• TABLE OF CONTENTS
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 Title Page
 Acknowledgement
 Table of Contents
 Abstract
 Introduction
 Review of literature
 Research design and methodolog...
 Results
 Summary, conclusions, and...
 Appendices
 References
 Biographical sketch














Title: Effects of a curriculum intervention program
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 Material Information
Title: Effects of a curriculum intervention program using fairy tales on preschool children's empathy level, reading readiness, oral language development and concept of a story
Physical Description: vii, 167 leaves : ill. ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Milner, Sharon C., 1947-
Publication Date: 1982
Copyright Date: 1982
 Subjects
Subject: Fairy tales -- Psychological aspects   ( lcsh )
Reading (Preschool)   ( lcsh )
Children -- Language   ( lcsh )
Folklore and children   ( lcsh )
Curriculum and Instruction thesis Ph. D
Dissertations, Academic -- Curriculum and Instruction -- UF
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Thesis: Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Florida, 1982.
Bibliography: Bibliography: leaves 154-166.
Statement of Responsibility: by Sharon C. Milner.
General Note: Typescript.
General Note: Vita.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00099087
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 - 000339605
oclc - 09600220
notis - ABW9292

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Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Page i
        Page ii
    Acknowledgement
        Page iii
    Table of Contents
        Page iv
        Page v
    Abstract
        Page vi
        Page vii
    Introduction
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
    Review of literature
        Page 8
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    Research design and methodology
        Page 56
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    Results
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    Summary, conclusions, and recommendations
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    Appendices
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    References
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    Biographical sketch
        Page 167
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Full Text












EFFECTS OF A CURRICULUM INTERVENTION PROGRAM
USING FAIRY TALES ON PRESCHOOL CHILDREN'S EMPATHY LEVEL,
READING READINESS, ORAL LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT AND
CONCEPT OF A STORY














BY

SHARON C. MILNER


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





UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

1982


































Copyright 1982

by

Sharon C. Milner













ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS


I wish to extend special appreciation to the follow-

ing people: Dr. Linda Lamme, who chaired my committee,

for her advice and continual support throughout my doc-

toral program; Dr. Suzanne Krogh, who acted as the co-

chair; Dr. Patricia Ashton, Dr. Gordon Greenwood, Dr.

Kern Alexander and Dr. Steve Olenjik, who served as com-

mittee members and kept me going through frustrating

times; the teachers at Baby Gator Research Center for

Child Development, particularly Dale Pomerantz, Elmira

Goode and Pat Burke, who helped develop and implement the

curriculum; John Dixon, who helped with the statistical

analysis; my brothers and sisters of the ARICA Institute

who provided friendship and spiritual support; and Lois

Rudloff, who typed the manuscript. Her contribution can-

not be overlooked. I would also like to thank Gil Milner,

who has been a very significant person in my life.














TABLE OF CONTENTS


Page


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS. . . . . . . ... iii

ABSTRACT . . . . . . . .. . .. vi


CHAPTER

I INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . 1
Need and Background for the Study . . 1
Statement of the Problem . . . .. 4
Design of the Study . . . . . 4
Limitations of the Study . . . . 5
Definition of Terms . . . . . 6
Organization of the Study . . . . 7

II REVIEW OF LITERATURE .... . . . .. 8
Fairy Tales and the Young Child. . . 8
Empathic Development in Early Childhood 15
Reading Readiness . . . . . . 22
Story Retelling and Oral Language Devel-
opment . . . . . . . . 29
Concept of a Story . . . . . .. 36

III RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY . .. 56
Design ...... . . . . 56
Limitation and Threats to Internal and
External Validity . . . . .. 58
Subjects . . . .. . . . .. 59
Hypotheses . . . .. . . . . 61
Instrumentation . . . . ... 70
Treatment . . . ... . . . .74
Unique Activities . . . . ... 79

IV RESULTS . . .. . . . . 83
Empathy . . . . . .. . 83
Reading Readiness . . .. . . . 87
Oral Language . . . . . . . 90
Average Number of Words per T-Unit . . 93
Concept of a Story . . .. . . 98









Page

CHAPTER

V SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, AND
RECOMMENDATIONS . . . . . .. 116
Summary . . . . . . . . 116
Conclusions . . . . . . .. 121
Recommendations . . . . . .. 133


APPENDIX

A CARNEGIE-MELLON UNIVERSITY INTERPERSONAL
AWARENESS TEST . . . . . ... 137
Part I . . . . . . . .. 137
Part II . . . . . . . .. 140

B TEACHER BACKGROUND QUESTIONNAIRE ... . 143

C TABULATION OF LANGUAGE SAMPLES
STORY RETELLING . . . . . .. 144

D UNIQUE BOOKS AND ACTIVITIES . . .. 146


REFERENCES . . . . . . . . .. 154

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH . . . . . . .. 167












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



EFFECTS OF A CURRICULUM INTERVENTION PROGRAM
USING FAIRY TALES ON PRESCHOOL CHILDREN'S EMPATHY LEVEL,
READING READINESS, ORAL LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT AND
CONCEPT OF A STORY


By

Sharon C. Milner

December, 1982


Chairperson: Linda Leonard Lamme
Major Department: Curriculum and Instruction


The purpose of this study was to investigate the ef-

fects of a curriculum intervention using fairy tales on pre-

school children's empathy level, reading readiness skills,

oral language development and concept of a story.

The study involved 56 preschool children (aged three-five

years) enrolled at Baby Gator Child Care Center, a day care

center for children of students, staff and faculty of the

University of Florida. Each child was pre- and posttested

by undergraduate students from the early childhood education

department on the following instruments: (a) Interpersonal

Awareness Test, (b) reading readiness subtest of the Basic

Schools Skills Inventory, (c) and a storyretelling measure.









An analysis of covariance was used to test for the ef-

fects of group, age and sex on most dependent variables.

Fisher's Exact Test was used where the variables were di-

chotomous. The significance level was set at a=.05.

An experimental curriculum was developed and imple-

mented by a team of four teachers over an eight-week period.

The curriculum consisted of a unit based on fairy tales in

conjunction with related follow-up activities. The control

group received their regular preschool curriculum.

The experimental curriculum had significant effects on

empathy, syntactic maturity and the use of formal opening

and number of characters mentioned in story retelling.

These results indicate that a curriculum unit based on

fairy tales can have positive effects on young children's

development. Implications for teachers and suggestions for

future research are discussed.













CHAPTER I
INTRODUCTION



Children's literature is part of the curriculum of most

preschools, but the involvement of children with books is

seldom systematically organized. If literature is to be

used as an educational tool, teachers must explore the po-

tential of books to discover methods that will help children

grow.

This study used a particular genre of children's lit-

erature, fairy tales, as the focus of a curriculum unit to

promote development of empathy, reading readiness, oral lan-

guage, and concept of a story in preschool children. This

study analyzes the effectiveness of an experimental unit

based on fairy tales.



Need and Background for the Study


Fairy tales have been hypothesized to be related to

the young child's cognitive and emotional development and

to fill a crucial psychological need (Bettelheim, 1976;

Favat, 1977). Research has shown that involving children

with fairy tales has positive results (Saltz & Johnson,

1573, 1974; Saltz, Dixon, & Johnson, 1977). These research-

ers suggested at the conclusion of a three year longitudinal









study in which disadvantaged children were trained to en-

act fairy tales that similar studies should be done with

other populations. In another study, Vallasekova (1974)

stated that more experimental research was needed to ascer-

tain the effects that fairy tales have on the young child

(p. 34). These results have been promising but no study

has systematically involved preschoolers with fairy tales.

Empathy has been increasingly recognized as a funda-

mental process underlying interpersonal development and

communication (Borke, 1972). Gouze (1975) successfully

trained preschool children to be more empathic through a

systematic program in psychological education. One defect

of this study was the lack of a control group. The present

study attempted to develop empathy in children through spe-

cial activities (i.e., role-playing, dramatic play) based

on fairy tales. A control group was part of the design of

the study.

Reading readiness is another aspect of the curriculum

that can be facilitated through involvement with literature.

Research by Downing (1970, 1971) and Reid (1958) has sug-

gested that an important factor in learning to read is the

development of concepts and reasoning abilities on which

reading is based. A readiness training program must take

into account how children learn. There has been a contro-

versy in the literature over the type of training program

(direct vs. incidental) that is best for children. This









study used the language experience approach (with some di-

rect teaching) since it has been shown to be effective with

middle class children (Blakley & Shadle, 1961; O'Donnell &

Raymond, 1972).

Children's literature has been used to facilitate vari-

ous aspects of development in the school setting. Previous

studies have demonstrated that reading aloud to children

can increase growth of oral language (Cohen, 1968; Isbell,

1979). Cohen used a mixture of different types of books

with related follow-up activities with primary age disadvan-

taged children. Isbell's study was done with preschoolers,

but the sample size was quite small (n=12). The present

study uses follow-up activities based on fairy tales with a

population of middle class children. The sample size was

56.

The child's concept of a story has been studied by Ap-

plebee (1978). He found the use of formal story elements

increased with age from 3 to 11. The present research at-

tempted to teach children to use these formal elements in

retelling fairy tales.

In summary, this study needed and will add to research

knowledge as follows:

(1) Children will be systematically involved with a

curriculum unit based on fairy tales in an attempt to opti-

mize development of empathy, reading readiness, oral lan-

guage and concept of a story. The effectiveness of the









curriculum will add to current knowledge in the areas stud-

ied.

(2) The population will be middle class children,

rather than disadvantaged as in previous studies.

(3) The addition of a control group and larger sample

size will add to the generalizability of the results.



Statement of the Problem


The purpose of this study was to investigate the ef-

fects of a children's literature curriculum intervention

using fairy tales on preschool children's empathy level,

reading readiness, oral language development and concept

of a story. The results will provide teachers with a method

for systematically involving children with literature to

maximize development on these variables.



Design of the Study


This study involved 56 preschool children aged 3-5

years. Children were pretested and posttested by undergrad-

uate early childhood education students on the Interpersonal

Awareness Test (Borke, 1971), the reading readiness subtest

of the Basic School Skills Inventory (Goudman & Hammill,

1975), and a storyretelling task as a measure for both oral

language development and concept of a story (Applebee, 1978;

Isbell, 1979). Analysis of covariance and Fisher's Exact










Test were used to ascertain the effectiveness of the curric-

ulum in promoting development on the dependent variables.



Limitations of the Study


It is recognized that there were limitations, for which

no controls were established, which could have influenced

the findings of this study. The investigator was a part-

time teacher in the treatment group. She functioned as one

of a team of four teachers who developed and implemented

the experimental curriculum. If she or the other teachers

were superior in some way to the teachers in the control

group this could be mistaken for the treatment effect.

The sample was limited to students enrolled at Baby

Gator Research Center for Child Development, a day care cen-

ter for children of staff, faculty and students of the Uni-

versity of Florida. This will influence the degree to which

the results are generalizable to other populations. Al-

though all children in two classes participated in the study,

the sample size was not large (n=56).

Children were assigned to classes by a random process.

However, the classes were intact at the commencement of the

study, making a true experimental design impossible. Neither

was it possible to randomly assign the treatment to the

groups due to the investigator and her team functioning as

the curriculum development team.









Length of treatment was another limitation. The exper-

imental curriculum was implemented over an eight week period.

A longer intervention would have been desirable, but was not

possible due to time limitations of the investigator.



Definition of Terms


The following definitions were used for the purpose of

this study:

T-unit. An independent clause and its modifiers, as

defined by Hunt (1965) and Loban (1976).

Syntactic Maturity. The number of T-units and the

average number of words per T-unit.

Story retelling. The oral telling of a story by the

subject which has already been read aloud during daily

story time.

Story Concept. The use of formal story elements: for-

mal beginning, formal ending, unity, number of conversation

quotations, number characters mentioned and number incidents

recalled.

Fairy tale program. Teachers read a fairy tale to the

preschool group during regular story time. Children then

participate in related follow-up activities of their choice.

Young Children. Three, four and five year old children

in an organized preschool program.










Organization of the Study


This chapter presented and delineated the problem.

Chapter II surveys the literature relevant to this study.

Areas covered include fairy tales and the young child,

empathic development in early childhood, literature and the

development of empathy, reading readiness, children's liter-

ature and the development of oral language, storyretelling

and language development and the child's concept of a story.

A general description and justification of the experimental

curriculum are included in this chapter.

Chapter III describes the research procedures for the

study. The design, sample, instrumentation, procedures,

data analysis techniques and threats to internal and exter-

nal validity are discussed in detail. Chapter IV analyzes

the results of the statistical treatment of the data. Chap-

ter V presents the findings, gives conclusions and draws im-

plications for readers, makes recommendations for future re-

search.













CHAPTER II
REVIEW OF LITERATURE



This study was designed to investigate the effects of

a curriculum intervention based on fairy tales on preschool

children's empathy level, reading readiness skills, oral lan-

guage development and concept of a story. This review pre-

sents (a) a discussion of the theoretical rationale for

using fairy tales with young children and related research

findings; (b) relevant research on the development of em-

pathy and empathy training programs; (c) research pertain-

ing to reading training; (d) research findings on story re-

telling as a measure of oral language; (e) a presentation

of literature related to the child's developing concept of

a story; (f) a discussion on the relationship of children's

literature and language development; and, (g) a description

of and justification for the experimental curriculum.



Fairy Tales and the Young Child


Fairy tales belong to a larger body of literature known

as folktales. It is necessary to understand the importance

of folktales in order to define "fairy tales." Arbuthnot

(1976) described folktales as stories of anonymous origin

that were handed down orally from generation to generation










and contain various elements of a tribe or group of people

such as superstitions, rituals and religious elements.

Briggs and Wayne (1979) offer a similar definition.


Folktakes may be defined as stories of anon-
ymous origin which form a part of the oral
tradition of a tribe or people. Fairy stor-
ies . are usually included within the
larger category of folktales even though the
authorship of modern fairy stories is known.
Adults may classify the stories as folktales
but children call them fairy tales because
of the magic, enchantment and wonder therein.
(p. 15)


Social anthropologists believe that folktales have

acted to cement the belief systems and acceptable codes of

behavior for a group of people. This is the reason folk and

fairy tales are found worldwide in children's fiction (Opie

& Opie, 1974; Sutherland & Arbuthnot, 1977). In addition,

striking similarities are found among the tales of differ-

ent people. Opie and Opie (1974) hypothesized that people

everywhere are faced with common human problems.

It is difficult to arrive at a precise definition of

"fairy tales." However, most experts in children's litera-

ture include the following elements in their definition:

(1) fairy tales are more complex than folktales in theme or

plot, (2) they contain magical elements, (3) the characters

are usually witches, princes and princesses, fairies, etc.,

(4) they are unbelievable.

In this study, the fairy tales that form the base of

the curriculum meet the criteria listed above. All come










from the well known collection of Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm

(Germany, 1815). The stories selected are listed as fairy

tales in the work The Classic Fairy Tales by Opie and Opie

(1974). According to Favat (1977), in each fairy tale there

is a hero or heroine who comes upon a person or animal of

magical powers from whom he receives a magical device enabl-

ing him to attain his fortune or wishes as a reward for a

good deed. The main character always struggles against the

powers of evil or some deprivation, but comes out victori-

ous in the end. The tales selected for this study contain

this type of theme.

Andre Favat (1977) studied children's interest in fairy

tales. He was interested in cognitive development and found

what he believed were similar characteristics in young chil-

dren's thinking and fairy tales. Favat studied the stories

collected by Perrault and the Grimm brothers and integrated

characteristics of these studies with the theory of intelli-

gence proposed by Jean Piaget. Favat suggested the follow-

ing characteristics were found in both child and tale:

(1) Magic and the child. Children believe an object

or place can magically be used to influence another object.

This is related to Piaget's concept of "participation," in

which beings or objects have a direct influence on one an-

other even though there is no spatial contact or intelligi-

ble causal connection between them (p. 132). In fairy tales

the characters often use thoughts and words to influence

events. They wish for things and they occur.










(2) Animism. Piaget states that until the age of six

or seven, the child regards a large number of inanimate

things as living and conscious. Favat noticed the human

qualities of animals in fairy tales and the process of trans-

formation of humans into animals.

(3) Justice and morality. For very young children,

justice is whatever the authority commands. Piaget dis-

cussed the concept of expiatoryy punishment," in which to

set things right one must powerfully coerce individuals back

to their duty through a powerful punishment (Piaget, 1964).

Favat tells us in fairy tales wrongdoers encounter harsh pun-

ishment, which to the child seems just.

(4) Egocentrism. Piaget (1967) explained that in the

young child there is a lack of differentiation between con-

sciousness of actions of the self on the self and the self

on other things. The child gradually learns to distinguish

the self from the external world. In fairy tales, according

to Favat, the hero is the center of his world. The events

come together to help him fulfill his desires. Therefore,

the fairy tale embodies an accurate representation of the

child's conception of the world. Piaget and Favat stress

the importance of social interaction in helping the child

decenter his viewpoint.

Bruno Bettelheim (1975) concentrated on the emotional

benefits of fairy tales. Bettelheim felt that behind the

observable events of the story were hidden meanings and










symbols. In The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Im-

portance of Fairy Tales (1976), Bettleheim went into great

detail on the symbolism in each story from his psychoana-

lytic viewpoint. He discussed how fairy tales personify

children's inner conflicts and fears and offered suggestions

of how these conflicts might be solved. Bettleheim stated:


Nothing in the entire range of children's lit-
erature, with rare exceptions, can be as en-
riching and satisfying to the child and adult
alike as the folk fairy tale. . From them
a child can learn more about the inner prob-
lems of man and about solutions to his own
(and our) predicaments in any society, than
he can from any other type of story within his
comprehension. . The child can find meaning
through fairy tales. (1975, p. 50)


In a more recent work, Donald Baker (1981) supported

this viewpoint. He stated that "folk and fairy tales should

be at the center of our education in school and home, for

they are the source of our beliefs about humanity" (p. 3).

Baker also felt that fairy tales help children confront

their unconscious terrors in secure surroundings and thus

enable children to overcome their fears and anxieties.

Baker stated that fairy tales were essential to the school

curriculum because fairy tales teach children about life.

This viewpoint has also been expressed by others (MacVeagh

& Shands, 1982; Moss, 1982).

More research is needed to determine the actual ef-

fects fairy tales have on children. Guthrie (1978) has sug-

gested research possibilities based on Bettleheim's theory,









specifically related to the emotional benefits fantasy pro-

vides. He suggested that children be encouraged to project

emotions on the story characters to work out their own feel-

ings.

From 1972-1976, Saltz, Dixon and Johnson (1977) inves-

tigated the effects of a special form of imaginative play,

called thematic fantasy play, and found it to be beneficial

to both cognitive and emotional development. Thematic fan-

tasy play entailed children acting out fairy tales such as

"Little Red Riding Hood" and "The Three Little Pigs" under

the guidance of a teacher. They found this training had

significant effects on empathy, representational thinking,

and concept formation. This study was done with low income

preschoolers in Detroit. The present study used thematic

fantasy play as one curriculum device with middle class chil-

dren.

Pelligrini and Galda (1982) did a similar study with

108 low income black children in grades K-2. Children were

randomly assigned to one of three treatment conditions:

thematic fantasy play, an adult-led discussion group or

drawing. Children in the thematic fantasy play group en-

acted fairy tales. Children in the discussion group heard

the story but did not participate in reenactment. The group

that had enacted the fairy tales scored significantly higher

than the other two conditions on a measure of story compre-

hension. The results of this study support the method









developed by Saltz, Dixon and Johnson that was used in the

present study.

Silvern, Williamson, Taylor, and Kelley (1982) studied

story recall as a product of play, story familiarity and

adult intervention. Subjects were 340 kindergarten and pri-

mary grade children. The treatment involved the teacher

reading a story to the group followed by enactment. The

control condition consisted of story reading followed by

discussion. Fairy tales and other stories were used as

stimuli. The treatment group scored significantly better

on story recall. Another function of this study was to ex-

pand what was known on the effects of fairy tales through

the use of a systematically planned curriculum unit.

Several authors suggested using fairy tales in the

early childhood curriculum. Moss (1980), in her doctoral

dissertation, suggested that fairy tales can help children

think more creatively. Clark (1977), in a study of the his-

torical development of fairy tales, stated that fairy tales

are a valid way of transmitting truth for children. O'Don-

nell (1978) believed that fairy tales help children develop

more self-understanding and also contribute to language de-

velopment and appreciation for literature. Brownell (1981),

as a result of his research, found that fairy tales could

have a positive effect on children. Thus, fairy tales are

thought to contribute to the development of the personality

as a whole.










Much of the research on fairy tales has been theoret-

ical rather than experimental, though the empirical studies

mentioned reported significant results. For example, Rausch

(1977) conducted a study on the debate over using fairy

tales with children. She concluded that the weight of evi-

dence supported the use of fairy tales. Another unique as-

pect of this study was the use of fairy tales as the focus

of the curriculum.

In summary, theorists believe that fairy tales are a

unique genre of literature which serves a specific function

in the young child's development. Fairy tales have been

found to facilitate cognitive and emotional development.

Children as young as age three have been found to be inter-

ested in listening to fairy tales (Favat, 1977). For these

reasons fairy tales were the focus of the curriculum in

this research project.



Empathic Development in Early Childhood


Empathy, as defined in this study, was affective role

taking or the cognitive ability to discriminate and label

the emotional state of others (Feshbach, 1975). This should

not be confused with the empathy of a mature adult which

Borke stated is "the ability to perceive the world from the

perspective of the other" (1971, p. 262).

Recent studies on empathic development in children have

been plagued by methodological problems stemming from










confusion and lack of agreement on how to define empathy

(Gouze, 1975; Kurdek, 1978; Sawin, 1979). Reliability and

validity of the measurements used in most studies are usu-

ally not mentioned. Though the situation has improved

(Bryant, 1982), more work needs to be done.

Borke (1973) and others (Hoffman, 1978; Mussen & Eisen-

berg-Berg, 1977) have suggested that empathy is a develop-

mental process, the foundations of which are laid in early

childhood in interaction with significant others. Empathy

is manifested in young children as an awareness that others

have feelings which are different from their own.

Research studies have substantiated this developmental

theory (Feshbach, 1973; Hughes, 1975; Selman, 1975). In a

series of studies, Borke (1971, 1972, 1975) investigated

egocentrism in children aged three through six. She found

that by three years of age, children could accurately iden-

tify happy and unhappy responses in others (1971). The

1975 study compared empathic responses in American and Chi-

nese children. Borke found that Chinese children correctly

identified sad and fearful situations earlier than American

children. These results suggested that the ability to take

the affective perspective of another is learned and is in-

fluenced by the culture. Also, children as young as age

three seemed to possess this rudimentary empathic ability.

Using a variation of Piaget's mountain task in the

1975 study, Borke conducted an interesting investigation on










perceptual role taking, which is hypothesized to be a pre-

cursor to empathic role taking. She had Grover, a charac-

ter from "Sesame Street," the popular children's television

show, drive around a table in a toy fire engine. Scenes

were set up using small toys that would appeal to the chil-

dren. The scenes were on turntables and the children re-

sponded by showing how the scene looked to Grover. Children

aged three to four responded correctly 80% of the time.

Similar results were found by Hughes in his doctoral

dissertation (1975). He devised a task in which the child

had to hide a doll from two policemen dolls. There was only

one possible place to hide it where neither of the policemen

dolls could see it. Ninety percent of the three and one-

half to five year old children correctly completed this task.

Donaldson (1978), in discussing these results, suggested

that some role taking tasks used in research studies have

been too difficult for young children, particularly the

level of abstraction required. However, a task like hiding

a doll is something children can relate to because they un-

derstand the concept "hiding." These studies imply that

children may be capable of role taking and empathy, a form

of role taking, earlier than was previously thought. If

this is true, educators must come to understand ways the en-

vironment can support empathic development.

Martin Hoffman developed a theory of empathy based on

the child's ability to distinguish himself from others










(1978). Hoffman believed that human beings have an innate

capacity for empathy which must be developed through social

interaction. According to Hoffman, the beginnings of em-

pathy are present before age two. The research of Yarrow

and Zahn-Waxler (1976) at the National Institute of Mental

Health has supported this. They found children as young

as one year have the capacity for compassion and various

prosocial behaviors.

Hoffman stated that by the time the child is two or

three, he has acquired "person permanence" and is beginning

to develop a rudimentary sense of others not only as physi-

cal entities, but as having inner states, thoughts, percep-

tions and feelings that are independent of his own. This

is the first step in the development of empathy and other

forms of role taking. At this time, Hoffman suggests chil-

dren need increased experience imagining themselves in the

place of other. By the age of four or five, children can

respond with appropriate affect and can mentally represent

another's plight.

To summarize, research on empathy has shown that the

capacity for empathy is innate, and that it is a develop-

mental ability learned through interaction in the social

environment. Children as young as age one are capable of

rudimentary empathic responses. Empathic development can

be facilitated in an environment where children are allowed

to interact socially and are encouraged to imagine how oth-

ers feel.










Training Studies

If the development of empathy is a continuous process

and empathic capacity is learned, it follows that this abil-

ity must be trainable. This is the opinion of Mussen and

Eisenberg-Berg, 1977).


If, as we believe, the predisposition to em-
pathic responses is an acquired capacity, it
must be trainable, that is, levels of em-
pathy can be raised by special training.
(p. 137)


Although few empathy training studies have been carried out

with preschool children,the effectiveness of empathy train-

ing has been substantiated in three studies.

Gouze (1975) investigated the effects of an empathy

training program for preschoolers and adolescents. He de-

vised a curriculum based on the Aprinthall-Mosher deliber-

ate psychological education model, and trained adolescents

to work with the preschoolers. The subjects were nine high

school and 15 preschool students. The high school students

were trained in the use of role-playing with young children.

They were also trained to respond effectively to the pre-

schoolers. The training program with the preschoolers

lasted for six weeks, for 30 minutes per day.

Children were given a pre and posttest on an adaptation

of Borke's (1971) and Feshbach's (1975) measures. Signif-

icant differences were found at the a=.01 level. A major

weakness of this study was the lack of a control group.










Instead, Gouze used baseline data supplied by Borke and

Feshbach. Since these populations may have been consider-

ably different than his subjects, the results of this study

should be interpreted with caution. However, Gouze did make

a substantial contribution in the development of an empathy

training curriculum for young children.

A promising method of enhancing empathic development in

young children is found in several role taking training stud-

ies. Staub (1971) successfully trained kindergarten boys in

role playing. Iannotti (1976) found role playing and role

switching in six and nine year old boys had significant ef-

fects on role taking ability and sharing behavior. While

this study concentrated on affective role taking, these

methods were employed. Already mentioned was the work of

Saltz and Johnson (1974) and Saltz, Dixson and Johnson (1977)

in which disadvantaged preschoolers were trained through

fantasy play based on fairy tales to be more empathic.

Thus role playing and switching roles seem to be effective

training procedures.


Literature and Empathic Development

The technique of using reading material to achieve af-

fective change is known as bibliotherapy. In education this

method has mostly been used by librarians and reading spe-

cialists to help children with special problems.










Appleberry (1970) suggested that bibliotherapy was a

valuable technique for the classroom teacher. Bibliotherapy

can be used preventively as well as therapeutically. Dwyer

(1977) explained the three steps of this process:

(1) universalization and identification--the child

recognizes similarities between himself and the story char-

acters.

(2) catharsis--the child lives through the situation

and shares the feelings of the fictional characters.

(3) insight--the child becomes more aware of human

situations and motivations for behavior.

The idea of using literature to stimulate various as-

pects of moral development (of which empathy is one) is not

new. Other experts have suggested the rich potential of

literature for this purpose (Hersh, 1979; Kuhmerker, 1975;

Wolf, 1975). Wolf specifically discussed how children's

stories can be used to facilitate empathic development:


When we read meaningful books to children in
groups, over and over, throughout the early
years, we provide, chances to share important
feelings, to connect in powerful ways to oth-
ers, peers as well as elders and to develop
the potential for the full dimensions of em-
pathy, which is, after all, the capacity for
being human. (p. 49)


Wolf also stated that children's books were "an important

stimulus for the activation, heightening, and extension of

empathic capacities" (p. 45).










Gosa (1977) felt that many good books were available

to young children, but their use was haphazard and resulted

in chance effects. Biskin and Hoskisson (1977) developed a

systematic program of moral development using selected stor-

ies from basal readers and training teachers to lead discus-

sion groups. A seven week treatment with fourth and fifth

graders had significant effects on raising their level of

moral judgement. The children were also provided many op-

portunities for role taking and role-playing.

In her dissertation Fauvre (1980), a student of Fesh-

bach's, investigated the use of children's literature as a

medium for enhancing empathy. She concluded that litera-

ture has much potential to enhance awareness of feelings of

others. Her study was done with third and fourth grade

children. This study used literature to enhance empathic

development in preschool children through a planned program

based on involvement with fairy tales. Children were en-

couraged to identify with the feelings of the story charac-

ters. Role taking and role-playing were done with each

story.



Reading Readiness


Downing and Thackeray (1978) defined readiness as "the stage

in development when, either through maturation or previous

learning, or both,the individual child can learn to read eas-

ily and profitably" (p. 10). Pflaum-Connor (1978) added










that a period of readiness instruction should begin long

before formal reading lessons.

The original concept of reading readiness dates back

to the testing movement of the twenties and thirties. Read-

iness was seen as a period of natural development that had

to be nurtured. The curricular changes in the sixties fo-

cused more on academic achievement. In some programs, the

readiness program was taught as isolated skills. Today

there is new evidence that this approach might not be the

best.

Research of Piaget (1955), Vygotsky (1962) and Downing

(1970, 1971) provided findings which suggested that a very

important factor in reading readiness was the child's devel-

opment of the concepts and reasoning abilities that are used

in learning to read. Downing stated that these abilities

may be the most important of all since they are derived

from an understanding of the cognitive development of the

young child.

Piaget (1955) investigated the development of language

and its relationship to the thinking process in children.

Vygotsky (1962) applied these ideas to the process of learn-

ing to read. Concluding his study of the gap which exists

between oral and written language development, he made the

following findings: (1) written language is too abstract

for the young child, (2) the child sees no need for it, and

is not interested in learning it. These findings were










similar to those of Piaget concerning the preoperational

child and his inability to deal with abstractions.

Raven and Salzer, in Marani (1977), applied this logic

in discussing the types of readiness experiences children

need. In the preconceptual substage (age two-four) of the

preoperational stage, rapid language growth takes place.

This evolving language is based on the motor manipulation

of the previous sensorimotor period. Language at this

stage cannot be learned apart from objects and experience.

The preconceptual child thinks "transductively" from point

to point without making relationships between pairs of ob-

servations. Almy (1967) suggested that what the child needs

at this stage is many and varied concrete experiences, the

sensory motor activities out of which concepts and complex

thinking develop. Didactic instruction is not considered

appropriate.

During the intuitive phase (ages four-seven) of the

preoperational period, the child develops understanding of

conservation of substance, the realization that change may

take place in a system without altering its fundamental

characteristics. Related to this are the properties of re-

versibility and de-centration. In reversibility, the child

understands that one may "undo" an operation and return to

the starting point. With centration, the child is only able

to pay attention to one aspect of a situation at a time.

These abilities develop gradually during this period










through the child's testing and interaction with his envi-

ronment.

Piagetian theory supports an activity oriented pre-

school program which emphasizes interaction with materials

and exploration of the environment. The activities should

occur in a social situation where children work together,

share information and learn to take into account another

person's point of view. Readiness instruction should paral-

lel the child's development through motor and perceptual

functioning to symbolic activity. At the preschool age, the

perceptual will be the most prevalent.

Downing and Thackeray (1978) outlined the concepts that

should be included in a reading readiness program. These

are presented below:

(1) the purpose for having a written language

(2) the difference between a word and a picture

(3) the meaning of the concepts "word" and "letter"

(4) the understanding that spoken language can be di-

vided into sounds

(5) the understanding that words can be built from

sounds

(6) an interest and liking for books

(7) the ability to match words and letters.

They believed that readiness for reading can be trained

through participation in natural, real, interesting experi-

ences that have relevance to the child. Thus, they suggested










that reading should be integrated with other activities and

curriculum areas rather than taught in isolation. Children

must develop an understanding of what the process of read-

ing is about.

In an intensive study, Reid (1958) observed 13 begin-

ning readers. She found that to them reading was really a

mysterious task. She interviewed these five year old Scot-

tish children three times during the year, at two, five and

nine months about their understanding of such concepts as

"word," "letter," and "sound." Reid discovered much confu-

sion concerning all concepts which the children gradually

figured out for themselves as time progressed. Downing

(1970, 1971) replicated this study in England and reached a

similar conclusion. He called this unraveling of the con-

fusion "cognitive clarity."

Smith (1978) also discussed the importance of meaning

in beginning reading. He stated that the reading process

was not different from other learning and that "the basis

of all learning, including learning how to read, is compre-

hension" (p. 86). He continued, "Children must have the in-

sight that print is meaningful because that is what reading

is--making sense out of print" (p. 92). One way this in-

sight is achieved is by reading to a child aloud. The child

can observe print being responded to meaningfully.

In the fairy tale curriculum, readiness was integrated

into the total curriculum in a meaningful way. Children










were actively involved in listening to stories that were in-

teresting. The related activities enabled them to manipu-

late the environment and to respond to print meaningfully.

The children's own experiences were used in experience

charts. Labels, signs and other charts were made. Instead

of drill and memorization, the kinds of activities included

in the readiness program were cooking, key words, language

experience charts and stories, and word-matching related to

the charts the children compose.

Readiness training programs have been found to increase

children's level of readiness. Downing and Thackeray (1978)

define training as "providing a range of activities and ex-

periences which will help children to develop basic under-

standing and subskills for learning to read and write" (p.

73). Many researchers advocate a broad readiness program

before beginning formal reading instruction (Blakely &

Shadle, 1961; Bradley, 1955; Peterson, 1937; Ploghoft,

1969). There is, however, some controversy over the kind

of training that is best for children.

The argument can be seen as either advocating direct

or incidental teaching. Several studies have demonstrated

that direct teaching of readiness skills is effective with

disadvantaged children (DiLorenzo & Salter, 1968; Karnes,

1968; Schoephoerster, Barnhart, & Loomer, 1966).

Studies with middle class children have demonstrated

different results. For example, Prendergast (1969) compared










three groups of upper middle class children in an unstruc-

tured nursery school program, a structured Montesorri pro-

gram and a nonnursery school group. After seven months,

there were no significant differences which she felt indi-

cated that four year olds from middle class homes developed

certain prereading competencies without nursery school ex-

perience.

In another large scale study (O'Donnell & Raymond,

1972), kindergarten pupils and teachers were randomly as-

signed to two groups, one a conceptual-language program and

the other a basal reader approach. The classes varied only

for 20 minutes each day. Children in basal reader classes

received prereading instruction that included daily group

activities followed by seatwork. The conceptual-language

group were given many opportunities to develop oral lan-

guage and concepts like those suggested previously. The

conceptual-language group did significantly better on a

test measuring a constellation of factors related to read-

ing.

Blakley and Shadle (1961) found better results with

the language experience approach when compared to basal

readers and workbooks. In a similar study, Morrison and

Harris (1969) found these effects continued into third grade.

The above cited studies provide evidence that both the

direct and incidental methods can be effective in teaching

readiness skills. The direct method seems to work better










with disadvantaged children. It is the point of view of

this investigator that both direct and incidental teaching

can be combined in a training program. Teaching can be di-

rect, without being merely rote. The young child also needs

to learn through informal play activities. These two ap-

proaches were combined in the fairy tale curriculum.



Story Retelling and Oral Language Development


Early studies in the development of oral language in

children used sentence length as a measure of language ma-

turity. Researchers found that average length of a sentence

increased with age (David, 1970; McCarthy, 1930) and that

the child's language environment has an influence on this

measure (David, 1970).

Significant contributions to the analysis of children's

oral language have been made by Loban (1976) and Strickland

(1962). Loban conducted a 13 year longitudinal study to ex-

plore the language development of 211 subjects between the

ages of 5 and 18. From the total group three subgroups were

chosen according to their language ability. Loban found the

group rated high in ability by their teachers exhibited

longer communication units, greater elaboration of subject

and predicate, and greater variety and depth of vocabulary.

He defined a communication unit as an independent clause and

its modifiers. Loban concluded that length of communication











unit and average number of dependent clauses per communica-

tion unit were valid measures of oral language ability.

Ruth Strickland (1962) investigated the patterns of syn-

tax found in the oral language of elementary school children.

Her sample consisted of 575 children from various ethnic

backgrounds and socioeconomic levels in grades one through

six. Strickland informally interviewed each child individ-

ually and tape recorded these conversations. She discovered

that the features that indicate language development are

what she termed "moveables," "adverbial elements," and the

use of subordinating structures within sentences.

In his research, Hunt (1965) renamed the communication

unit of Loban the "T-unit." He found that the mean length

of T-unit was a valid measure of the development of syntac-

tic maturity. This finding was substantiated in a study by

O'Donnell, Griffin, and Noris (1967). Using 18 specific

kinds of sentence patterns to analyze their samples, they

found the mean length of T-unit increased with chronological

age.

This study was partially replicated by Fox (1970). She

explored the developmental sequence of syntactic maturity

and vocabulary diversity of kindergarten, first, second, and

third grade children. Oral language samples were obtained

after the children had seen animated cartoons and were asked

to retell the story. Fox found an increase in total number

of T-units and number of words per T-unit as the children

grew older.










In a related study, Quisenberry (1974) compared the vo-

cabulary diversity and syntactic development of four year

old children in both a Head Start program and in a private

nursery. Interviews with the children were tape recorded as

they played with a set of toys and a set of pictures. She

found that the children from the private nursery school pro-

duced more T-units that were longer than the Head Start stu-

dents. Quisenberry suggested that the T-unit was a practi-

cal and appropriate device for measuring oral language of

four year olds.

The findings of Loban (1976), Hunt (1965), and Fox

(1970) have validated the T-unit as a measure of oral lan-

guage maturity. In the present study the T-unit was the

measure of oral language in three, four, and five year old

children.

The method used, also based on these and other studies,

was individual interviews with children in which they were

asked to retell a story they had already heard during the

regular story time. Since analysis of oral language samples

was time consuming, a representative random sample was cho-

sen. This method was used successfully in a similar doc-

toral study (Isbell, 1979). Isbell taped four and five year

old children telling stories to wordless pictures books read

previously by the teacher.

Story retelling of children was first introduced by

Piaget in 1926. Piaget explored the children's understanding










of stories and their ability to relate story content to

other children. He found that children were unable to retell

a story to another child due to their egocentric viewpoint.

He also found that children comprehended the story told by

an adult better than that told by another child.

Pitcher and Prelinger (1963) also studied the specific

characteristics of children's stories. Their subjects were

two to five year old children enrolled at the Gesell Nursery

School. Among other findings was the discovery that children

used three conventions in their stories: formal opening,

formal closing and consistent past tense. Formal opening

and formal closing were used as a measure of the child's

concept of a story in the present study.

Embree (1973) investigated story retelling in three to

five year old children who were regarded by their teachers

as average in language ability. Two individual sessions

were conducted with each subject. The first consisted of

natural conversation in which the experimenter asked the

children to tell stories about themselves. In the other

session the children were read two stories and then were

asked to retell them to the investigator. Embree found more

differences between children's style of retelling than be-

tween each child's retelling of the two stories. Her find-

ings also indicated that the type of story used has an ef-

fect on the quality of the retelling. The events, the story

line, and the illustrations all affected retelling performance.










In a related study, Willy (1975) used story retelling

with six and seven year olds and identified the elements

children used in oral and written compositions. Among the

conventions noted by Willy were beginning with a title or

formal opening phrase such as "long ago," ending with a for-

mal closing like "the end," the use of consistent past

tense, and a change in pitch or tone. These conventions

are used by children to indicate the recognition of the

story as a mode of communication.

Marshall (1975) studied the stories children told af-

ter they were read a picture book. Her sample consisted of

12 five to ten year old girls, who were asked to retell the

story with and without the aid of illustrations. When chil-

dren did not use illustrations, they included fewer events.

Marshall suggested that story retelling can be a diagnostic

activity to determine the development of logical relations.

The results of these studies were considered in deter-

mining the story retelling task for this investigation.

Children were asked to retell a familiar fairy tale. Fairy

tales met Embree's criteria of containing interesting events,

good story line and aesthetically pleasing illustrations

(1973). The children were permitted to use illustrations

to retell the story. Data were analyzed for oral language

maturity and use of formal story elements. Thus, the story

retelling task in this study refined the methods that were

already used successfully with young children.










Several studies have used story retelling as a measure

of language growth. Blank and Frank (1971) compared two

different methods. Thirty-four children were selected from

day care centers and were placed into two groups which were

matched for age, IQ, and ethnic background. The mean age of

each group was five years, four months. The story material

consisted of nine sentences. One group was presented each

sentence singly and the subjects were asked to repeat the

sentence. The story was then read the second time without

interruption. The second group was read the entire sequence

of sentences twice without requiring any responses from the

subject. After the story presentation, the children were

asked to retell the story and answer a series of questions

to determine their understanding of the story content. On

the retelling task, the direct questioning, the children

who had participated in the group which required them to re-

spond to the sentences individually reproduced significantly

more syntactic structures and recalled more ideas. The re-

sults indicated that children who actively participated in

the presentation incorporated and retained more material.

Intelligence was also found to influence performance on the

retelling task, with children with higher mental ages show-

ing significantly better recall.

Pickert and Chase (1977) proposed that story retelling

can be used to judge the language abilities of young chil-

dren. In their study, a fable was told twice to 36 five and










six year old children from two middle class kindergartens.

The plot was simple and the sentences were comprehensible,

but too long to be memorized. It was found that children's

retelling of the story involved the use of certain skills:

comprehension, organization and expression. They concluded

that story retelling assisted the teacher in evaluating the

child's ability to comprehend, organize and express language.

The effects of live and recorded story reading on the

retelling performance of preschool children from low socio-

economic backgrounds were investigated by Campbell and

Campbell (1976). Subjects were four and five year old chil-

dren from Title I schools. The children in the live treat-

ment were read a story and were shown 13 pictures that il-

lustrated the story. The other group heard the same story

on a record and also saw the illustrations. After hearing

the story, the children were asked to retell it in their

own words. The retellings were analyzed for number of words

and number of correct themes used. Children in the live per-

formance used significantly more words and more correct

themes than the group who had heard the story on the record.

Campbell stated that the children were more attentive dur-

ing the live presentation and this influenced the retelling.

It was concluded that a method of presentation that max-

imizes attention to the content will result in greater story

retention.










Concept of a Story


The child's concept of a story has been studied by Ap-

plebee (1978). He reanalyzed the 360 stories collected by

Pitcher and Prelinger (1963). The subjects in this study

were middle class children aged two to five years. Apple-

bee scored these stories for the use of three conventions:

formal opening, formal closing and consistent past tense.

He found a steady rise in the usage of all three conven-

tions with an increase in chronological age. He also found

number of words, number of T-units, number of characters,

number of incidents and average number of words per T-unit

all showed a consistent and significant rise with age. As

a result of his research, Applebee concluded that listening

to literature is a powerful mode for extending the limited

experience of young children.

Applebee (1978) also found characteristics in chil-

dren's stories similar to those suggested by Favat (1977).

Applying a Piagetian mode of analysis, he found that stories

of children in the pre-operational stage had certain identi-

fiable features. One feature was egocentrism: there was

little awareness of the demands of communication. Another

was the focus of attention on one single, striking detail

in the story to the neglect of other aspects.

In her doctoral dissertation, Isbell (1979) compared

two methods of presenting literature to children, story read-

ing and storytelling. Isbell's subjects were 12 four and










five year olds from a middle class nursery school. She

studied the same story conventions as Applebee. Isbell

found the storytelling group included more incidents, for-

mal endings and conversational quotations. Isbell's results

agree with those of Applebee. The present study used both

story reading and storytelling as a means of presenting lit-

erature to children. In addition, Isbell's sample size

(n=12) was much smaller than in the present study (n=56).

The studies of children's retelling of stories indi-

cate that certain characteristics of form and complexity

can be identified in their stories. The following research

findings have relevance for the proposed study:

(1) The use of formal story elements can be used to

measure the child's conception of the story. These elements

are used more as children grow older and usage is influ-

enced by the children's cognitive level.

(2) The kind of story used in a retelling task is im-

portant. Stories should have attractive illustrations, in-

teresting events and a good story line.

(3) The spectator role, listening to literature read

aloud, is a powerful way to extend the relatively limited

experiences of young children.

(4) Children who actively participate in the presenta-

tion retain more material.

(5) High IQ children have been found to do better on

retelling tasks.










(6) Children are more attentive when listening to a

live presentation by their own teacher.

These findings were taken into consideration in planning

the fairy tale curriculum unit in this study.


Children's Literature and Language Development

One important characteristic of language development

during the preschool years is the rapid growth of speech.

Early childhood researchers have stressed the contribution

of the linguistic environment (Carroll, 1960; Cazden, 1972;

Chukovsky, 1963). One way to influence this environment in

the school setting is through the planned use of children's

literature (Dale, 1976). Sherman (1979) concluded that lit-

erature should be an essential part of the preschool curric-

ulum. Language learned through interaction with children's

books is an important source of learning, and one which

should be introduced to children at an early age (Chambers,

1975).

The studies reviewed below demonstrated positive ef-

fects of a literature program on various aspects of the

child's language development. Cohen conducted a study to

investigate the effects of exposure to literature read aloud

on vocabulary development and reading achievement. Two

hundred eighty-five second grade pupils attending special

service schools in New York City comprised the population.

The same 50 books were placed in ten experimental classrooms.










A manual of accompanying activities was given to each

teacher. Suggestions included discussion questions, dram-

atization techniques and arts and crafts ideas. At the con-

clusion of her study, the children were tested on the Metro-

politan Reading Achievement Test and A Free Association Vo-

cabulary Test. Cohen concluded that the experimental group

showed (1) an increase in vocabulary over the control

group, (2) an increase in word knowledge over the control

group, (3) an increase in reading comprehension over the

control group, and (4) superiority in quality of vocabulary

over the control group. These differences were significant

at the a=.01 level.

Implications drawn by Cohen were that children making

slower academic progress have difficulty dealing with words

in isolation and learn vocabulary best in a meaningful con-

text. She also stated that continued exposure to stories

read aloud in early childhood affected the beginning stages

of transition that take place from comprehension of oral

language to the final use of symbols in reading.

Fodor (1966) used reading of children's literature to

develop language. The experimental groups consisted of 24

children from 21 to 30 months of age who were identified as

culturally deprived. Stories were read to the children for

20 minutes a day, 5 days a week for 12 weeks. The control

and experimental groups were roughly matched for age, race,

sex, and socioeconomic status. Scores were obtained on both










a pre and posttest. Language development was measured by

the number of words spoken in the course of 30 "expression

units" and by the combined score on the Pacific Expressive

and Receptive Vocabulary Test. The experimental group

spoke more words, but the difference between the groups was

not statistically significant.

Cazden (1972), who studied the acquisition of grammar,

and who applied some of the measures reviewed earlier, used

literature in one experimental group. The subjects were 12

black children from 28 to 38 months who attended a day care

center for eight to ten hours per day. The children were

randomly assigned to one of three treatment groups. One

group of four children received 40 minutes per day of exten-

sive and deliberate expansion of speech. Four other children

were in a play session in which the adult read and talked to

them. The remaining children received no treatment. Tapes

were made of each child's speech at the beginning, middle

and end of the treatment period. The children who received

the treatment of the adult reading to and talking with them

made the greatest gains on all measures used to determine

the acquisition of syntax. Cazden suggested that the rich-

ness of verbal stimulation, which is in the limit of the

child's comprehension, may be a critical variable. She also

suggested that stimuli of a certain degree of novelty should

enhance the child's attention to the adult's speech.










A study that examined the acquisition of syntactic

structures and vocabulary in kindergarten, first and second

grade children was implemented by Fisher (1972). Her study

compared two experimental programs: a children's literature

program that emphasized the verbal input of the adult in-

volved in reading stories to children with only minimal dis-

cussion and a sharing and discussion program which also used

literature as the base, but also involved activities that

stressed the use of oral language such as making up stories,

discussion and chain stories. Subjects were 398 children

in six classes in Franklin County, Ohio. Twelve undergrad-

uate students conducted the experimental programs and tested

the children on the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test and the

Linguistic Structures Repetition Test which was devised by

Fisher. There were no significant differences between the

groups. Fisher concluded that significant differences were

not found because both programs were similar in that they

both used literature. A comparison of the kindergarten

means did indicate a gain favoring the sharing and discus-

sion group.

Dorothy Strickland (1962) studied the use of children's

literature as a model for oral language and a stimulus for

activities with lower class kindergarten children. Ninety-

four children were randomly assigned to experimental and con-

trol conditions. The experimental group received a litera-

ture based oral language program consisting of daily reading










from one of 50 selected children's books followed by oral

language activities such as creative dramatics, choral

speaking, puppetry, storytelling and role-playing. The con-

trol group was exposed to daily reading from the same books

by reading not followed by related activities. Children

were tested on The New York City Pre-Reading Assessment, at

the conclusion of the study. Findings indicated that both

groups demonstrated growth in language, though neither group

did significantly better than the other. Again, both treat-

ment and control conditions involved reading to the children.

Results from this study and that of Fisher (1972) suggest

that literature used alone or in combination with follow-up

activities produces growth in children's language and pre-

reading ability. In this study it was decided that the con-

trol group would not hear the fairy tales and the experimen-

tal group would have the fairy tales and related activities

to see if the combination of the two produced significant

results. The control group will have their regular story

time, which is already part of the every-day curriculum.

To summarize the findings presented in this section:

(1) Children learn vocabulary best when used in a con-

text that has emotional and intellectual meaning (Cohen,

1968).

(2) Richness of verbal stimulation is a critical vari-

able in language development. This is provided by children's

books (Cazden, 1972).










(3) Literature and related oral language activities

are effective in expanding children's oral language (Strick-

land, 1962).


Description and Justification of Fairy Tale Curriculum

The curriculum was based on the fairy tales of Jacob

and Wilhelm Grimm. Each book was read during the regular

preschool storytime. Following each story several follow-

up activities were available to the children. These activ-

ities were planned to enhance development of empathy, read-

ing readiness, oral language and the child's concept of a

story.

The curriculum was based on a successful pilot study

carried out by the principal investigator in Winter 1980.

In this program three fairy tales were read to the children,

followed by participation in related follow-up activities

planned by a team of teachers. The interest level of the

children was very high. The effects of this project were

not measured, as the goal was to see if the basic idea was

feasible. The fairy tale curriculum was systematically

planned and implemented.

One result of this study was the development of a cur-

riculum unit based on fairy tales for the preschool (see

Chapter III and Appendix D). The intention was that this

would be available for other teachers, or for follow-up

studies.









The purpose of the study was to explore the effects of

the curriculum as a whole. Replication and cross valida-

tion are necessary to determine which components of the

curriculum are producing the desired effects. This study

was a first step.

The kinds of activities and justification for their use

with young children are discussed in this section. The ac-

tivities included have been demonstrated to be related to

the variables under investigation. The overall goal of the

curriculum was the development of the total personality of

each child. The main aim was to stimulate development.

Piagetian theory provided the basic framework for this type

of preschool program.

The objectives of the program were based on those of

Kamii and DeVries in "Piaget and Education," in The Preschool

in Action by Mary Carol Day and Ronald K. Parker (1977). Day

and Parker wrote:


Piaget's work has clearly shown that young
children cannot learn truths and values by
taking them, ready made from others. Young
children become cooperative, considerate,
respectful of truth, so forth, as a result
of a long process of development. (p. 391)


Their goal was the development of creative children who were

able to think for themselves. This was similar to the state-

ment on the goals of education made by Piaget:










The principal goal of education is to create
men who are capable of doing new things, not
simply repeating what others have done--men
who are creative, inventive, discoverers. The
second goal of education is to form minds which
can be critical, can verify, and not accept
everything they are offered. . So we need
pupils who are active, who learn to find out
by themselves, partly by their own spontaneous
activity and partly through materials we set
up for them. (1964, p. 5)


Social and emotional goals were also important and were in-

tertwined with cognitive goals. It was necessary to under-

stand where young children were and what they needed at this

stage in development.

As stated previously, Piaget divided the preoperational

stage into two substages, preconceptual (age two to four)

and intuitive (four to seven). In the preconceptual phase,

rapid growth of language takes place for most children. Lan-

guage cannot be something apart from objects and experience.

Thought processes are not sufficiently stabilized to allow

the child to profit from abstract concepts. During the in-

tuitive phase, children achieve conservation of substance.

As they gradually acquire this ability, they move from near

total reliance on perception to a greater reliance on thought

(Raven & Salzer in Marani, 1977). The abilities of reversi-

bilities and de-centration are also achieved during this pe-

riod.

A primary concept of Piaget's as applied to the pre-

school is "constructionism." This refers to the process by

which a child evolves his own adaptive intelligence and









knowledge. Children are not seen as empty vessels to be

filled, but as actively building their own understanding cf

the world. The teacher's role is to encourage interaction

with people, ideas and objects and to provide a rich and in-

teresting environment.

The main educational implications of Piaget's theory

were presented by Kamii and DeVries (1977):


1. Children should be encouraged to use
their initiative and intelligence in actively
manipulating the environment because it is
only by dealing directly with reality that
the basic biological capacity for intelligence
develops.

2. Children's spontaneous play should be the
primary context in which teachers encourage
and use intelligence and initiative. In play,
children find an intrinsic reason to exercise
their intelligence and curiosity. (p. 372)


McCarthy and Houston (1980) offered a similar viewpoint:


According to Piaget, children need to inter-
act physically, and actively with their en-
vironment. They need to touch, feel, taste,
see, smell, hear and manipulate in order to
learn. Verbal lessons alone will not bring
understanding. We cannot just tell a child
something and expect understanding. The
teacher must help the child experience what
is being discussed and let the child manipu-
late it too. Rather than direct teaching,
the teacher must provide an appropriate, in-
teresting, safe environment and allow the
child freedom of movement and choice within
that environment. (p. 101)


In the fairy tale curriculum children were allowed free

choice of activities based on the stories. All activities










took place in the context of play. Social interaction was

strongly encouraged, as well as the development of coopera-

tion and awareness of feelings.

Social and emotional goals were adapted from Kamii and

DeVries (1977):

(1) autonomy--security in relationship to adults:

(2) interaction--ability to solve social conflicts

themselves;

(3) independence and curiosity; and,

(4) awareness of feelings in self and others.

Cognitive and social goals develop in the child simultane-

ously. For this reason the curriculum areas were integrated

as much as possible. The curriculum took into account the

implications of Piaget's theory for education. These in-

cluded the opportunity to talk, to interact physically with

the environment and to develop their own cognitive struc-

tures through acting on the environment.


Language Development

An important area of the fairy tale curriculum was oral

language development and development of the concept of a

story. Children were encouraged to talk and to listen. The

aspects of communication skills focused on will be speaking,

listening, and reading readiness.

Henry (1967) believed that the richer and more varied

the experiences, the more effective the teaching of










communication skills will be (p. 69). An atmosphere was

created which encouraged free expression. Children were

asked to give their opinions concerning the stories read to

them. Henry also stated that the oral aspect of language

is usually neglected by the school (p. 56).

Lee and Rubin (1979) listed activities which develop

oral language skills. They included informal talking among

children, discussions in small groups, creative dramatics

(acting out stories), puppetry, pantomime, role-playing and

tape recording children's stories. These activities were

part of the fairy tale curriculum and are briefly described

below.


Forms of Dramatization

(1) Dramatic play--acting out life roles and situa-

tions. Props for this play will change with each new story.

(2) Pantomime--telling a story with body movements.

(3) Creative dramatics--teacher supervises acting out

of fairy tales and ats as narrator, occasionally taking a

part in the enactment. Children take turns and switch roles.

(4) Puppetry--making puppets and putting on shows.

Researchers have found these activities to be effec-

tive. Smilansky (1968) observed that disadvantaged preschool

children in Israel seemed to be lacking in role-play experi-

ence. She trained children in socio-dramatic play. She was

successful and concluded that this type of play participation










helps develop thinking ability and the understanding of the

point of view of another.

Mattil (1971) expressed the opinion that puppetry is a

special experience for the child in which he is able to ex-

press freely and openly some things which are difficult for

him. Neff (1964) found that puppet construction enhanced

creative imagination in young children. Bartunek (1965) con-

cluded that puppets fill a universal need for a unique lan-

guage medium.

Coody (1973) mentioned other activities that facilitate

oral language development and will be used in this study:

(1) Visual aids for storytelling--flannelboard, pic-

tures. These can be left out for children to use on their

own. This would also aid development of story concepts.

(2) Variety in storytelling--reading aloud, records,

puppets.

Other activities designed to facilitate the development of

the child's concept of a story are getting children to tell

their own imaginative tales or make up endings for stories.

Children can also make up stories in groups.


Reading Readiness

The development of reading readiness skills was an im-

portant goal of the curriculum. The method that best fits

this curriculum was the language-experience approach. This

method used the child's own experiences as a base for learning










words, dictating stories, etc. This approach was compre-

hensive and well integrated. The program was based on chil-

dren's literature. Shumsky (1965) defended this type of

readiness curriculum:


Reading readiness should be equated with a
rich program aimed at promoting language fa-
cility and intellectual curiosity about books
and their message. A program of this nature
will include discussion, trips, film, listen-
ing to literature and poetry books read by the
teacher, accompanied by open discussion about
them, children's own "reading" of stories by
looking at pictures, children's dictation of
stories and poems, science experiments and ex-
perience charts which illustrate to the child
the process of transforming ideas into reading
matter. (p. 92)


While direct teaching of readiness skills has been shown to

be effective, the goals of these programs often have had a

narrow, strictly cognitive focus. A more informal approach,

as the one suggested here, fosters flexibility, uses the

child's natural curiosity and helps to develop a positive

attitude toward reading and using books.

An important concept in this approach was the concept

that "print is meaningful." Lee and Van Allen (1963) pre-

sented the concepts children acquire through the language-

experience approach.

(1) I can think about what I have experienced and

imagined.

(2) I can talk about what I think about.










(3) What I can talk about can be expressed in some

other form (paint, construction, dictate, etc.).

(4) Anything I record I can recall through speaking

or reading.

(5) I can read what I can write by myself and what

other people write for me to read. (p. 56)

In addition to the activities mentioned above, these au-

thors added others: listening to stories, dictating, de-

veloping relationships between speaking, writing and read-

ing and making books.

Children need to observe that their experiences can be

recorded. The experience chart helped the child develop

the concept that reading is speech written down. Coody

(1973) stated the charts act as a transition between oral

language and reading. They also make reading personal and

relevant. In this study, the charts were used to teach

sight words through word matching. Each child had a list of

key words based on the curriculum (words he selected).


Concept of a Story

Understanding the formal elements of a story was en-

hanced through telling stories into a tape recorder and

listening to each other's taped stories. Van Allen (1976)

related this process to the development of important read-

ing skills such as sequencing of events, portraying charac-

ters, establishing setting, and organizing plot as well as

aiding comprehension.










Other Related Activities

Listening is the basis for learning the skills of oral

communication. It is the intake aspect of communication.

As children listen to stories read aloud and are listened

to as they tell their own stories this skill develops.

Related aspects of communication skills are music and

dance. Pirtle in "Rhythmic Movement as Related to Language

Arts" in Henry (1967) stresses the importance of movement

and rhythm activities. McCarthy (1930) used music to ex-

plore feelings and moods.

Cooking is another activity that helps children develop

in a number of areas (McCarthy & Houston, 1980). Coody

(1973) suggests that "a reliable way to make each cooking

experience a cohesive learning unit with interrelated steps

is to have it spring naturally from an excellent piece of

children's literature" (p. 97). Cooking facilitates acqui-

sition of new vocabulary, develops sequencing ability and

enhances social interaction.

The activities mentioned above were included in the

fairy tale curriculum to develop language goals. Two other

areas that deserve special attention are art and role-playing.


Art

Art expression as an extension of oral lan-
guage and writing is a very effective means
by which a child can communicate his feelings
and ideas to others and, at the same time,
experience the profound sense of release that
accompanies creative effort. (Coody, 1973,
p. 83)










Art can be an important accompaniment to children's

literature. Used properly, it can facilitate language de-

velopment. Several research studies have focused on this

relationship.

Oftedal (1949) investigated the effects on oral lan-

guage of stories written from the children's own pictures.

Subjects were primary grade children. These stories were

better in number of ideas expressed, amount of language

used and use of fantasy when compared with simple stories

written without the aid of pictures.

Martin (1955) explored relationships with first grade

children comparing oral language, reading achievement, writ-

ing ability, spelling, drawing and painting. Results were

a small, but not significant, relationship between drawing

and the language variables.

Winter (1957) found a small but stable relationship be-

tween achievement and drawing with first grade children. He

suggested that experience with crayons, markers and paint

are valuable in a reading readiness program.

In a more recent study, Platt (1977) used children's

drawings as stimuli for child dictated stories with first

grade disadvantaged children. Significant increases were

found in vocabulary development and reading achievement.

Platt explained that language and drawing are both sym-

bolic functions which deal with the representation of an ab-

sent object. Thus, unstructured art materials such as paint,










clay and crayons can stimulate the development of symbolic

processes and cognitive growth.

Cohen (1972) agreed:


Structured materials are limiting. Unstruc-
tured materials--paint, clay crayons--take
on the form a child wishes to impose upon
them. .... [They] assist children in making
the transition from dependency on concrete
experiences to the use of symbolic represen-
tation. It is this latter, more significant
aspect of unstructured materials that is not
generally understood. (p. 280)


In a study done by Frances DeKane (1978) at the Uni-

versity of Florida, the effect of graphic representation

in producing language in kindergarten children was studied.

DeKane randomly assigned subjects to three groups. The ex-

perimental group was asked to draw pictures and talk about

a recent trip to the state museum. There were two control

groups which had also taken the field trip, structured pas-

sive and semistructured active. Subjects in the experimen-

tal group generated greater verbalization in response to

their own pictures as measured by syntactic maturity and

fluency. DeKane concluded that concrete activity facili-

tated learning for children in the preoperational cognitive

stage. She emphasized drawing as a developmental part of

communication and suggested a greater emphasis was needed in

language arts programs, particularly at the preschool level.

These studies (DeKane, 1978; Oftedal, 1949; Platt,

1977) demonstrated the relationship of art experiences to









oral language growth. Art experiences similar to those used

in these studies will be used in the fairy tale curriculum.

The activities will be aimed at helping children to communi-

cate their thoughts and feelings through art.


Role-Playing

Role-playing was an essential activity in this program.

Research has shown that role-playing as a method holds great

promise for facilitating the development of role-taking abil-

ity (Chandler & Greenspan, 1974; Flavell et al., 1968;

Staub, 1971). Training in role-playing to facilitate af-

fective role-taking or empathy has been effective with pre-

school children (Gouze, 1975; Saltz & Johnson, 1974; Saltz,

Dixon, & Johnson, 1977). Activities developed for this

study will be similar to those used by Van Lieshout, Leckie

and Van Sonsbeek (1973). They developed specific activities

for nursery school children and reported significant in-

creases in role-taking and empathy for three and four year

olds. Other activities were based on the curriculum devel-

oped by Gouze (1975).













CHAPTER III
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY



This study investigated the effects of a curriculum

intervention using fairy tales on preschool children's em-

pathy level, reading readiness skills, oral language de-

velopment and concept of a story. The main question posed

by the study was: will children who receive the experimen-

tal treatment score significantly higher than the control

group on the variables of interest?



Design


The research design used in this study was the non-

equivalent control group design described by Campbell and

Stanley (1963). This design (number 10) is appropriate

when the experimental and control group do not have pre-

experimental sampling equivalence. In this study, the

groups were intact at the time of the study. Campbell and

Stanley stated this design should be used when "the groups

constitute naturally assembled collectives such as class-

rooms, as similar as availability permits, but yet not so

similar that one can dispense with the pretest" (p. 47).









This design is diagrammed as follows:

01 02 03 04 X1 05 06 07

08 09 010 011 012 013 014


where

X1 is the experimental fairy tale curriculum.

0108 are pretest 1 (Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test) for

the experimental and control groups.

0209 are pretest 2 (Interpersonal Awareness Test) for the
experimental and control groups.

03010 are pretest 3 (reading readiness subtest of the Ba-

sic School Skills Inventory) for the experimental

and control groups.

040 1 are pretest 4 (story retelling task) as a measure of

oral language and concept of a story for the experi-

mental and control groups.

05012 are posttest 1 (Interpersonal Awareness Test) for the

experimental and control group.

06013 are posttest 2 (reading readiness subtest of the BSSI)

for the experimental and control group.

07014 are pretest 3 (story retelling task) for the exper-

imental and control group.

The O's above the dashed line represent observations

made on the experimental group which was exposed to the

fairy tale curriculum. The O's below the line represent

observations made on the control group which received their

regular play-oriented preschool curriculum.









The two groups were recruited from the same population

(waiting list at the University of Florida day care center)

and it will be shown that they came from families having sim-

ilar characteristics (educational background, income, etc.);

thus this design controlled for the threats to internal va-

lidity of history, maturation, testing and instrumentation.



Limitation and Threats to Internal
and External Validity


Two threats to external validity must be discussed.

The first was the interaction of testing and the treatment.

It is possible that the experimental group was sensitized

to the treatment as a result of being exposed to the vari-

ous protests. This means the results cannot be generalized

to other unpretested populations except with caution.

The second threat to external validity was that of re-

active arrangements in which the teachers of the experimen-

tal group knew they were part of an experiment. They wanted

the curriculum to work. Also the principal investigator was

a part-time teacher of the experimental group. This threat

was controlled by giving the teachers in both groups a back-

ground questionnaire. These factors preclude generalization

of the results concerning the effect of the experimental

variable to other populations.

Time was a limitation in this study. The experimental

curriculum was implemented for eight weeks. A longer









intervention period would have been preferable but was not

possible due to time limitations of the investigator.

The population was another factor which limited the

generalizability of the results. The study took place at

the University of Florida Child Development Center. Although

open to the community, 85% of the children have parents who

are faculty, students or staff of the university. In addi-

tion, about one-fourth of the children are foreign; thus

the results cannot be generalized to other populations with

different characteristics.



Subjects


All of the preschool children enrolled at Baby Gator

Research Center for Child Development at the University of

Florida were used in this study. Two classes with a total

of 56 children comprised the population. The characteris-

tics of the subjects' families are presented in Table 1.

The purpose of gathering this information was to demonstrate

that the groups were about equal on these characteristics.

A study of this table shows the similarity of family

characteristics of both groups. There is not a large dif-

ference in any category.

This population was selected for convenience. As men-

tioned, the investigator was a teacher at the center. Also,

the teachers at the center wanted to participate in the

study and develop the curriculum. There were four teachers






60



Table 1. Survey of Family Background



Experimental Control

Number families with one child at 27 27
Baby Gator
Number families with more than one 1 1
child at Baby Gator
Number families with both parents in 21 20
the home
Number families with one parent in 7 8
the home

Race
Number of families: White 22 20
Black 1 1
Hispanic 4 7
Other 1 0

Family Size
Number of families: Two members 5 7
Three members 11 11
Four members 8 6
Five members 2 3
More than five members 2 1

Number families receiving welfare 0 0

Total Gross Monthly Income
Under $200 1 0
$200-500 9 11
$500-800 9 9
$800-1,000 1 1
Over $1,000 8 7

Type of Job Held by Client
Professional, managerial, technical 7 4
Clerical or sales 5 6
Student 14 18
Self-employed 2 0









in each group. A survey of teacher background was given

to each teacher (see Appendix E). The results of this sur-

vey are summarized in Table 2.

This table shows similarities of the teachers' back-

grounds in most areas. However, the teachers in the exper-

imental group were older on the average and more experienced

teaching than the control group teachers. This could have

affected the results of the study and should be considered

when interpreting the results. In general, however, in most

areas the teachers were about the same.

The family characteristics study and teachers' back-

ground questionnaire indicated that the groups were about

equal in these areas at the commencement of the study.



Hypotheses


This study was designed to test the following null hy-

potheses.


Empathy

Hypothesis 1: Controlling for pretreatment variation

on the empathy measure and the Peabody Picture Vocabulary

Test (PPVT), there will be no statistically significant

three-way interaction between group, age and sex on the In-

terpersonal Awareness Test.

Hypothesis 2: Controlling for pretreatment variation

on the empathy measure and the PPVT, there will be no










Table 2. Summary of Information Obtained from
Teacher Background Questionnaire



Experimental Control
Teachers Teachers

Sex:
Male 0 0
Female 4 4
Age:
20-25 years 0 2
25-30 years 2 1
30-35 years 2 1
Over 35 years 0 0
Marital Status:
Single 2 1
Married 2 3
Divorced or Separated 0 0
Highest Educational Level:
High School 0 0
Associate (2 year degree) 1 1
B.A. or B.S. 2 3
Master's 0 0
Graduate work beyond Master's 1 0
Major Field:
Elementary Education 1 1
Early Childhood Education 2 2
Child Development 1 1
Number Years Teaching:
At Baby Gator 15 10
Other experiences 11 8
Number of Teachers who have taken courses in:
Child Development 4 4
Language Arts for Children 2 4
Reading for Children 3 3
Children's Literature 4 3










statistically significant two-way interaction between group

and sex on the Interpersonal Awareness Test.

Hypothesis 3: Controlling for pretreatment variation

on the empathy measure and the PPVT, there will be no sta-

tistically significant two-way interaction between group

and age on the Interpersonal Awareness Test.

Hypothesis 4: Controlling for pretreatment variation

on the empathy measure and the PPVT, there will be no sta-

tistically significant difference in the mean scores on the

Interpersonal Awareness Test between the group receiving

the fairy tale curriculum and the control group.


Reading Readiness

Hypothesis 5: Controlling for pretreatment variation

on reading readiness and verbal ability, there will be no

statistically significant three-way interaction between

group x age x sex on the reading readiness subtest of the

BSSI.

Hypothesis 6: Controlling for pretreatment variation

on reading readiness and verbal ability, there will be no

statistically significant two-way interaction between group

and sex on the reading readiness subtest of the BSSI.

Hypothesis 7: Controlling for pretreatment variation

on reading readiness and verbal ability, there will be no

statistically significant two-way interaction between group

and age on the reading readiness subtest of the BSSI.










Hypothesis 8: Controlling for pretreatment variation

on reading readiness and verbal ability, there will be no

statistically significant difference in the means scores for

experimental and control groups on the reading readiness

subtest of the BSSI.

Hypothesis 9: Controlling for pretreatment variation

on verbal ability and the pretest there will be no statis-

tically significant three-way interaction between group,

age and sex on total number of T-units.

Hypothesis 10: Controlling for pretreatment variation

on verbal ability and the pretest there will be no statis-

tically significant two-way interaction between group and

sex on the total number of T-units.

Hypothesis 11: Controlling for pretreatment variation

on verbal ability and the pretest there will be no statis-

tically significant two-way interaction between group and

age on the total number of T-units.

Hypothesis 12: Controlling for pretreatment variation

on verbal ability and the pretest there will be no statis-

tically significant (a=.05) difference between the total

number of T-units between the experimental and control groups.


Oral Language--Average Number of Words per T-Unit

Hypothesis 13: Controlling for pretreatment variation

on verbal ability and the pretest there will be no statis-

tically significant (a=.05) three-way interaction between

group x age x sex on average number of words per T-unit.










Hypothesis 14: Controlling for pretreatment variation

on verbal ability and the pretest, there will be no statis-

tically significant two-way interaction between group and

sex on average number of words per T-unit.

Hypothesis 15: Controlling for pretreatment variation

on verbal ability and the pretest, there will be no statis-

tically significant two-way interaction between group and

age on average number of words per T-unit.

Hypothesis 16: Controlling for pretreatment variation

on verbal ability and the pretest, there will be no statis-

tically significant difference in the mean scores on average

number of words per T-unit between the group receiving the

fairy tale curriculum and the control group.


Concept of a Story

Hypothesis 17: There will be no significant relation-

ship (a=.05) between group and the number of children in the

experimental and control groups on the use of formal open-

ing on the story retelling task.

Hypothesis 18: There will be no significant (a=.05)

relationship between group and the use of a formal closing

on the story retelling task.

Hypothesis 19: There will be no relationship (a=.05)

between treatment and control groups and the use of unity on

the story retelling task.










Hypothesis 20: Controlling for pretreatment variation

on the pretest and the PPVT, there will be no statistically

significant three-way interaction between group, age and

sex on total score, use of formal story elements.

Hypothesis 21: Controlling for pretreatment variation

on the pretest and the PPVT, there will be no statistically

significant two-way interaction between group and sex on to-

tal score, use of formal story elements.

Hypothesis 22: Controlling for pretreatment variation

on the pretest and the PPVT, there will be no statistically

significant two-way interaction between group and age on to-

tal score, use of formal story elements.

Hypothesis 23: Controlling for pretreatment variation

on the pretest and the PPVT, there will be no statistically

significant difference (a=.05) in the mean scores on the use

of formal elements between the experimental and control

groups.

Hypothesis 24: Controlling for pretreatment variation

on number of conversational quotations used on the story

telling task and the PPVT, there will be no statistically

significant three-way interaction between group, age and sex

on number of conversational quotations.

Hypothesis 25: Controlling for pretreatment variation

on number of conversational quotations and PPVT, there will

be no statistically significant two-way interaction between

group and sex on number of conversational quotations used on

the story retelling measure.










Hypothesis 26: Controlling for pretreatment variation

on number of conversational quotations and the PPVT, there

will be no statistically significant two-way interaction be-

tween group and age on number of conversational quotations

used on the story telling measure.

Hypothesis 27: Controlling for pretreatment variation

on number of conversational quotations and the PPVT, there

will be no statistically significant difference in the mean

scores on the number of conversational quotations used on

the story telling task between the experimental and control

group.

Hypothesis 28: Controlling for pretreatment variation

on number of characters mentioned and the PPVT, there will

be no statistically significant three-way interaction be-

tween group, age and sex on number of characters mentioned

on the story retelling measure.

Hypothesis 29: Controlling for pretreatment variation

on the number of characters mentioned and the PPVT, there

will be no statistically significant two-way interaction be-

tween group and sex on number of characters mentioned on

the story retelling measure.

Hypothesis 30: Controlling for pretreatment variation

on the number of characters mentioned and the PPVT, there

will be no statistically significant two-way interaction be-

tween group and age on the number of characters mentioned

on the story retelling measure.










Hypothesis 31: Controlling for pretreatment variation

on number of characters mentioned and the PPVT, there will

be no statistically significant difference in the mean

scores on number of characters mentioned on the story retell-

ing task between the experimental and control groups.

Hypothesis 32: Controlling for pretreatment variation

on the number of incidents recalled and the PPVT, there will

be no statistically significant three-way interaction be-

tween group, age and sex on the number of incidents recalled

on the story telling measure.

Hypothesis 33: Controlling for pretreatment variation

on the number of incidents recalled and the PPVT, there will

be no statistically significant two-way interaction between

group and sex on the number of incidents recalled on the

story retelling measure.

Hypothesis 34: Controlling for pretreatment variation

on the number of incidents recalled and the PPVT, there will

be no statistically significant two-way interaction between

group and age on the number of incidents recalled on the

story retelling measure.

Hypothesis 35: Controlling for pretreatment variation

on the number of incidents recalled and the PPVT, there will

be no statistically significant difference on the mean num-

ber of incidents recalled on the story retelling task be-

tween the experimental and control groups.










Procedures

The curriculum was developed Fall and Winter quarters

by the principal investigator and the teachers at Baby Gator

North.

Prior to the beginning of the study, a reliability test

was done on Borke's revised Interpersonal Awareness Test.

Children at Baby Gator East were tested twice on the entire

measure, with a four-week interval between administrations.

Internal consistency and test-retest reliability were com-

puted. Pretests and posttests of the other measures were

administered by undergraduate students from the early child-

hood education program who received "beyond the minimum"

credit for their participation. The pre and posttest period

were each two weeks long. Each child was tested individually

by one student on each measure. No child was tested for

more than 20 minutes per day.


Data Analysis

The majority of hypotheses were tested using the analy-

sis of covariance with the significance level set at a=.05.

In cases where the variables were dichotomous, Fisher's Ex-

act Test was used to determine statistical significance.









Instrumentation


Empathy

Each child's empathy level was assessed using Borke's

Interpersonal Awareness Test, part I (see Appendix A). Part

I was selected because it provided a measure of the child's

general empathic social comprehension of feelings of others,

and because of the results of the empathy pilot study de-

scribed below. Part II, which measured the child's social

comprehension of feelings of others in terms of the conse-

quences of the subjects vicariously acting on another person,

was not used because it was not as relevant to the study as

Part I, and not as reliable.

On this test, children chose the correct emotion by

pointing to a picture of a happy, sad, angry or afraid face.

Borke has used this test in her studies (1971, 1975). Sev-

eral other investigators have also used this measure (Gouze,

1975; Saltz & Johnson, 1974; Saltz, Dixon, & Johnson, 1977).

However, neither reliability nor validity information was

given in the reports of any of these studies. For this rea-

son, a reliability study was done two months before the com-

mencement of the study.


Empathy Reliability Study

Twenty-eight children from Baby Gator Child Development

Center (a different class from the experimental and control

groups) were given the test by an undergraduate student in










early childhood education after receiving training in admin-

istering the test from the principal investigator. The sub-

jects were tested twice with a four-week period in between

sessions. Both test-retest reliability and internal consis-

tency reliability were calculated.

The Pearson Product Moment Correlation for test-retest

reliability was calculated for Part I and Part II separately.

Test-retest reliability refers to consistency over time.

The respective correlations were .52 for Part I and .13 for

Part II. The overall test-retest reliability was .39. Only

Part I was considered reliable enough for use in this study.

One explanation for this difference was that Part I and

Part II measure different aspects of interpersonal awareness.

In Part I, there is one question with each picture. Part II

has one picture and all the questions are asked in reference

to this picture.

Since these children are in the preoperational stage of

cognitive development, they need more concrete stimulation.

Part II of the Interpersonal Awareness Test may be too ab-

stract for this age child. Perhaps they cannot represent the

scenes internally. It is recommended that only Part I be

used with preschoolers until there is more evidence and that

the results of other studies that have used this test be in-

terpreted with caution.

Internal consistency was also calculated for Parts I

and II separately using formula KR-20. This tests whether









or not all the items on the test measured the same thing.

The result for Part I was .81, for Part II, .64, and the

overall internal consistency of the test was .77. It was

concluded that the Interpersonal Awareness Test was suffi-

ciently internally consistent for use in this study with

Part I being more so than Part II.

This pilot study was a significant contribution to the

measurement of empathy on the Interpersonal Awareness Test,

since this test has been used by several researchers, but

reliability data were not reported.


Reading Readiness

The reading readiness subtest of the Basic School

Skills Inventory (BSSI) (Goodman & Hammill, 1975) was used.

KR reliability coefficients are reported to be .88 for four

year olds and .86 for five year olds. The BSSI was chosen

because of its relevance to the training program in the fairy

tale curriculum. In addition to traditional measures of

reading readiness, such as auditory and visual discrimina-

tion, this subtest included items testing story sequence and

comprehension.


Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test

The Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT) was used to

assess verbal ability. This was an individually adminis-

tered test of general verbal ability for children aged 2.5

to 18 years. The PPVT was published by the American Guidance









Service. No reading was required by the tester. The PPVT

was chosen for ease of administration and scoring. The ex-

aminer read a stimulus word and the subject pointed to the

picture that best illustrated the word.

Pier's, in a review of the PPVT in Buro's (1972) stated

that it was a "well standardized estimate of a child's ver-

bal intelligence." Alternate form (A and B) reliabilities

range from .67 to .84. Congruent validity with other estab-

lished measures were .70 and low .80's (Stanford-Binet) and

.70 through .80 (WISC). Reliability scores for raw scores

were reported to be .75 for three year olds, .81 for three

and a half, .77 for four year olds, .72 for four and a half,

and .73 for five year old children


Oral Language and Concept of a Story

Both oral language and the child's concept of a story

were assessed by a story retelling task. The method was

similar to that used by Isbell (1979). A random sample of

children were selected from the experimental and control

group due to the lengthy process of analyzing oral language

data. A fairy tale not included in the study was read to

the children during their regular story time. Children were

then asked to "tell" the story to the tester who recorded

their speech on tape. Children used the book for retelling

as it had been shown that pictures aided in quality of re-

telling. The tape recorder was hidden in a large hollow

block, so as not to distract the children.










Treatment


The experimental program consisted of selected chil-

dren's fairy tales and related follow-up activities. Each

week the curriculum focused on one tale. Each day the chil-

dren listened as a fairy tale was read or told to them.

Each fairy tale was presented through two different versions

(books) of the same story, and one other method of presenta-

tion, flannel board, filmstrip, puppets, etc. Teachers

planned activities to enhance development of empathy, read-

ing readiness, oral language and concept of a story. The

types of activities are described at the end of this chap-

ter. Thus, each fairy tale served as the focus for an inte-

grated curriculum approach. Each activity was recorded by

the teacher who was responsible for its implementation.

Control group. The control group received its regular

curriculum which consisted of random children's books read

twice daily and play-oriented activities including art, mu-

sic, field trips, etc. The curriculum is described in depth

at the conclusion of this chapter.

Book selection. Books used in this study were chosen

with the help of the children's librarians at the Santa Fe

Regional Library in Gainesville. Criteria for selection in-

cluded large, aesthetically pleasing illustrations, simple

language and an interesting story line. These qualities

were shown to be of importance on story retelling tasks.










The Fairy Tale Curriculum--A Description

The curriculum used children's fairy tales as the basis

for a literature-based unit. This unit was planned to en-

hance preschool children's development in these selected

areas: empathy, reading readiness, oral language and con-

cept of a story. Each week one fairy tale was featured. A

team of four teachers planned and implemented at least three

related activities each day. The children were permitted to

select their own activities. Each child participated in at

least one activity per day. Most children selected at least

two activities.

Some activities were repeated for each fairy tale.

Others were unique to a particular story. The activities

that were done for every story are described in this chap-

ter. The activities unique to each fairy tale and the books

used are presented in Appendix D. It should be noted that

the curriculum was integrated. Some activities were de-

signed to stimulate growth in several developmental areas.

Activities common to all fairy tales

The activities below were planned and implemented for

all the fairy tales to stimulate oral language development.

Dramatic play. A kit of props related to each story

was placed in the playhouse corner. Each week props for the

next story were added. Children could use this area during

any free play time. By the end of eight weeks, all the










props were in the corner providing the stimulation for much

creative, dramatic play.

Puppetry. At least one type of puppet was made for

each story. Sometimes the teachers constructed the puppets

and put on a play for the children, and then left the pup-

pets by the stage for children to use on their own. For

other fairy tales, the children themselves made the puppets

and performed a show with teacher supervision.

Creative dramatics. This activity was teacher-directed.

Children took turns acting out the story while the teacher

narrated. The teacher stopped when appropriate to permit

children to generate their own dialogue. Children took

turns switching roles.

Flannelboard stories. Flannelboard figures were made

for each fairy tale. The story was first told to the group

by the teacher using flannelboard aids. During activity

time, the flannelboard and figures were left out for chil-

dren to use on their own to tell the story by themselves or

to another child.

Reading to children. Each fairy tale was read at least

once a day for a week. Two versions of the story were used

to hold the children's interest. After listening, children

were encouraged to discuss the story and answer questions

such as: "What did you like about the story," and "What

did you not like about the story?"










Children telling the story. Books were left by the

story rug so children could play teacher and "read" the

story to each other. Children were also asked to tell the

story while it was tape recorded. Children then listened

to themselves tell the story.

Art. Children drew pictures of their favorite part of

the story. They were asked to talk about their pictures.

The dictated words were written by the teacher at the bot-

tom of the drawing.

The language experience approach to reading readiness

was used. This method focused on development of the con-

cepts and abilities needed for beginning reading. The ac-

tivities below were repeated for each fairy tale.

Story dictation. Each week children were asked to re-

tell the story in their own words. Children could follow

along using the book or tell the story from memory (which-

ever was preferable to the child). Teachers wrote these

stories exactly as dictated on chart paper. Children then

illustrated their chart with characters and events from the

story.

Book making. This was done individually and in groups.

First, the children) would retell the story to the teacher.

Next, the story would be illustrated using the most impor-

tant scenes. Last, the children would tell the teacher the

words to match each picture. The books were then laminated

and spiral bound.










Listening center. The books used each week were taped

by the teacher and placed in the listening area. Four chil-

dren at a time could listen and follow along in the book

with earphones.

Key words. Children were asked for their favorite

story words. These were written on sentence strips. Next,

children copied the words on paper. A file of each child's

key words was maintained and additions were made each week.

Labeling. Props made for creative dramatics were la-

beled--for example, "Cinderella's Castle" or "Hansel's cage."

Labeling was done on sentence strips.

Special Phrases. Special phrases from each story, for

example, "Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the fairest of

them all?" from Snow White were written on chart paper. Sep-

arate word cards were made on sentence strips and kept in

an envelope next to the chart for word matching.

Cooking. One cooking activity was done for each fairy

tale. The teacher made a large recipe chart using rebus

words so children could read on their own.

Some activities were designed to enhance the child's

concept of a story. The concepts stressed were: (1) stories

have a beginning, middle, and end; (2) stories follow a log-

ical sequence of events (what happened first, next, etc.).

The activities implemented to promote the development of

these concepts for each fairy tale were: telling the story

into the tape recorder while looking at the pictures in the










book, listening to the story told by the teacher, listening

to taped stories at the listening center, and telling the

story to each other.

Empathy was defined as the awareness of feelings in the

self and others. This was developed through identification

with story characters. One way this was accomplished was

through teacher questioning. For example, "How do you think

Cinderella felt when she couldn't go to the ball? How would

you feel if you were Cinderella? Did you ever feel this way?

When?"

Role-playing was the other main vehicle for development

of empathy. Children took turns acting out parts of the

story characters. They were asked to portray how they

thought the character felt in a certain situation.

A feeling game was also played for each story. Large

faces depicting the emotions happy, sad, afraid and mad were

made using paper plates. Questions were written for each

story following this model: "How did feel when

he/she ?" Children held the correct face over

their own like a mask.



Unique Activities


Each fairy tale also inspired the development of spe-

cial activities. The children's books used and activities

are described in Appendix D. The curriculum areas developed










by each activity are identified. Some activities affected

growth in more than one area.



Comparison of Types of Activities
Experimental and Control Group


Each group followed a similar schedule as follows:


7:30 9:00 Free play

9:00 9:15 Snack

9:15 9:30 Story time

9:30 11:00 Activities

11:00 11:30 Free play

11:30 12:00 Lunch

12:00 12:30 Free play

12:30 2:30 Nap

2:30 3:00 Snack

3:00 3:15 Story time

3:15 5:30 Free play and art activities

Table 3 lists the frequencies of each type activity in

the experimental and control groups.

The main difference in the curriculum was the experimen-

tal group's systematic involvement with fairy tales. The

control group curriculum consisted of some similar activities

(for example, cooking) and more random play-oriented activ-

ities. The focus of the experimental curriculum was a weekly

fairy tale. The control group curriculum was organized









Table 3. Frequencies of Activities in Experimental and Control Groups


Activity


Read fairy tale at story
time
Read random books at
story time
Story telling without book
Flannelboard story
Flannelboard at free play
Feeling game
Dramatic play with props
Playhouse free play
Puppet construction
Puppet show
Field Trip
Key words
Experience charts
Art and dictation
Art--other
Bookmaking
Listening center
Cooking
Music singing
Tape record children's
stories
Creative dramatics
Science experiments
Outdoor organized games


Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Total
Ex Cn Ex Cn Ex Cn Ex Cn Ex Cn Ex Cn Ex Cn Ex Cn Ex Cn

5 0 5 0 5 0 5 0 5 0 5 0 5 0 5 0 40 0

0 10 0 10 0 10 0 10 0 10 0 10 0 10 0 10 0 80


2 0
1 0
4 0
1 0
2 0
5 5
1 0
1 0
1 2
3 0
3 0
2 0
4 5
1 0
5 0
1 1
1 1
1 0

2 0
0 1
0 1


2 0
0 1
0 0


2 0
1 0
4 0
1 0
2 0
5 5
1 0
1 0
1 2
3 0
3 0
2 0
3 5
1 0
5 0
1 1
1 1
1 0

2 0
0 0
0 1


0 2 0
0 1 0
0 4 0
0 1 0
0 2 0
5 5 5
1 1 0
0 1 0
2 1 2
0 3 0
0 2 0
0 2 0
5 4 5
0 1 1
0 5 0
1 1 1
1 1 1
0 1 1
0 11


2 0
0 1
0 1


2 0
0 0
0 0


2 0
0 1
0 0


16 0
8 0
32 0
8 0
16 0
40 40
8 1
8 0
9 17
22 0
19 0
12 2
29 40
10 2
40 0
10 8
8 8
8 0

16 0
0 5
0 4


2 0
0 0
0 1










around a weekly theme such as transportation, holidays, com-

munity helper or no theme at all.

Table 3 demonstrates the experimental group curriculum

included more of the following:

(1) fairy tales read at story time

(2) oral story telling by teacher without a book

(3) flannelboard stories

(4) flannelboard free play

(5) feeling game

(6) puppet construction

(7) puppet shows

(8) key words

(9) experience charts

(10) art and related dictation

(11) bookmaking

(12) listening center activities

(13) cooking

(14) tape recording of children's stories

(15) creative dramatics

The control group curriculum contained more random

story books, field trips, miscellaneous, art activities,

science experiments and organized outdoor games.

The groups were about or equal in the frequency of free

play in playhouse and music (singing).

In general, the experimental curriculum was better or-

ganized and planned to fulfill specific goals. The control

group received a typical nursery school play curriculum.













CHAPTER IV
RESULTS



The purpose of this study was to investigate the ef-

fects of a children's literature curriculum intervention us-

ing fairy tales on preschool children's empathy level, read-

ing readiness, oral language development and concept of for-

mal story elements.



Empathy


There were four hypotheses dealing with empathy. The

hypotheses were tested using the analysis of covariance pro-

cedure of the SAS GLM computer package. The two covariates

were the raw score on the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test

and the pretest on the Interpersonal Awareness Test (Borke's

Empathy Measure).

It should be noted that four and five year old children

were pooled together for this analysis. This was necessary

due to an empty cell in the control group (there were no

five year old females). A test of significance comparing

mean empathy scores for four and five year olds in the ex-

perimental and control groups was run leaving sex out of the

model. Means for the different age groups are shown in

Table 4.










Table 4. Means and Associated Probability of
Four and Five Year Olds on Empathy


Cell Means Age Means Probability

Experimental 8.97
4 year 8.28
Control 7.60 .4018


Experimental 8.88
5 year 7.81
Control 6.75




The results showed no significant effect for age (F=.65;

P=.4225). In addition, there was no interaction between the

treatment group and age (F=.04; P=.8471). Therefore, it was

justified to pool four and five year olds under these circum-

stances.

As part of the analysis of covariance, the assumption

of homogeneity of regression was tested. This assumption re-

quires the slope of the regression line in each population

under study to be the same. The within cell slopes of the

regression lines of the pretest on the posttest were equal

(F=0.00; P=.9465). This was also true for the within cell

slopes of the regression lines of the Peabody on the post-

test (F=0.00; P=.9598). Thus, there was no covariate by

treatment interaction.










The hypotheses were tested using one statistical model.

Results of the analysis are shown in Table 5. Cell and mar-

ginal means are shown in Table 6.

Hypothesis 1: Controlling for pretreatment variation

on the empathy measure and the Peabody Picture Vocabulary

Test (PPVT), there will be no statistically significant

three-way interaction between group, age and sex on the In-

terpersonal Awareness Test. This hypothesis was not re-

jected at c=.05 (F = 1.50; P = .2272).

Hypothesis 2: Controlling for pretreatment variation

on the empathy measure and the PPVT, there will be no sta-

tistically significant two-way interaction between group and

sex on the Interpersonal Awareness Test. This hypothesis

was not rejected at a=.05 (F = 2.57; P = .1162).

Hypothesis 3: Controlling for pretreatment variation

on the empathy measure and the PPVT, there will be no sta-

tistically significant two-way interaction between group and

age on the Interpersonal Awareness Test. Hypothesis 3 was

not rejected at a=.05 (F = 0.00; P = .9821).

Hypothesis 4: Controlling for pretreatment variation

on the empathy measure and the PPVT, there will be no sta-

tistically significant difference in the mean scores on the

Interpersonal Awareness Test between the group receiving

the fairy tale curriculum and the control group.

Hypothesis 4 was rejected at a=.05 (F = 18.34; P = .001).

The adjusted posttest means for the experimental and control










Table 5. Empathy Scores as a Function
of Treatment, Age and Sex

Variable DF SS F

Pretest 1 98.90 80.67**
Peabody 1 6.36 5.19*
Group 1 22.48 18.34**
Group x Age 1 0.00 0.00
Group x Sex 1 3.16 2.57
Group x Age x Sex 1 1.84 1.50
Error 42 51.79

Groups Adjusted Means
Experimental 8.84
Control 7.38

N=52
*P<.05
**P<.01



Table 6. Cell and Marginal Means for Empathy
Variable

Experimental Group Control Group Age Means
Male Female Male Female

3 year 8.14 9.34 7.62 6.92 8.01

4 & 5 years 8.74 9.13 7.40 7.56 8.21

Marginal Means 8.44 9.24 7.51 7.25









groups were 8.84 and 7.38 respectively. These results in-

dicated the overall effect of the experimental curriculum

on empathy was significant.



Reading Readiness


Two hypotheses were tested concerning reading readi-

ness. It should be noted that three year old subjects were

not included in this analysis as the Basic School Skills In-

ventory (BSSI) reading readiness subtest only gives reliabil-

ity and validity statistics for four and five year olds.

In addition, there was no five year old female in the control

group. Therefore, it was only possible to explore the ef-

fects of age or sex, but not both. In the first analysis

(with sex and age both in the model), age explained more

variance than sex. The F and P values for sex and age were

(F = 0.00; P = .9797), (F = .76; P = .4804). The two-way

interaction between sex and age was not significant (F =

.42; P = .5222). The three-way interaction between sex x

group x age could not be tested due to the empty cell in the

control group. Since age explained more variance than sex

and the two-way interaction between sex and age was not sig-

nificant, the final analysis was done leaving sex out of

the model.

The assumption of homogeneity of regression was tested

with each of the covariates. A test of significance demon-

strated that the within cell slopes of the regression lines









of the pretest on the posttest were equal (F = .04; P =

.8401). Similar results were found on the test of the sig-

nificance of the within cell slopes of the Peabody on the

posttest (F = .31; P = .5853). Therefore, there was no co-

variate by treatment interaction.

The results for the overall analyses of the hypotheses

are presented in Table 7. Cell and age means are shown in

Table 8.

Hypothesis 7: Controlling for pretreatment variation

on reading readiness and verbal ability, there will be no

statistically significant two-way interaction between group

and age on the reading readiness subtest of the BSSI. This

hypothesis was not rejected at a=.05 (F = 1.67; P = .2060).

Hypothesis 8: Controlling for pretreatment variation

on reading readiness and verbal ability, there will be no

statistically significant difference in the means scores for

experimental and control groups on the reading readiness

subtest of the BSSI. This hypothesis was not rejected at

a=.05 (F = 1.38; P = .2493). The adjusted means for exper-

imental and control groups were 6.94 and 6.10 respectively.

These results indicated that the effect of the fairy tale

curriculum on the improvement of reading readiness skills

was not significant.












Table 7. Reading Readiness Scores as a Function
of Treatment and Age

Variable DF SS F

Pretest 1 86.86 45.41**
Peabody 1 1.28 .66
Group 1 2.64 1.38
Age 1 0.82 .43
Group x Age 1 3.20 1.67
Error 29 55.47

Groups Adjusted Means
Experimental 6.94
Control 6.10

N=35
**P<.01





Table 8. Cell and Marginal Means for Reading
Readiness

Experimental Control Marginal
Group Group Means

4 years 7.63 5.85 6.74

5 years 6.24 6.35 6.30

Marginal Means 6.96 6.10










Oral Language


The oral language samples were analyzed in two parts:

as a measure of syntactic maturity and for story retelling

ability.


Syntactic Maturity

Syntactic maturity was measured by dividing the chil-

dren's verbal speech into T-units. The total number of

T-units and the average number of words per T-unit were cal-

culated for each subject. The total number of T-units is a

measure of the length of the story. The average number of

words per T-unit is a measure of the complexity of the lan-

guage within the story. Longer T-units are an indication

of more mature language use.

As with the empathy variable, it was necessary to pool

four and five year old children, due to the empty cell in

the control group. A test of significance comparing the

mean number of total T-units for four and five year olds in

the experimental and control groups was run leaving sex out

of the model. The means are shown in Table 9. Neither the

age main effect (F = 1.21; P = .3168) nor the group by age

interaction (F = .10; P = .9078) was statistically signif-

icant. These results showed no significant differences be-

tween four and five year olds in the experimental and con-

trol groups. Thus, these age groups were pooled together.










Table 9. Means and Associated Probability of
Four and Five Year Olds on Total
Number of T-Units


Cell Means Age Means Probability

Experimental 42.68 .2766
4 year 39.79
Control 31.05


Experimental 36.91
5 year 46.52
Control 61.99




Next, the assumption of homogeneity of regression was

tested. A test of significance revealed the within cell

slopes of the regression lines of the pretest on the post-

test were equal (F = .31; P = .5819). This was also true

for the within cell slopes of the regression lines of the

Peabody on the posttest (F = 1.11; P = .3059). Thus, there

was no covariate by treatment interaction.

The results of the analysis of covariance are pre-

sented in Table 10. Cell and marginal means are shown in

Table 11.

Hypothesis 9: Controlling for pretreatment variation

on verbal ability and the pretest there will be no statis-

tically significant three-way interaction between group,

age and sex on total number of T-units. Hypothesis 9 was

not rejected at a=.05 (F = 0.00; P = .9584).












Table 10. Total Number of T-Units as a Func-
tion of Treatment, Age and Sex

Variable DF SS F

Pretest 1 3768.60 23.59**
Peabody 1 15.39 0.10
Group 1 29.58 0.19
Group x Age 1 0.96 0.01
Group x Sex 1 47.78 0.30
Group x Age x Sex 1 0.44 0.00
Error 24 3833.82

Groups Adjusted Means
Experimental 33.52
Control 35.70

N=34
**P<.01





Table 11. Cell and Marginal Means for
Total Number of T-Units

Experimental Group Control Group Age Means
Male Female Male Female

3 year 31.04 27.41 36.62 26.96 30.51

4 & 5 years 30.02 45.61 34.31 44.90 38.71

Marginal Means 30.53 36.51 35.46 35.93









Hypothesis 10: Controlling for pretreatment variation

on verbal ability and the pretest there will be no statis-

tically significant two-way interaction between group and

sex on the total number of T-units. Hypothesis 10 was not

rejected at a=.05 (F = .30; P = .5895).

Hypothesis 11: Controlling for pretreatment variation

on verbal ability and the pretest there will be no statis-

tically significant two-way interaction between group and

age on the total number of T-units. This hypothesis was

not rejected at a=.05 (F = 2.51; P = .1263).

Hypothesis 12: Controlling for pretreatment variation

on verbal ability and the pretest there will be no statis-

tically significant (a=.05) difference between the total

number of T-units between the experimental and control

groups. Hypothesis 12 was not rejected (F = .19; P = .6708).

The adjusted means for the experimental and control

groups were 33.52 and 35.70, respectively.

These results indicated that the fairy tale curriculum

did not have a significant impact on the total number of

T-units, as a measure of story length.



Average Number of Words per T-Unit


The average number of words per T-unit was found by

dividing the total number of words in T-units by the number

of T-units in each oral language sample.




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