Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Family Consumer Human Development

Department name when degree awarded

Child Development

Committee Chair(s)

Carroll Lambert


Carroll Lambert


Don Carter


Joan Bowden


Recent research studies indicate the importance of sensory input in the development of perceptual skills. Learning the alphabet, an abstract symbol system, is considered a perceptual task. The major purpose of this investigation was to determine the effect of a visual experience reinforced by a sensori-motor experience in improving the ability of kindergarten pupils to perceive the configuration of alphabet letters and the order of these letters in a word.

Two separate kindergarten classes were selected as the experimental and control groups. The learning task was individualized through the use of each subject's own name.

Each subject in both groups was provided a daily visual perceptual experience with his own name through the use of a visual model card. In addition, each school day during the twelve day program, the experimental group received approximately five minutes of sensori-motor experience with the alphabet letters in their own names to tactfully reinforce the visual experience.

The results of the data collected indicate that the Ss in the experimental group showed greater improvement scores than the control group. On the positioning task, the experimental group showed a 6. 3 per cent greater improvement score at level I and a 8. 3 per cent greater improvement score at level II. On the ordering task, the experimental group showed a 13 .9 per cent greater improvement score at level I and a 30. 6 per cent greater improvement score at level II. Subjects performing at level I worked with their first names and subjects performing at level II worked with their first and last names.

The hypotheses were supported. The use of three dimensional moveable alphabet letters to build their own names increased the subjects perception of these abstract symbols through increased visual tactual sensory input.