Alt. Journal review for 4/7/99 : LUSENET : MEd Cohort III : One Thread

Susan Janson Cohort 3 Alternative Professional Journal Response #3 April 7, 1999

"Development of Logical Reasoning in the Context of Parenting Style and Test Anxiety" Mark S. Chapell and Willis F. Overton Merrill-Palmer Quarterly April 1998, Vol. 44, No. 2, pp. 141-156.

The results of this study showed that students who have authoritative parents: ones who are "responsive, supportive, democratic yet demandingsupplies to and expects from children and adolescents a great deal of thought (Baumrind 1991; Darling & Steinberg, 1993; Maccoby & Martin, 1983)" (p 143) showed "more advanced reasoning performance and lower test anxiety." (p 152) The above characteristics of authoritative parents are possessed by those parents who provide their children with the "right ingredients" for encouraging their child(ren) to develop logical reasoning and achieve to their highest potential. In doing so, their child(ren)s' self-esteem is raised. Consequently, the children want to be better prepared for upcoming tests, thus reducing their own level of anxiety associated with test taking. It ends up being a snowball effect! Mark Chapell and Willis Overton studied a cross-cultural group of 40 students from grades 6, 10 and 12 in the Philadelphia area. The authors did not take into account the socioeconomic status of the families studied. Generally speaking, I feel that there may be a correlation between the socioeconomic status of a family and the level of test anxiety and reasoning performance of their children. This could be another facet for further study. Shapell and Overton did not survey any student younger than the sixth grade. "Given that test anxiety has a serious negative impact on children beginning as early as the first grade, and peaks by the fourth grade (Himbree, 1988)" (p 152) I feel that students in grades one through five would be an interesting population to target for further research. In the meantime, we, as educators, must continue to support and encourage those parents exhibiting an "authoritative" style. On the flip side, we must also be sensitive to those students who have not developed logical reasoning skills yet and consequently have high anxieties related to test taking.

-- Anonymous, April 04, 1999


Susan......... A response to your article on test anxiety. We all know that test anxiety can be a real road block to a students learning. I feel it is my role to give my first graders test strategies that build their test taking confidence. Thus, I feel that assessments situations for young students should be very positive. I also feel that parents have the most important role in developing self-esteem of their child(ren).

-- Anonymous, April 06, 1999

What an interesting mix: authoritarian parents who supply and demand from children complex thought, more highly developed logical reasoning, lowered test anxiety, and higher self-esteem! I certainly had never considered that all those characteristics sort of engendered each other. As I consider some of my friends, their various parenting styles, and the educational outcomes of their respective progeny, well, maybe this article does hold water! Thanks -- very interesting!

-- Anonymous, April 11, 1999

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