The effects of a school intervention on year 10 students : a cognitive and attitudinal perspective : thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master in Education (Guidance)
This study examined the effectiveness of a school's new intervention called The Diploma Programme, which aimed to increase academic achievement by encouraging students to develop into self-regulated learners. The programme monitored and rewarded the study skills punctuality and attendance, social co-operation, class-work and homework completion, and bringing correct equipment, by awarding credits towards a diploma. Participants were 33 self-selected Year 10 students who were placed in three groups based on the Year 10 PAT reading comprehension class percentiles. A questionnaire administered before The Diploma Programme and at the end of the school year, examined students' self-reported changes in study skills, as well as in the attitudinal factors academic motivation, locus of control, and self-efficacy. Diploma credits were also examined for significant difference over the year, within and between the three groups. Results indicated that The Diploma Programme was initially effective in encouraging study skills across reading skill levels, but dropped in effectiveness over the year. Results also indicated that while reading skill level influences both study skills and academic achievement, the internal locus of control factor 'effort' can modify levels of performance. The group with high reading skills achieved the highest academically, tended to use the most study skills and to exhibit the highest levels of academic self-efficacy. However, the group with low reading skills, who reported using more 'effort' than the other groups, achieved higher academically and tended to use more study skills by the end of the year than the group with moderate reading skills. Recommendations made to develop and maintain the effectiveness of The Diploma Programme over the year included changes within The Diploma Programme, as well as changes in classrooms and the wider school.