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Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)



First Advisor

Lloyd H. King

First Committee Member

Juanita Curtis

Second Committee Member

Donald Dunn

Third Committee Member

William T. Bacon

Fourth Committee Member

M. L. M[?]


It was the purpose of this study to determine the effect of study trips and subsequent discussion on the vocabulary of kindergarten pupils from three social groups in Madora County.

Seventy-nine pupils, selected from three classrooms in three rural school districts, were classified as middle-class Anglo-American, lower-class Anglo-American, and lower-class Mexican-American. Two of the three classes were designated as experimental and one as the control class.

The instructional design, twelve study trips (one each week) and ensuing discussions, encourage pupils to use new words and develop and expand the meanings of words.

The major source of data was the Watts Vocabulary Test for Young Children administered prior to and following the experimental instruction. To provide a basis for interpreting the vocabulary data, the language skills of the pupils were rated by their teachers. Nineteen pupils, selected as high, average, and low verbal responders, were observed in the classroom to determine the effect of the instruction on their verbal behavior. Data also were collected, by the use of observation techniques, to find the extent the instructional plan was implemented and its effect on the verbal behavior of all pupils.

An analysis of variance technique was applied to the means obtained on the Watts test to determine the statistical relationship of the experimental and control groups and of the social-class groups. Significant differences, at the .05 level, were located by using post hoc tests. The t test was used to find differences between means. A correlation technique was used to compare vocabulary scores and the language ratings. Language ratings and social-class placements were compared with the quartile distribution of scores for the nineteen pupils selected for more intensive observation.

The conclusions from the study include the following: (1) the vocabularies of the pupils in each of the social groups in the experimental classes were effectively stimulated by the instruction; (2) the instruction was most effective for the middle-class pupils, and the least effective for the lower-class Mexican-American pupils; (3) in the distribution of language ratings and vocabulary scores the Mexican-American pupils usually placed low, middle-class Anglo pupils high, and lower-class Anglo pupils in the middle.

The findings suggest the needs for further research to: (1) validate the instructional plan by replicating the study in the same school districts; (2) evaluate the effect of the instruction on vocabulary skill after an interval of two years; (3) measure the results of similar curricula administered to the same pupils for at least three years; (4) determine the gain in English vocabulary when the discussions include the use of the native language of the Mexican-American pupils; (5) evaluate the effects of the plan when used with younger pupils.



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