Educational achievement of elementary school students from two cultural groups as related to reasoning ability and classroom learning environment
Morrow, Marilyn Anne
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The purpose of this study was to assess the relationship between thirteen independent variables and the academic achievement of Indian and non-Indian students and to make comparisons between the two cultural groups. The independent variables were classified into three groups: one person characteristic: reasoning ability, five classroom environmental variables: satisfaction, friction, competitiveness, difficulty, and cohesiveness, and seven categorical variables: sex, cultural group, sex x culture interaction, grade, school, grade, school interaction, and school x culture interaction. The dependent variables were five subtests of the Canadian Test of Basic Skills. The sample included 75 Indian and 95 non-Indian students in grades four, six, and eight in three schools, one federal school on a reserve and two provincial (joint) schools.A stepwise multiple regression program was used to analyze the data. The total group was examined regarding the relationships between the thirteen variables (including cultural group as an independent variable) and the five achievement tests. Because these analyses indicated that cultural group was a significant predictor of achievement, the two cultural groups were separated and separate analyses were made regarding relationships between the remaining ten independent variables and the achievement test scores.The results indicated that the non-Indian group obtained significantly higher mean achievement test scores than the Indian group on all five C.T.B.S. subtests although there was considerable overlap between the two groups. Reasoning ability, as measured by Raven's Progressive Matrices, was a significant predictor of all achievement test scores for both Indian and non-Indian students. The Raven's scores contributed less to the variance in Indian students' achievement in Mathematics and Language Skills than to non-Indian students' achievement in the same subtests. It was suggested that Indian students may use-different cognitive strategies than non-Indian students to learn Mathematics and Language Skills. Further research was recommended to explore this area.Two classroom environmental variables, competitiveness and cohesiveness, were significant predictors of achievement scores. Competitiveness was positively related to Indian students' achievement on four subtests. It was recommended that experimental studies be undertaken to attempt to discover causal relationships between competitiveness and achievement. Cohesiveness was positively related to non-Indian-students' achievement in Language Skills and Mathematics but was negatively related to 'Indian students' achievement in Mathematics. When acting together, the five environmental variables explained more of the variance in Indian students' achievement on three subtests than in non-Indian students' achievement on the same tests.School was a significant predictor of Indian students' achievement in Vocabulary and non-Indian students' achievement in Mathematics. Grade was a significant predictor of achievement in Reading, Language Skills, and the Composite Score for the Indian group. Sex was a significant predictor of non-Indian students' achievement in Language Skills with females achieving significantly higher scores than males.Differences in prediction of achievement for the Indian and non-Indian group were discussed in terms of the cumulative deficit hypothesis, sociocultural phenomenon and biographical histories.
DegreeMaster of Education (M.Ed.)
CommitteeRandhawa, Bikkar S.; Michayluk, Julian O.
Copyright DateJuly 1979
native students - educational achievement
predictors of academic achievement
Canadian indians - elementary school