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Lake Air Middle School - Baylor University - MindPrime, Inc. Study
January 22, 2002 - May 7, 2002

The impact of a method of explicit mental imagery instruction on the reading comprehension test scores of regular curriculum sixth grade students


  • In 14 weeks of instruction the mean change was a gain of 0.4 of a year (5 months) in reading comprehension. In a class where 78% of the class scored 40th percentile and below on the pre-test, there was a gain of a semester growth in the 14 weeks of instruction.
  • In a class where 78% of the class scored 40th percentile and below, 62% of the students showed a gain in reading comprehension. Of these students demonstrating improvement, the average gain was 13 percentile points and a grade equivalent increase of 1.1 year for the 14 weeks of instruction.
  • Segmenting the data further, 44% of the total student population both pre-tested below the 40th percentile and also demonstrated a gain in reading comprehension. The average gain for this group was 14 percentile points and a grade equivalent gain of 1.3 years for the 14 weeks of instruction.


Explicit mental imagery instruction was taught to regular curriculum sixth grade students by their reading teachers. Every other week, on Tuesday and Thursday of their A-B block schedule, the teachers' instruction was supplemented by 40-minute sessions using Baylor tutors to instruct two Lake Air students each.

  • Two reading teachers were given one day of training on a method of explicit mental imagery instruction that was implemented using the teachers' existing curriculum with few supplementary materials. Teachers received ongoing coaching in the strategies on Tuesday and Thursday as the Baylor tutors worked with Lake Air students.
  • Two regular curriculum sixth grade reading classes were chosen for the study because of the number of Baylor University students and the schedule of the Baylor class providing tutors.
  • The sixth grade classes were composed of students with reading comprehension scores from the 1st to the 95th percentile as pre-tested on the WRAT (Wide Range Achievement Test) Expanded. 93% of the students' scores (42 of 45) fell below the 73rd percentile. 78% of the students' scores (35 of 45) fell at the 40th percentile or below.
  • The 25 Baylor University students were primarily junior year Elementary Education majors. Most Baylor tutors worked with two Lake Air students, although some tutors had only one student.
  • The pre- and post-test was the WRAT Expanded for sixth grade, Form A and B. Only the reading comprehension component was used. The WRAT Expanded is a silent reading comprehension test administered as a group. Both classes were tested in the cafeteria with the teachers assisting in monitoring the test. Raw scores were converted using the student's age.
  • Pre- and post-test scores are available for 45 students. A total of 55 students participated in the study. 51 students took the pre-test. 48 students took the post-test. Two students were absent for either the pre- or post-testing. The remaining 8 students transferred out of Lake Air Middle School before the project was complete or transferred to Lake Air Middle School after the project was begun.
  • The instructional period was 14 weeks from January 22 to May 7, 2002.
  • Pre-testing was done on February 11, 2002, by a Baylor University graduate student from the School of Education (Educational Psychology.) Students were tested as a group in the cafeteria. Because of test protocol shipment and scheduling, pre-testing was delayed until after seven class periods of instruction had been delivered.
  • The post-test was administered on May 7, 2002 by the teachers, also in the cafeteria. Some students did not finish the post-test. It is believed that lack of motivation after completing TAAS testing (the mandatory Texas state test) inclined some students not to put forth their best effort.

Baylor University
      Randy Wood, Ph.D., 254-710-2410

MindPrime, Inc.
      Jane Wilkinson, 254-845-4700


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