Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Human Development and Family Studies

Department name when degree awarded

Child Development

Committee Chair(s)

Carroll Lambert


Carroll Lambert


Don Carter


John Carlisle


Loa Thomson


The purpose of this study was to determine if an experimental group of children would make significant improvements in their ability to discriminate and order alphabet letters after a systematic reinforcement program of sensorimotor experiences with letters.

The study involved tactual manipulation in learning the discrimination of, the order of, and the position of the alphabet letters in the child's own name.

The hypotheses were made:

l. There will be a significant difference between the experimental population and the control population with respect to the ability to order and place in sequence the letters in each child's name , after the completion of a systematic program of sensori-motor experience.

2. There will be a significant difference between the experimen tal population and the control population with respect to visual-perceptual discrimination, or positioning, after the completion of a systematic program of sensori-experience.

Twenty four children , 12 in an experimental group , 12 in a control group, six boys and six girls , between the ages of three years and six months and four years and six months were selected at random from the Utah State University Laboratories. Preceeding the actual collection of data a pilot study was conducted on a similar group of 12 children using the proposed pretest.

During the free-play in the Laboratory , each child was asked to go with the author to play a game. The first time with the author , and prior to the pretest , the child was given a brightly colored stacking cone to manipulate for the purpose of establishing rapport and self-confidence within the child. Each child in the experimental and control groups was given a pretest to test the ability to discriminate and order letters from in !heir own first name . The experimental group received a systematic sensori-motor experience twice a week dealing with letter discrimination. The control group received no experience in letter manipulation after the pretest. Each child set his own pace and was given the post-test only when he stated he was ready. At the time the majority of the experimental group was receiving their post-test the control group received theirs.

The findings support both hypotheses with the difference of the experimental group and the control group showing significance at the . 05 level for hypothesis one and between . 05-. 01 level for hypothesis two.