GRAPHIC ADVANCE ORGANIZERS AND THE LEARNING OF VOCABULARY RELATIONSHIPS
PYROS, SHEILA WEINSTEIN
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between the use of graphic advance organizers and the learning and retention of vocabulary relationships from passages of content material in psychology and economics. Additionally, the relationship between the use of graphic advance organizers and cognitive style (field dependence/independence) on learning and retention of vocabulary relationships was investigated. The vocabulary relationships tested were either superordinate, subordinate or coordinate to one another.;The subjects were college freshmen, enrolled in developmental reading classes, who had scored at or below the 20th percentile but no lower that the 8th percentile on the English Cooperative Test--Reading Comprehension (Form 1A - 1962). All subjects were given the Group Embedded Figures Test (GEFT) to determine cognitive style (field dependence/independence), assigned within classes according to style, and randomly assigned to either experimental or control groups. Subjects in the experimental group received training in the purpose and function of graphic organizers during one class period and given a mastery test of the organizer used in the training session. Those students who did not achieve mastery (80%+) in either of two trials were eliminated from the study. In all, 10 subjects were eliminated, reducing the original sample to a total of 93 students. The control group did not receive any training in the purpose and function of the graphic organizer.;The experimental group received a verbal and visual presentation of a graphic advance organizer of a unit in psychology dealing with methodology. The control group received a list of technical terms related to the same unit but written at the same level of abstraction as the learning passage. In addition, a verbal definition of the terms was presented. Both groups then read a 2500-word selection from a college textbook. Half of each group was tested immediately following the reading of the textbook passage. The measure used was a vocabulary relationship test. All subjects were given the same test five weeks later.;The same procedure was used with a unit in economics dealing with the concepts of supply and demand.;At the conclusion of the study all subjects received a questionnaire to determine familiarity with and attitude toward both content areas. In addition, the experimental group was asked to react to the usefulness of the graphic organizers used in the two content areas.;Data was analyzed by a two-way analysis of variance, split-plot analysis of variance, and a t test. Analysis of the data did not reveal any significant main effects or interactions on either the immediate or delay testings in either content area. Several possible explanations for failure to support Ausubel's theory were offered. Suggestions for further research were made.
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