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ERIC Number: ED433574
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-May
Reference Count: N/A
Improving Student Oral and Written Communication Skills through the Use of Higher Level Thinking.
Kovacevich, Karen; Price, Barbara; Ronna, Vicki; Xanos, Pamela
This study describes a program designed to increase the communication skills of at-risk students. The targeted population consists of kindergarten through third grade students in two elementary schools in a community in central Illinois. The status of family income ranges from low to high levels. Evidence for the existence of inadequate communication skills is documented through an observation checklist, case studies, and diagnostic screening. Data gathered from the professional literature suggests that the probable causes for inadequate communication can be classified into five categories. Poor health and substance abuse affect students' developmental learning. Economic factors such as working parents and lack of parental responsibility result in students coming to school with delayed communication skills. Emotional factors such as divorce and low self-esteem contribute to the decline in a student's academic progress. The increased use of television and limited life experiences allow for little social interaction. A stressful classroom environment where teachers use limited instructional strategies allows for minimal communication opportunities. A review of solution strategies suggested by professional literature combined with an analysis of the problem setting resulted in the selection of a two-pronged problem solving approach incorporating a low-stress, high-challenge, student-centered learning environment and instruction that incorporates higher level thinking skills and cooperative learning. Post intervention data indicated an increase in oral and written communication skills, including the higher level thinking skills of sequencing and predicting. Contains 19 references and 4 tables of data. Appendixes contain an observation checklist, an outline of case study procedures, student worksheets, directions for cooperative activities and class projects, and outlines for teachers. (Author/SR)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Master's Action Research Project, Saint Xavier University and IRI/Skylight.