Date of Award

6-1976

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Major

Education

Major Professor

Paul C. Burns

Committee Members

Earl M. Ramer, Donald J. Dessart, Arnold R. Davis

Abstract

The problem of the study was to investigate whether readiness for beginning formal arithmetic, typified by the types of skills required by arithmetic computation, or the Conservation of Number could be predicted by the eruption of the permanent incisors, chronological age, or the combination of chronological age and tooth age.

Sixty-six children were randomly selected for the testing so that there were 33 boys and 33 girls in the sample. The children were first grade, middle-class, Caucasoids from Knoxville, Tennessee. The chronological age of each child was computed in months, and each child had his teeth photographed to check for the gingival eruption of the permanent incisors. An arithmetic computation test from the Wide Range Achievement Test, Level I , and the Conservation of Number task by Wohlwill and Lowe (1962) was administered to the entire sample population on an individual basis.

Bivariate and multiple correlations with an analysis of variance and a regression coefficient were used to test the two hypotheses and four augmentive research questions for (a) children, (b) boys, (c) girls.

In all instances the use of tooth age as a predictor of either arithmetic computation or the cognitive level on the Conservation of Number task was not reliable. Chronological age as a predictor of arithmetic computation or the Conservation of Number task was not sufficient to warrant its use; however, significance was established in the case of boys and the entire group of children when chronological age was used as a predictor. Chronological age and tooth age used as a predictor of arithmetic computation scores or the Conservation of Number task proved equally inadequate for all of the subgroups. The amount of variance explained by either tooth eruption, chronological age, or both chronological age and tooth age was extremely low for both arithmetic computation scores and the Conservation of Number task.

The conclusions made from the research were that formal arithmetic readiness could not be attached to either a chronological age or a tooth age. It was also found that the level of cognition assessed by the Conservation of Number task could not be explained by the use of either a chronological age or a tooth age.

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