Scientific Method in Literature
- Is this article primary or secondary literature?
This is a primary literature. The reason is that the authors of the article had the first-hand experience and actively participated in the events of the research. For example, they were involved in the selecting the sample, gathering, and analyzing data to make inferences, just to mention a few. In fact, it is indicated in the research article that: “We explored the trajectories and predictors of early reading development among young at-risk readers” (Peng, et al. 2018). This statement has been written down by the authors which means that they were the original developers of the content.
- If primary, what was the hypothesis? If, secondary what was the objective? (2 pts)
One of the study’s hypothesis was that a large percentage of at-risk readers depend on domain-general abilities to read as a result of domain-specific skills which are weak. In other words, this meant that the researchers assumed that domain-general skills were compensatory and were more essential compared to domain-specific skills with regards to forecasting reading development. Also, given that a significant number of at-risk readers present with wide-ranging intellectual feebleness, the study hypothesized that their domain-general skills might be inadequate in enhancing the group’s reading progress and the domain-specific skills will at long-last prove to be of great importance.
- What technique(s) was/were used to acquire the data? (2 pts)
The research engaged 185 first-grade ‘at-risk readers’ from 24 elementary learning institutions. They were chosen to participate in a program which was implementing reading intervention since they met the criteria. Their classroom teachers had identified them to be ‘at-risk’, assessed on reading measures, and then ranked based on an individual factor score. There were also 22-25 research assistants (RAs) through a competitive process who were chosen annually for the 3-year period of the control study (Peng, et al. 2018). Children with a T-score of less than 37 on the subtests based on vocabulary and matrix reasoning of WASI as well as the top 50 percent were dismissed from the study.
The study mainly focused on assessing domain-specific and domain-general measures. As for domain-specific measures, it included phonological awareness which was tested using a 20- item subtest that matched sounds which were derived from the Phonological Processing Comprehensive test. It also encompassed letter knowledge and vocabulary which was assessed using WASI vocabulary subtest. The domain-general measures examined in the study included: functional memory- tried using Listening Recall and Backward Digit Recall subtests; nonverbal reasoning-measured using the WASI matrix reasoning subtest; and processing speed-tested through Woodcock-Johnson III’s Cross Out sub assessment. Oral reading and reading intellectual capacity were examined as well. The administration of the tests took place in the children’s schools’ quiet environments and was performed by the RAs who had been trained by the project staff prior to the assessments (Peng, et al. 2018). Since the participants were part of a controlled study, the assessments were carried out on them before and after the implementation of treatment. Little’s MCAR’s test was utilized in analyzing the data for all the variables where χ2 = 502.66, df = 455, and p = .06.
- How the data were presented (tables, figures, or a combination)?
Both tables and figures were used to present the data. For instance, one of the tables, Table 1 contains descriptive statistics for the participants and their scores on various tests. One of the figures, Figure 1 is a graphical representation with two curves for different groups of participants.
- What conclusions were drawn from this study? (3 pts)
Using the study’s results, the research established that oral reading and reading comprehension amid the children at-risk readers can have advance trajectories which are reasonably independent and may have contradictory domain-general and domain-specific forecasters.
- What are some problems or limitations of this particular study? (2 pts)
Poor performance on working memory measures and nonverbal reasoning by some of the participants was one of the main problems in the study. In addition, the research utilized vocabulary only to assess spoken language (Peng, et al. 2018). The other limitation which was statistical was that the study did not incorporate joint growth models.
Select a graph from your paper and answer the following questions:
- What is the title of the graph?
- What is the independent variable?
Word reading developmental trajectories was the independent variable. This is because it was used to develop the curve for the two groups, those with higher letter knowledge and those with poor letter knowledge.
- What units were used to measure the independent variable?
In this case, word reading developmental trajectories was measured using the number of words read correctly on the TOWRE Slight Word Test which was plotted against time points ranging from 1 to 4. A difference of five in units counting from 20 to 65 was used for the words on the y-axis.
- What is the dependent variable(s)?
The dependent variables in this graph were the curve for individuals with higher letter knowledge and the curve for the group with low letter knowledge. They are dependent in the sense that they could not have been drawn without the word reading developmental trajectories which is the independent variable in this case.
- What units were used to measure the dependent variable?
These variables were measured by the nature of the curve. The curve for children who had better knowledge of letters indicated faster growth. On the other hand, the curve for the group with poor letter reading abilities exhibited slow development.
- What does the data in the graph show? (4 pts)
The information in the graph indicates that groups with better reading potentials have higher developmental trajectories compared to those who have a lower letter knowledge.
Peng, P., Fuchs, D., Fuchs, L. S., Elleman, A. M., Kearns, D. M., Gilbert, J. K., & Patton III, S. (2018). A longitudinal analysis of the trajectories and predictors of word reading and reading comprehension development among at-risk readers. Journal of learning disabilities.