Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




The purpose of this study was to seek the answer to the following question: Using small group interaction, which of three types of strategies best influences positive academic achievement and academic attitudinal change in seventh and eighth grade low achievers?;Thirty-six students who had failed one or more academic subjects (English, Math, Social Studies or Science) were randomly placed in one of four groups of nine students each. The first group was based on the theory and techniques of Rational-Emotive Therapy. It attacked the "blame factor" so common to transescents and attempted to build a strong and positive attitude in the students.;Practical study skill instruction was an adjunct to the rational-emotive approach. The second group was that of Structural-Study Skills. This group concentrated on procedures and techniques in practical skill building areas such as organization, note and test taking, homework preparation and other such didactic procedures. The third group was that of Affective Education. its premise was that by attending to the underlying dynamics associated with academic failure the student, through a cathartic group experience, is better able to cope with personal and social problems and thus becomes able to deal with academic ones. Little emphasis was placed on study skills as such but rather on the emotional needs of the student. The fourth group was a control group which received no treatment.;The groups each met nine times for a period of forty-five minutes per session. The activities included open discussion, film strip viewing, paper and pencil activities and didactic instruction in various study skill areas.;Dependent variables were obtained pre and post treatment for all subjects. These included grade point averages, results of the Survey of Study Habits and Attitude questionnaire and results of the Teacher Observation Tally.;From the data analysis, the following conclusions were drawn on within group means: (1) The RET group showed significant improvement in Study Habits, Study Attitudes, Study Orientation and Teacher Observation Tally scores. It did not show improvement in GPA. (2) The Structured-Study Skill group showed significant improvement in Study Habits, Study Orientation and Teacher Observation scores but not in GPA or Study Attitudes. (3) The Affective group showed improvement in Study Habits and Teacher Observation Tally but not GPA, Study Attitudes or Study Orientation. The Control group showed improvement only in the Teacher Observation Tally but in no other variables. (4) Between groups, no one group showed statistically significant improvement over any other.



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