation.


The Procedure

The Collection of the Data

During March and April, 1975, an appointment for the parent-child

interaction session was made with each family which agreed to participate

in the study. All sessions were held in a room at the school currently

attended by the child at a time convenient for the mother and child.

Most of the sessions occurred during weekdays with a few taking place

in the evening or on weekends. The families received $4.00 and a child's

book for their participation. In addition, transportation and/or baby-

sitting services were provided whenever necessary.

The parent-child interaction session began with a brief look at the

videotape equipment. The participants saw themselves and the experimenter

through the camera. During the parent-child activities the equipment was

separated from the subjects by a large wooden room divider which contained

a small hole for the camera. The microphone was placed on a piece of

felt on the table in front of the participants. The parent and child sat

near each other at a table during both activities.

The participants were first videotaped interacting on the matching-

faces activity. Following this, they were videotaped reading the book

together. At the conclusion of the second activity the parent and child

were given the opportunity to view their own videotape. At that time

the parent was asked for written permission to use the videotape. She










was also told that, if she requested, the videotape would be erased right

then (but she would still receive the $4.00 and the book). No mother

asked to have her videotape erased. The mothers were assured that the

data would be processed in a confidential manner, and that the videotapes

would only be used for educational and research purposes. They were

also assured that the videotapes would never be shown in the community

in which they were made.

The Stanford Achievement Test Primary Level I Battery was locally

administered in each community during March, 1975. Raw scores for all

subtests were provided for all children in each of the four groups of

subjects. These scores were converted into standardized scores for data

analysis.

The Coding of the Videotapes

The videotapes were sent to the investigator in Gainesville, Florida,

for observation and coding. The DTB observation system involved two

independent viewings of each videotape with frequency counts for each

DTB being made. (See APPENDIX C for the coding manual.) The two

observers then compared their counts and resolved differences by observ-

ing the videotapes a third time. Five college students comprised the

pool of DTB observers. The five students were given five days of inten-

sive training by the investigator and one of her associates. Intercoder

agreement was calculated for each pair of students following training

and then at two other times during the actual coding of the videotapes.

Several videotapes were used to establish intercoder agreement. On each

tape each coder noted each instance of a DTB and also noted the footage

reading at which the DTB occurred. Intercoder agreement was calculated









by dividing the number of agreements by the total number of observations.

Intercoder agreement exceeding .80 was maintained throughout the coding.

The Analyses of the Data

Hypotheses 1, 2,and 3 were tested statistically by the use of a

2 x 2 factorial design analysis of variance. Because of unequal cell

sizes the classical experimental approach to analysis of variance was

used (Overall & Spiegel, 1969). The actual analysis was done by

multiple regression procedures (Nie, Hull, Jenkins, Steinbrenner,&

Bent, 1975). The analysis of variance summary table was derived from

the printout.

Multiple regression procedures were also used to test hypotheses

4, 5, 6,and 7. The dependent variable for the hypotheses in Subset 2 was

reading achievement, while for the hypotheses in Subset 3 it was math-

ematics achievement. Parallel analyses were done for the two sets of

data. Thus, the procedures for only one of these analyses will be

described.

Since the data consisted of both categorical and continuous in-

dependent variables, the procedures outlined by Kerlinger and Pedhazur

(1973) for this situation were followed. The full model was

Y = a + bX1 + b2 bC X b + X2 X + b X 12 + bX lX3 + b7XIX2

Where Y = reading achievement score

X1 = frequency of use of DTB's (continuous)

X, = program participation (categorical)

X- = site (categorical)

Because of the combination of categorical and continuous variables as

well as unequal cell sizes, multiple regression procedures were used for

the data anaylsis. The model was examined through the backwards

elimination procedure. First, the interactions between the continuous










and categorical variables were examined (terms b X X2, b XIX3 and

b7 X XX3). If these were nonsignificant the terms could be dropped from

the equation and incorporated into the error term. The reduced model

would then be

Y = a + bl X + b2X, + b3X + b 2X3.

Since the relationship of major interest was between DTB use and

reading achievement, DTB use was entered as the first step in the multiple

regression. Following this, the classical experimental approach was used

for the categorical variables. This order of entry for the continuous

and categorical variables permitted examination of the relationship

between DTB use and reading achievement, and then provided data to

determine if this relationship was similar both in terms of slope and

intercept for all groups in the analysis.

The procedure just described was used for the hypotheses relating

to mathematics achievement also. For all hypotheses the .05 level of

significance was used.

















CHAPTER IV

RESULTS



The results of the statistical tests for the previously stated

hypotheses are presented in this chapter. Four groups of mother-child

pairs were observed interacting in two structured situations. The

desirable teaching behaviors used by the mothers during these sessions

were tallied and these data along with the reading and mathematics

achievement scores for the children have provided the data reported in

this chapter. Results of the hypothesis testing are organized into

subsets based on the dependent variables of the various hypotheses.

Descriptive Data

An issue in the analysis of the maternal teaching behavior is

whether frequencies should be used or whether these frequencies should

be converted into rates to correct for varying teaching times. Data

which can be examined to assist in the decision are the teaching times

taken by the mothers for the two activities separately and then

combined. The means and standard deviations of the teaching times

taken by the four groups of mothers are presented in Table 4.

As can be seen in the table, the four groups of mothers are very

similar in the amount of teaching time used. This similarity is sur-

prising considering that the mothers were allowed as much time as they

wished for each activity. The two groups of mothers from community B

used more time than the mothers from community A, but the difference







47







TABLE 4

MEANS AND STANDARD DEVIATIONS OF MATERNAL TEACHING
TIMES (IN MINUTES) FOR THE MATCHING-FACES
ACTIVITY, THE BOOK-READING ACTIVITY, AND
THE TWO ACTIVITIES COMBINED


Group Faces Book Combined
Description 7 sd 3 sd 7 sd

A FT 8.56 3.69 11.20 4.10 19.76 6.28

A NFT 8.83 2.76 10.79 3.47 19.62 5.28

B FT 8.81 3.61 12.56 5.00 21.37 5.97

B NFT 9.69 5.67 12.89 7.34 22.58 9.02











was not significant. Because the four groups of mothers had very

similar teaching times, there is little to be gained by converting the

frequency counts of teaching behaviors into rates. Therefore, the

measure of maternal teaching style used throughout the analysis will

be the number of DTB's used by the mother during the two interaction

situations combined.

Five variables have been used in the data analysis for the present

study. Two of these variables are categorical: program participation

(FT vs NFT) and site (community A vs community B). The remaining three

variables: DTB's, reading achievement,and mathematics achievement,

are continuous. The means and standard deviations for these three

continuous variables for the four groups of subjects are presented in

Table 5.

As can be seen in Table 5, three groups of mothers used similar

numbers of DTB's. Only the FT mothers from community A have a dis-

similar value, one which is higher than the values of the other three

groups. This group (A FT) is the one with whom there have been

deliberate efforts to modify teaching behaviors. This same group also

has the greatest variation in teaching behaviors as indicated by the

large standard deviation.

Concerning reading achievement scores the two groups within each

community look very similar to each other, with the scores for the

groups from community B being six to seven points below those for

community A. The four groups of children have similar mathematics

achievement scores.






















TABLE 5

MEANS AND STANDARD DEVIATIONS OF NUMBER OF DTB'S AND
ACHIEVEMENT SCORES FOR THE FOUR GROUPS OF SUBJECTS


DTB's
7 sd

24.09 19.17

14.48 9.15

14.41 13.05

14.07 16.98


Achievement

Reading Mathematics
x sd R" sd

107.38 16.74 115.29 6.32

107.52 14.07 116.03 8.82

101.07 11.50 115.21 6.21

99.60 11.36 114.80 10.02


Group
Description

A FT

A NFT

B FT

B NFT











Desirable Teaching Behaviors

Hypotheses 1, 2,and 3 were tested statistically by use of a

2 x 2 factorial design analysis of variance. Due to the unequal cell

sizes, the classical experimental approach was used. The results of

this analysis are presented in Table 6. Significant main effects for

program participation and site were found (F [1,105] = 4.35, p < .05 and

F [1,105] = 4.21, p < .05). The interaction of program participation

and site did not result in a significant F value. Thus, both Hypothesis

1 concerning program participation effects and DTB usage and Hypothesis

2 concerning site effects and DTB usage can be rejected, while Hypothesis

3 relating the effects of the interaction of these two variables with

DTB usage can not be rejected.

Reading Achievement

The backwards elimination procedure was used to examine the model.

First, the interaction between the continuous and categorical variables

was examined. This analysis yielded a nonsignificant F value

(F [3,101] = 2.48, NS), and consequently these terms were dropped from

the equation and incorporated into the error term. The remaining data

analysis was done with the reduced model.

The continuous variable (DTB's) was entered first with the two

categorical variables entered via the classical experimental approach.

The interaction between the two categorical variables was entered on the

fourth step. This ordering was used to handle the problems of unequal

cell sizes and a combination of categorical and continuous variables.

The results of this analysis are presented in Table 7 and relate to

Hypotheses 4 and 5. DTB usage did not result in a significant F value

(F [1,104] = 3.90, p < .06). Consequently, Hypothesis 4 cannot be rejected.





















TABLE 6

ANALYSIS OF DTB USAGE AS A FUNCTION OF PROGRAM
PARTICIPATION, SITE, AND THE INTERACTION OF
THE TWO VARIABLES


Source SS df MS F

Program Parti-
cipation (A) 970.632 1 970.632 4.35*

Site (B) 940.265 1 940.265 4.21*

A x B 526.328 1 526.328 2.36

Residual 23448.445 105 223.318



* p < .05























TABLE 7

ANALYSIS OF READING ACHIEVEMENT SCORES AS A FUNCTION
OF PARENTAL DTB USAGE, PROGRAM PARTICIPATION,
SITE,AND THE INTERACTION BETWEEN PROGRAM
PARTICIPATION AND SITE


Source SS df MS F

DTB's (A) 757.806 1 757.806 3.90

Program Parti-
cipation (B) 3.813 1 3.813 0.02

Site (C) 918.461 1 918.461 4.73*

B x C 53.289 1 53.289 0.28

Residual 20179.373 104 194.032



* p < .05










Site was the only categorical main effect which resulted in a

significant F value (F [1,104] = 4.73, p < .05). This result indicates

that the regression lines for the two communities have significantly

different intercepts. Thus, two regression lines would be needed to

accurately portray the results, one for each site. These two lines

would have similar slopes since the F value for the interaction between

the continuous and categorical variables was nonsignificant. Hypothesis

5 can be rejected as the relationship between DTB use and reading

achievement is not similar for all groups of subjects. The regression

lines for all groups do have similar slopes, but the intercepts for the

two communities are significantly different.

Mathematics Achievement

When the backwards elimination procedure was applied to examine these

data, the interaction between the continuous and categorical variables

was found to be nonsignificant (F [3,101] = 2.42, NS). Consequently,

these interaction terms were dropped from the equation and incorporated

into the error term. The remaining data analysis was performed with

the reduced model.

As in the analysis of the reading achievement data the first

variable entered was the continuous variable (DTB's). Then the two

categorical variables were entered via the classical experimental

approach. The interaction between the two categorical variables was

entered on the fourth step. The results of this analysis are presented

in Table 8 and relate to Hypotheses 6 and 7. DTB usage did not result

in a significant F value (F [1,104] = 0.608, NS) and consequently

Hypothesis 6 cannot be rejected.




















TABLE 8

ANALYSIS OF MATHEMATICS ACHIEVEMENT SCORES AS A
FUNCTION OF PARENTAL DTB USAGE, PROGRAM
PARTICIPATION, SITE,AND THE INTERACTION
BETWEEN PROGRAM PARTICIPATION AND SITE


Source SS df MIS F

DTB's (A) 35.682 1 35.682 0.608

Program Parti-
cipation (B) 7.316 1 7.316 0.125

Site (C) 2.278 1 2.278 0.039

B x C 14.180 1 14.180 0.242

Residual 6103.273 104 58.685










Neither categorical main effect nor the interaction of the

categorical variables resulted in significant F values. These results

indicate that the relationship between DTB's and mathematics achieve-

ment are similar for the four groups of subjects with respect to both

slope and intercept. Thus, Hypothesis 7 cannot be rejected.


Summary of Results

In this study the possibility of modifying parental teaching

behavior by means of a parent education program was investigated in two

communities. Also, the relationship among program participation, site,

parental use of DTB's,and two areas of child achievement, reading and

mathematics was examined.

For DTB usage, a 2 x 2 factorial analysis of variance (program

participation and site) indicated a significant main effect for both

variables. The interaction did not yield a significant F value. These

results can be interpreted as follows: (1) the FT parents used signi-

ficantly more DTB's that did the NFT parents across the two communities,

and, (2) the two groups of parents in community A used significantly

more DTB's than did the two groups of parents in community B.

For reading achievement, the F value associated with DTB usage

narrowly missed the critical value for the associated degrees of freedom.

Site was the only categorical main effect which had a significant F

value associated with it indicating that the regression lines for the

relationship between DTB usage and reading achievement had different

intercepts for the two communities. The slopes of the regression lines

were similar as denoted by the nonsignificant F value for the interaction

between the continuous and categorical variables.







56


No main effects or interactions, either for the continuous or

categorical variables, were significant in the data analysis with

mathematics achievement as the dependent variable. Thus, none of the

independent variables in the study played a significant role in

predicting mathematics achievement performance.


















CHAPTER V

DISCUSSION AND SUGGESTIONS FOR FUTURE RESEARCH



Discussion of the Findings

The two major purposes of this study were (1) to compare the

teaching behaviors of parents who have participated in the Florida

Follow Through Program to that of parents who have not participated

in the program, and, (2) to examine the relationship of use of the

particular teaching behaviors stressed by the model and child

achievement data.

The finding that both program participation and site had effects

on the use of DTB's by parents indicated that the program was having

a significant impact on DTB usage across the two communities and that

the parents in one community were using significantly more DTB's than

those in the other community.

The significant finding for the main effect of program participation

is important as it provides further evidence of the ability of a

parent education program to modify the teaching behaviors of parents.

The current findings agree with those of Olmsted and Ware (1975) and

the two studies together present a strong case for the effectiveness

of the Florida Parent Education Follow Through Program to improve the

teaching behavior of parents.

The significant main effect found for site illustrates the

importance of considering this variable in analyzing data of this nature.










Including site as a variable allows for its consideration as both a main

effect and as one part of an interaction. Any community has its own

characteristics and these characteristics may interact with a parent

education program in unique ways. It would be possible for a particular

program to be implemented in various ways in several communities and for

data analysis to indicate that overall the program was ineffective.

This finding could be very misleading as it is likely that the

program has been implemented with differing degrees of success in the

various communities. Considering site as a variable is particularly

important when a program has many objectives which may be emphasized

differently in the various communities.

Even though a significant interaction between program participation

and site relative to DTB usage was not found, it is evident from the

table of group means and standard deviations that the difference between

the two groups in community A is larger than the difference between the

two groups in community B. This finding is congruent with the

emphasis given to the various elements of the model in the two sites.

In community A considerable emphasis was placed on this objective of

the model while in community B less importance was attached to the

objective. The results obtained do reflect, at least to some extent,

the amount of time and effort devoted to this objective in the two

communities. The lack of a significant interaction was surprising, but

may be due in part to the large standard deviations of the various groups.

The relationship between parental use of DTB's and child reading

achievement narrowly missed reaching statistical significance. Even

though statistical significance was not attained, the results are of

practical significance. In light of the many variables which may have











an effect on reading achievement and the measurement problems involved

in research of this nature, it is encouraging to find a relationship

as strong as the one in this study.

Another factor which may have contributed to the nonsignificance

of the relationship between reading achievement and DTB use is the

uniform nature of the population. That is, all subjects were from

low-income families. Limiting the subjects to one socioeconomic group

may have resulted in restricting the range of behavior on either one

or both variables under consideration. (In previous research the author

has found a wider range of frequency of use of DTB's.) Restriction of

range for even one variable can result in a decreased strength of

relationship. It is possible that had both lower- and middle-income

families been included in the study, the relationship might have reached

significance due, in part, to the increased range of behavior on one or

both variables.

One last issue related to the relationship (or lack of it) between

DTB use and reading achievement may be the length of treatment. In a

parent education program it takes a certain amount of time to modify the

teaching behavior of parents. A parent needs to comprehend the particular

teaching behaviors she is asked to use, understand why they are important,

and be able to apply them when working with her child. This process

may take months for some parents, years for others,and never occur for

a few. Assuming there have been changes in parental teaching behavior,

it may take several more months or years for the effects of these new

behaviors to show up in child achievement data. It is possible that

this particular study was conducted when there had been sufficient time

for the parental teaching behavior to be modified, but when there had










not been sufficient time for these particular behaviors to have an

effect on child reading achievement. It would be interesting to test

this idea by repeating the study with the same sample a few years later.

The significant site effects found in the data analysis relating

DTB usage and reading achievement indicated that the children in community

A had significantly higher reading achievement scores than did the

children in community B. The regression lines for the relationship

between DTB use and reading achievement were parallel for the two

communities, but the line for community A was uniformly higher than

that for community B.

It was not surprising to find that parental DTB use related more

strongly to reading achievement than to mathematics achievement.

Examination of the list of DTB's reveals the strong language orientation

of the majority of the behaviors. This heavy emphasis on verbal be-

haviors was not purposely considered when the list was originally

developed, but should be taken into account if modifications are ever

made with the list.

The procedures used to assign children to FT classrooms followed

local guidelines in each site and varied from site to site. The random

assignment of pupils to FT and NFT classrooms was not feasible, making

it impossible to know if the two groups within each community were

similar. Care was taken to ensure the similarity of the two groups

within each community on all variables considered to be important

(e.g., socioeconomic group, sex, ethnic group); however, this procedure

is an unsatisfactory substitute for random assignment of subjects to

groups.










Suggestions for Future Research

One important suggestion for future work in this area would be to

have a "match" between the parental teaching behaviors stressed by the

program and the evaluation of this program component. This would

entail clearly defining the particular teaching behaviors of interest

and also developing techniques to assess their use. These two

activities are difficult and time-consuming, but are necessary to

improve the caliber of research in the area.

A related problem in the field concerns the particular behaviors

stressed by parent education programs. Various programs often include

a parental teaching behavior with the same label in their materials,

but upon closer examination this same behavior may have several

different definitions. The area needs a standard set of terms with

which to label and describe these behaviors. Also, multiple studies

need to be conducted using the same parental teaching behaviors to

provide several sets of data regarding these behaviors.

It may be possible in the future to identify particular behaviors

or patterns of these behaviors which are particularly effective in im-

proving child performance. Unfortunately, in the present study it

was not possible to analyze the data by specific teaching behaviors due

to low frequencies. However, if several interaction situations could

be used it may then be possible to examine individual behaviors. A

promising approach to exploring the effectiveness of various patterns

of teaching behaviors is in the work of Guertin (Guertin & Bailey,

1970) in profile analysis.

The last suggestion for future research concerns longitudinal

studies. If, as suggested earlier, it takes several months (or years)










to assist parents in developing new teaching skills, and if it takes

even more time for the use of these new skills to be reflected in

child performance data, then longitudinal studies are important in the

area. Only through studies of this nature can evidence be collected

to support or reject the idea suggested above. Longitudinal studies

can also provide data concerning the continued use of the parental

teaching behaviors.

Conclusions

In this study it was found that the Florida Parent Education

Follow Through Program was effective in modifying the teaching behavior

of parents across two communities. Site differences were also found

indicating that the two groups of parents from community A used

significantly more of the teaching behaviors stressed by the program

than did the two groups of parents from community B.

The F value for the relationship between parental DTB use and

child reading achievement narrowly missed reaching significance.

Possible reasons for the near miss were presented including the re-

stricting population, the length of treatment, and the primitive state

of instrumentation in the area. The results also indicated that although

the regression lines were parallel for the two communities, the line for

community A was above that for community B. This suggested that the

reading achievement scores for the children in community A were signi-

ficantly higher than those for the children in community B.

The relationship between DTB use and mathematics achievement was

found to be nonsignificant. Also, the relationship was similar for all


groups of subjects.





































APPENDICES








































APPENDIX A














Matching Faces Activity

Instructions



As part of a national educational project we are looking at how

parents teach and read with their children. Everything you say or do

will be kept confidential. No one will ever know who you are. We are

asking you to do two things, first, to teach (child) how to play a

matching game and second, to read and talk about a book with (child).

Let's look at the matching game.

I'm going to ask you to teach (child) how to play this game. Let

me show you an example. (Lay out the four faces.) Here are four faces.

The idea of the game is to find the two that match. Can you find the two

that match? That's right, these two faces match in everyway. The nose

is different in this one (*) and also in this one (*). I would like you

to teach (child) how to find the matching faces. You can teach him/her

any way you please. There is no right way or wrong way to teach this

game.

To help you be sure you have a matching pair, each face has a number

on the back (*). On the flap of the envelope are the numbers of the

faces that match (*). (Put faces back into envelope and keep.)

Here are the four sets you will use to teach (child). The first

envelope has four faces and one pair that match like the example I

showed you. (Show numbers on flap.) The second envelope has six faces

but still only one pair that match. (Show numbers on flap.) The last

two envelopes have eight faces in them with two pair of matching faces.

(Show numbers on flap.) You can give (child) as much or as little help







66


as you think necessary to find the matching faces.

When you are done teaching this game to (child), let me know. Then

I'll explain about the reading.

Do you have any questions?

You may begin when you are ready.



(*) Do appropriate action.











Sample Item from the Matching-Paces Activity


(1) (2) (3) (4)






Sample 1: 4 faces Two faces match in every way. Each face is on a separate card.
(Answer: 1st and 3rd face)






Sample Item from the Matching-Faces Activity


(1) (2) (3)


















(4) (5) (6)


Sample 2: 6 faces Two faces match in every way. Each face is on a separate card.
(Answer: 3rd and 5th face)







































APPENDIX B













Book Reading Activity

Instructions



As part of a national educational project we are looking at how

parents read with their children. Everything you say or do will be kept

confidential. No one will ever know who you are. We would like you to

read a book with (child). We have selected (title) and would like you

to read this book with (child) any way you want. There is no right

way or wrong way to read this book. Just read the book any way you

please. We're only interested in how you do read with (child). Do

you have any questions? You may begin when you're ready.







































APPENDIX C












Coding Manual for
DESIRABLE TEACHING BEHAVIORS (DTB)
Observation Form



1. Get the learner to ask questions.

In this item the teacher (T) creates a situation in which the

learner (L) feels free to ask his own questions. It is the teacher's

responsibility to present the learner with opportunities to ask

questions pertaining to the task, perhaps concerning something

not fully understood. However, unless the teacher creates the

situation and the learner does indeed ask a question, this

category should not be checked.

For example: T: "Is there anything about this game which

you do not understand?" L: "Yes, why are there only four

correct combinations?"

This would constitute an instance of this category. However,

if the same question was asked and answered with a "No" it could

not be considered an instance of this category.

Note: This item is not for each time a learner asks a

question. The teacher must first initiate the situation in which

the learner asks questions. For example: T: "I'd like you to

ask me questions about anything you don't understand." This

would be an instance of the category if at some time during the

task the L does ask questions.

2. Ask questions that have more than one correct answer.

This item is marked when the one acting as T asks a question

which requires some thought before answering. These are known as










"open-ended" questions and allow the L to answer with any number

of responses, all of which are acceptable.

For example: T: "What do you like about this picture?" or

T: "Why do you think birds fly south in the winter?" or T:

"What would you do?" or T: "What are your favorite colors?"

The above questions may be answered in many ways. But a question

like, "What color is that chair?" has only one correct answer

and should not be checked as a 2. Most "Yes" and "No" questions

are not included in this item. The opinion question "Did you like

that story?" is included because there is no one correct answer.

3. Ask questions that require more than one word as an answer.

This item is marked when the T asks a question which requires

the L to use either phrases, sentences, or a list of things in

answering. This item is never marked for "Yes" and "No" questions.

For Example: T: "What can you tell me about these pictures?"

or T: "What do you like to do on rainy days?" An example of

a one-word answer which would not be included in this item is

T: "What is your favorite color?". L: "Red."

4. Encourage the learner to enlarge upon his answer.

This item is marked when the T prompts the L to expand on an

answer that he has previously given. Also, these second and

subsequent questions must indicate that T's intention for the L

to reach the most complete answer to the T's original question.

For example: T: "What can you tell me about these animals?"

T: "What else can you tell me about them?" or T: "What do

plants need to be able to grow?" L: "They need sunlight."

T: "What else do they need?" or, "Why do they need sunlight?"










5. Praise the learner when he does well or takes small steps in

the right direction.

The T lets the L know when he is doing well or has answered

correctly. The T may only say, "That's good," or "Right; but

her words must carry a praising intonation with them to distinguish

them from mere acceptance of the L's responses.

6. Let the learner know when his answer or work is wrong, but do so

in a positive or neutral way.

When the L makes an inappropriate response, the T corrects by

saying, "Are you sure?," or "Look at it again," or "Let's think

about it a little more," etc. A negative word may not be used

in any manner regardless of how slight or innocent it may sound.

7. Get the learner to make judgments on the basis of evidence rather

than by guessing.

This item is checked when the T guides the L into a situation

where he is required to examine facts or evidence before deducing

the proper answer. The L must give reasons for or cite evidence

for his response.

For example: L: "Billy will like this picture of swings."

T: "Why do you think so?" L: "Because I know that every day

after school he goes to the playground.," or T: "How does

Peter look?" L: "Happy." T: "How can you tell?" L: "Because

he's smiling and clasping his hands."

It is important that the teacher follows up the learner's

responses until the learner gives a reason for his answer. This

cannot be checked until the T elicits a reason for the answer.










8. During the activity give the learner time to think about the

problem; don't be too quick to help.

This item is checked when the T encourages the L to think before

proceeding. This may occur when the learner is stumped and the

teacher pauses to let him think about the problem. The teacher

may then suggest alternatives, give hints, or ask additional

questions.

For example: T: "Why does this block belong with all these

blue ones?" L does not respond. Teacher gives him a few moments

and asks, T: "Well, what color is this particular block." The T

must also allow the L ample time to complete a specific task the

T may have given. For example: T: "Underline all words on the

page that begin with the letter P." The teacher then allows the

L several minutes to complete the task before discussing the

answers. The teacher does not interrupt until the learner has

finished the activity.

9. Before starting the activity, give the learner time to familiarize

himself with the task materials.

The teacher allows the L time to examine materials involved in

the task. The teacher should remain silent and not continue into

further instructions until the L is finished.

10. Before starting the activity, explain what you are going to do.

In this explanation, the T tells the L the nature of the task.

For example: T: "This task is called 'Where would you like to

go?' We are going to look at several pictures and discuss what they

are and what you like about the places they show." This item may

include more than simply the task title but does not need to in-

clude specific instructions to the L.











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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH


Patricia Diann Olmsted was born September 19, 1940, in Chicago,

Illinois. In June, 1958, she graduated from Coldwater High School in

Coldwater, Michigan. In 1962 Ms. Olmsted received her Bachelor of Arts

with a major in psychology from Michigan State University. Following

this, she completed one year of graduate study in psychology at

Stanford University and then transferred to Columbia University where she

received her Master of Arts with a major in psychology in 1966. From

1966 to 1969 Ms. Olmsted worked as research coordinator with the Head

Start Research and Evaluation Center at the Merrill-Palmer Institute

in Detroit, Michigan. In 1969 she joined the staff of the Florida Parent

Education Follow Through Program at the Institute for the Development

of Human Resources, University of Florida, and has continued to work

with the program until the present time.











I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it
conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully
adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy.




William B. Ware, Chairman
Professor of Foundations of Education


I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it
conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully
adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy.




Ira J. Go 'don
Graduate Research Professor of
Foundations of Education


I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it
conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully
adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy.




Linda L. Lammne
Assistant Professor of General
Teacher Education


This dissertation was submitted to the Graduate Faculty of the College
of Education and to the Graduate Council, and was accepted as partial
fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

August 1977


Dean, College of Eduation '


Dean, Graduate School






















































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