Title page for ETD etd-05052011-121508

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Wright, Linda F.
Author's Email Address lfwright@rcs.k12.va.us
URN etd-05052011-121508
Title An Identification of Student Summer Activities and Their Relationship to Mathematics Testing Performance Measured From Spring to Fall
Degree Doctor of Education
Department Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Tripp, Norman Wayne Committee Chair
Brewer, B. J. Committee Member
Craig, James R. Committee Member
Earthman, Glen I. Committee Member
  • Keywords: summer learning loss
  • year-round education
  • summer break
Date of Defense 2011-04-22
Availability unrestricted
Linda F. Wright Abstract

The purpose of the study was to identify student summer activities and determine whether a relationship exists between the activities and mathematics testing change scores measured from spring to fall. This current effort built upon research conducted by Heyns (1978), Burkam et al. (2004), Downey et al. (2004), and Alexander et al. (2007). The commonality in findings that existed among all of these efforts was that learning loss occurred in the absence of instruction such as that experienced during the normal school term. A quantitative, correlational study was conducted using a survey method which requested that parents answer questions concerning the nature of activities and daily structure experienced by their children during the summer break.

The Group Mathematics Assessment and Diagnostic Evaluation (GMADE) testing platform was  used to generate quantitative measurements of mathematics skills for exiting second graders in the spring of 2010 and for these same students as entering third graders in the fall of 2010. A voluntary sample of 57 students from elementary schools in a suburban school district in Southwestern Virginia participated in the testing process. At the conclusion of all testing and at the point at which all surveys were completed, student scoring differentials from spring to fall were compared to the activity and daily structure components reported in the survey for potential correlations between that information and mean gain test results.  

This study sought potential correlations between types of summer activities and documented change between mathematics spring and fall test scores. Results of data analysis from this research will assist leaders in understanding whether activities bear a relationship to mathematics score changes. Should those relationships be established, the findings would assist leaders in determining which activities should be encouraged or discouraged during the summer break to avoid score declines. The findings indicated that though summer mathematics learning loss did occur for the participants, no correlation between activities and test score change could be established. Implications of these findings and suggestions for the future are presented in the final chapter.

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