Date of Award

12-2014

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Educational Psychology and Research

Major Professor

Schuyler W. Huck

Committee Members

Gary J. Skolits, Katherine H. Greenberg, Clara L. Brown

Abstract

The aim of this study was to develop a self-report inventory of learning strategies for use with elementary school students. A review of previous research on learning strategies was conducted in order to establish how this concept is defined and what is known about learning strategies. A review of existing instruments on learning strategies was also conducted. This review indicated a need for a reliable and valid instrument that is appropriate for elementary school children. Through a critical synthesis of previous research, a new learning-strategy assessment instrument was constructed, titled a Scale of Learning Strategies for Upper Elementary School Students (the SLSUESS). This instrument was composed of 74 items of learning strategies along with sixteen demographic questions. Data were collected from 376 elementary school students in 4th, 5th and 6th grade from an elementary school in Busan, South Korea. Principal component analyses (PCA) were performed to identify the underlying structure of the SLSUESS. The results of the PCA were used to create a final instrument with 42 items organized into six subscales assessing the following learning-strategy components: a) Study Skills & Effort, b) Neglect, c) Test Anxiety, d) Self-Efficacy & Extrinsic Motivation, e) Organization, and f) Scheduling & Prioritizing. The internal consistency of the SLSUESS indicated high reliability (α = .93). Group differences were examined by several t-tests and ANOVAs, all conducted with a Bonferroni adjustment. The results of these statistical comparisons supported the hypotheses that good learning strategies are used more often by (a) those who report themselves to be high academic performers, (b) motivated students, (c) wealthy students, and girls rather than boys. To increase confidence in these findings, additional studies are needed.

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