Effects of a Mastery Learning Strategy on Disadvantaged Vocational Students in Reading Achievement (Individualized, Basic Skills, Group, Female Habits, Male)

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Studies and Research

First Advisor

W. Lee Pierce

Advisor Department

Educational Studies and Research


Given the limited amount of mastery learning research conducted to date on teaching reading to adult students, this study focused on two groups (a mastery and non-mastery) taught reading by the same teacher. The mastery group received instruction via a mastery strategy characterized by the following: (a) Pretest used for diagnosis of strengths and weaknesses, (b) performance objectives, and (c) module tests with accompanying learning correctives. The non-mastery group received instruction via a conventional lecture discussion approach. It was hypothesized that the presence of a mastery learning strategy would result in significantly higher scores in total reading, reading vocabulary and reading comprehension on the reading section of the Adult Basic Education posttest. The two groups were compared as follows: (a) Adult students (over 23 years of age) in the mastery group were compared with adults in the non-mastery group, (b) college-aged students (students under 23 years of age) were compared with college-aged students in the non-mastery group, (c) males in the mastery group were compared with males in the non-mastery group, and (d) females in the mastery group were compared with females in the non-mastery group. The findings supported the hypotheses in three of the four above groups. The adult, college-aged, and male students in the mastery class did receive significantly higher posttest scores. However, findings do not support the research hypotheses for the female group.