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Spatial orientation and sequencing of letters and numbers by young children: A Rasch Measurement Analysis

Author:
Richmond, Janet | Waugh, Russell

Year: 2009

Type of paper: Refereed paper

Abstract: This research follows on from research on the visual discrimination of letters in the alphabet as part of a larger study. Data on 37 items for Spatial Orientation for Letter Pairs and 42 items for Letter and Number Sequencing, where each item was scored in one of two categories (wrong scored zero and correct scored one), were Rasch analysed to create two linear scales . The student sample was N=324 pre-primary and primary students in Perth, Western Australia. Ten of the initial 37 items for Spatial Orientation for Letter Pairs were deleted due to item misfit statistics, leaving 27 items and six of the original 42 items for Letter and Number Sequencing were deleted leaving 36 items. The 27 item-scale and the 36 item-scale each had a good fit to the measurement model, were highly reliable (Person Separation Indices of 0.84 and 0.94), and were unidimensional, showing no statistically significant interaction on item difficulties along the scale. Items were ordered from easy to hard and student measures from low to high on the same scale, allowing the objective identification of alphabet pairs and letter and number sequences that students found difficult to discriminate. Students who had poor visual skills of alphabet letters and numbers in pairs or sequence could be identified objectively.

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