A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF THE PLATO COMPUTER-ASSISTED INSTRUCTIONAL DELIVERY SYSTEM AND THE TRADITIONAL INDIVIDUALIZED INSTRUCTIONAL PROGRAM IN TWO JUVENILE CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES OWNED BY THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA

THELMA L BARNETT, University of Pennsylvania

Abstract

This study compares the specialized PLATO Computer Assisted Instruction which was initially developed for high risk learners in adult prisons with the traditionally used individualized programs in reading and mathematics in two Pennsylvania owned Youth Development Centers.^ The Literature reveals that failure in the classroom, in addition to other negative educational experiences, are among the primary causes of juvenile delinquency. Studies also indicate that rehabilitation should be focused on juvenile offenders in order to reduce the potential for development into recidivating adult criminals.^ During an indeterminate commitment to the facilities, juveniles are mandated by law to attend school. Initial testing indicates achievement levels between fifth and sixth grade in reading and mathematics. This is about four years below expected grade levels. Records show that during incarceration achievement levels in reading and mathematics can be increased approximately one year. PLATO Computer-Assisted-Instruction is used in this study in order to accelerate the increase in gains presently being achieved in reading and mathematics. Accelerated gains enable more juveniles to qualify for the high-school equivalency diplomas (GED's). For juveniles whose scores are extremely low, elevated gains in reading and mathematics brings them in proximity to grade levels. These accomplishments are essential components in the rehabilitation and consequent assimilation of juvenile offenders into the community.^ The present study is a pretest posttest design with randomization. Achievement levels and attitudes are examined, pre and post treatment. Limited populations and attrition are realities of correctional facilities, therefore, two nine week treatments are administered. New subjects are randomly selected to participate in each treatment period.^ Data indicate that incarcerated juveniles have little, or no statistically significant increases in achievements, and/or changes in attitudes in either the PLATO or the traditionally used individualized instructional program. Data also indicate that the changes which took place are of similar magnitude in both groups. ^

Subject Area

Education, Technology of

Recommended Citation

THELMA L BARNETT, "A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF THE PLATO COMPUTER-ASSISTED INSTRUCTIONAL DELIVERY SYSTEM AND THE TRADITIONAL INDIVIDUALIZED INSTRUCTIONAL PROGRAM IN TWO JUVENILE CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES OWNED BY THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA" (January 1, 1985). Dissertations available from ProQuest. Paper AAI8525658.
http://repository.upenn.edu/dissertations/AAI8525658

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