Authors: Carson, Patricia, and Reesa Sorin.

Article: Symbol Mastery and the Retention of Dolch Spelling Words.

Publication: 2014 IERG 9th International Conference on Imagination and Education . 13 June 2014

[Full Text]

At James Cook University in Australia, educators Patricia Carson and Dr. Reesa Sorin explored the use of Davis Symbol Mastery with four students as a way of mastering the spelling of homonyms on the Dolch word list. They reported improvement in all students in a conference paper presented in 2014.


My research looked at the effectiveness of the Symbol Mastery process on learning and retaining the spelling of Dolch words. It involved a group of four, Three Dimensional Visual Thinkers. Each participant was given four Dolch words that their parents/teachers had indicated were difficult for them. Further, four Dolch words were selected by the researcher. These words were homonyms; words that sound the same but have different meanings. All eight words were given to each participant to learn, using the Symbol Master process.

Preliminary results indicate that both participants and their parents feel there has been an increase in self confidence and willingness to attempt to spell words. Even though not all the words were spelled correctly in the post-test, there were more correct than in the pre-test for three out of the four participants. In the pre-test, two participants were unwilling to attempt to spell a word. In the post-test, all participants were willing to spell the complete list. Where errors occurred, results showed either phonetical spelling or the inclusion of the correct letters, but in the wrong order.

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