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ERIC Number: ED515166
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 85
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1096-7851-2
A Quantitative Study of the Summer Slide in Science of Elementary School Students
Donovan, Giovanna Guadagno
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Rhode Island and Rhode Island College
Concerned parents and educators agree children learn best when the rhythm of instruction is continuous with practice and application of skills. Long summer breaks may interrupt the flow of formal school learning leading some students to forget previous instruction. A review of the previous school work is generally required in the fall upon return from the summer vacation. Investigating summer vacation and equity issues, Jamar (1994) noted that more affluent students may "return to school in the fall with a considerable educational advantage over their less advantaged peers as a result of either additional school-related learning, or lower levels of forgetting, over the summer months (p. 1)". The population of 402 fifth grade students from a suburban New England school district participated in this study. The district administered the science subtest of the TerraNova 2 (TN2) assessment in late May 2007 (pre-test data) and in September 2007 (post-test data). These archived data, including gender and student socioeconomic status (SES) levels (as referenced by free or reduced lunch status), were analyzed for an ex-post facto causal comparison study to identify the phenomenon of summer slide in science of fifth graders enrolled in six elementary schools. The ANOVA statistical model was used calculating the repeated measures factor of time (pre/post summer vacation) on the science content area. Subsequent two-way ANOVAS, with one repeated-measures factor (time of testing) explored the existence of similar/different patterns by gender and by SES levels. Two questions guided this study. First, does the summer slide phenomenon exist in science education? Second, if the summer slide in science phenomenon exists in science education, then does SES impact it? Does the summer slide in science phenomenon differ between genders? Findings suggest that the summer slide phenomenon exists in science; SES and gender does not affect the overall science test scores. However, SES impacts the summer slide phenomenon in science but gender does not impact summer slide in science. Furthermore, the school does not statistically impact the summer slide phenomenon in science and the impact of school does not differ across SES and genders. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 5
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A