Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


The problem of the study is to determine whether a planned listening program in grade three would improve the scores obtained on the Otis Mental Ability Tests. The basic assumption is that giving the subjects to be tested the opportunity to develop more adequate listening skills would increase the accuracy with which they follow directions on the verbal section of the Otis test. If the scores on that section were improved sufficiently the overall scores (I.Q. scores) would be improved. The purposes of the study are (1) to reveal, through survey of the literature, the need for development of listening skills; (2) to survey the literature pertinent to listening; (3) to survey the literature pertinent to listening as it relates to intelligence; and (4) to provide a classroom program for the purpose of measuring listening skills as they relate to intelligence. The terms hearing, auding and listening are defined. A classification of the various types of listening is also given. Use in the classroom program was made of the Otis Quick Scoring Mental Ability Tests: Alpha Short Form, an audiometer test of the aural sense of the seven teen participants, the Listening Skill Builder Program from the Science Research Association Laboratory Ic. A survey of the classroom conditions which may influence listening was made in order that the proper consideration and attention could be given the conditions. Listening skill development activities were coordinated with the regularly scheduled class experiences in reading, mathematics, language and spelling. Games to aid in the development of listening skill s were played. Two major limitations of the study are the small number of participants, seventeen third grade students, and the test-retest method of measurement. The following generalizations are drawn from Chapter II. (1) The field of listening has so recently been explored that, as yet, the material available on the subject is limited. (2) While listening is an essential component of oral communication and is important in the acquisition of ideas, it is often poorly done. (3) Listening is complex, subtle, difficult to measure, and is easily influenced by physical and emotional factors. (4) Although different testing measures were used, different correlations made and the resultant coefficients differed; the majority of writers cited agreed that there appears to be a correlation between listening and intelligence. Chapter III is the source of the following generalizations. (1) The subjects appeared, to the writer, to exhibit mental, physical and emotional maturity commensurate with other students in Concordia of the same age. (2) The progress charted by student s during the Listening Skill Builder exercises did not show consistent increases in the number of correct responses throughout the program. (3) After the program of nine weeks duration, some individuals increased their scores on the second administration of the Otis tests, There was, however, no significant change in the total scores. The class mean was the same score, Ill, on both testing dates, (4) As no significant change was made in the scores obtained on the tests, it can be assumed that the hypothesis as set forth in this study, that a planned listening program in grade three would improve the scores obtained on the Otis Mental Ability Tests, is null. However, the sample of seventeen scores was a very limiting factor. A broader range of scores would have provided a more adequate sample. From the study the following recommendations are offered: When conducting a study of this nature, use of an achievement test is recommended in lieu of an intelligence test. Further and more intensive study should be undertaken in the area of listening. Listening is essential for intelligent communication and is an effective tool for learning. Yet, as pointed out by Wilt, Rankin, and others, it has been neglected in the class room. Therefore, this writer recommends that the listening element of the language arts program be given more careful consideration and attention in the elementary school particularly in the primary grades.


Jeanne M. Kuhn

Date of Award

Summer 1966

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 1964 Lois J. Jagger


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