Date of Award:

1994

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Family, Consumer, and Human Development

Department name when degree awarded

Family and Human Development

Advisor/Chair:

Thomas R. Lee

Abstract

This study examined the effects of a computer CD-ROM storybook program on 73 Head Start children in Logan, Utah. A variation on the two-group pretest/posttest design was used to determine if there was any increase in emergent literacy skills after spending an average of 15 minutes per day for an average of 12 days on the computer.

Previous research suggests that a child's home environment is integral to the preschool child 's emergent literacy development. A parent questionnaire designed for assessing information regarding the child 's I iterate environment at home was administered. Mean scores indicated that those children scoring highest on an aggregate score of four questions from the parental questionnaire also scored highest on three assessments of emergent literacy, supporting previous research that children who have been read to at home are more prepared to learn reading in the classroom.

Posttest scores indicated an increase in scores for the experimental group over the not-well-read-to control group on all three assessments. Two of the three measures indicated statistically significant differences from the well-read-to control group (p = < .05). One of the most interesting findings, however, was that the experimental group's assessment scores increased over the not-well-read-to control group, but did not exceed the well-read-to control group's scores, further supporting the evidence discussed above that children who are read to in the home have an advantage over those children who are not.

From these results, it was determined that computers cannot take the place of effective instruction in the home; however, when used appropriately in the classroom, the results of this study suggest that it is useful to integrate computers in the preschool classroom to augment the emergent literacy instruction already taking place.

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