Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


The major purpose of this study was to determine if there was a significant difference in readiness test scores between students who participated in a structured kindergarten program and those who participated in an unstructured program. This investigation also sought to examine the achievement of students relative to certain variables, such as morning and afternoon session, race, sex, preschool attendance, French spoken in the home, place of residence, birth order, and father's years of education. The relationship of variables to test scores was studied in terms of the total population of kindergarten children, as well as in terms of the interaction of program with the above mentioned variables. Randomly assigned kindergarten children in twelve public schools in Lafayette Parish, Louisiana comprised the sample (N = 62+5). Approximately one-half of this sample was assigned to an experimental group (N = 379) which received structured, early reading instruction using Ginn and Company's SWRL Kindergarten Program. The ocher half of the students was assigned to the control group (N = 266) and was instructed in accordance with the traditional kindergarten curriculum as outlined in Lafayette Parish's Kindergarten Curriculum Guide. In the fall, one-half of the total sample (N = 327) was pre-tested with the Boehm Test of Basic Concepts, Form A , following a Solomon Four-Group experimental design of pre-testing and post-testing, in order to determine if any practice eifect resulted from the administration of the pre-test. The entire population was post-tested in May, 1973, using two instruments: the Boehm Test of Basic Concepts, Form B and the Clymer-Barrett Prereading Battery. As an experimental precaution, a replication study was incorporated into the design. Five schools involved in the main study had both experimental and control classes which were drawn randomly from the same kindergarten population. The results from these five schools were analyzed separately and used to corroborate the findings of the main study. The data were subjected to a multi-way classification analysis of covariance using pre-test scores and father's years of education as covariables. The following conclusions were reached. Overall, the Ct^'.ctured kindergarten program appeared to be more beneficial than the unstructured program. There were significant differences in favor of the structured program in test scores on both the Boehm post-test and the Clymer-Barrett. In looking at the interactions between the two programs and the variables tested, it appeared that neither the structured nor the unstructured program was more advantageous for morning or afternoon students, boys or girls, rural or urban students, those who attended preschool or those who did not, or those from homes in which French was spoken or those from homes in which it was not. However, the structured program appeared to be more advantageous than the unstructured for older students. From an examination of the data on the relationship of the variables studied to the post-test readiness scores, the following results were indicated. Highly significant and positive relationships were found between readiness scores on both post-tests and the covariables of father’s years of education and pre-test scores. Significance on only one of the post-tests was found for the variables of sex, French spoken in the home, place of residence, and race. Girls scored significantly higher than boys on the Clymer-Barrett; those from non- French speaking homes scored significantly higher than those from French speaking homes on the Clymer-Barrett; and those from urban areas scored higher than those from rural areas on the Boehm post-test. Despite some indications of significance, the number of black students was too limited to make a valid comparison of the effect of race. No significant relationship to readiness scores as measured by either test was found for the variables of session, preschool attendance, or birth order.