ERIC Number: ED302746
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Aug-15
Reference Count: N/A
Testing Theories of Learning: Effects on High School Achievement.
Keith, Timothy Z.; Cool, Valerie A.
Theories of school learning consistently point to variables such as ability, time (e.g., homework), quality of instruction, motivation, and academic coursework as important influences on learning. In this study, path analysis was used to test the direct and indirect effects of these variables on high school learning, with learning measured by both achievement test scores and high school grades. Relevant background characteristics were controlled and a longitudinal sample was used. The sample consisted of 25,875 high school students selected from the base year (1980) and the first follow-up (1982) of the Department of Education's High School and Beyond Longitudinal Study. Subjects were in 10th grade in 1980 and in 12th grade in 1982. The results suggest that ability, academic coursework, and homework all have important direct effects on achievement test scores, whereas the effects of quality of instruction and motivation were primarily indirect, chiefly through coursework and homework. When grades were used as the criterion, each of the potentially manipulable variables of interest, with the exception of homework, had a stronger effect relative to that of intellectual ability. Homework, however, had only inconsistent effects. The results offer support for these variables as important influences on school learning, and also support their inclusion in theories of school learning. (Author/NB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (96th, Atlanta, GA, August 12-16, 1988).