Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)



First Advisor

Thomas P. Nally


The problem involved in this thesis was to determine if any significant difference in scholastic achievement and characteristics between the transient and permanent children in grades four through six in North Kingstown. Transient children were those who had been enrolled in the North Kingstown School System for one year and a half or less when the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills were administered. Permanent children were those who entered the system in the first grade and continued through the fourth, fifth and sixth grade.

Preliminary to this study, letters were sent to twelve superintendents in impact areas throughout the Eastern states to obtain from them general opinions concerning the transient children. As a result of this, a four page questionnaire was prepared and sent to superintendents in impact areas throughout the United States.

Returns contained information relating to special services rendered the transient child, the availability of records, opinions concerning the achievement of the transient child in reading, the number of children in a classroom, arithmetic, knowledge of social studies, resources, adaptability and miscellaneous information of a like nature.

The Iowa Test of Basic Skills were administered to all the children in grades four through six. Results from a statistical analysis of these tests revealed no significant differences between the two groups. Both groups scored above the national norms in all tests except map reading in grade five in the transient group and map reading and arithmetic problem solving in grade four in the permanent group.

Writing samples were obtained by having each child write a short composition. These writing samples were rated on a four point scale. These ratings were compared through the chi-square technique. No significant differences were found.

Characteristics were marked by the teachers on a three and four point rating scale. Results obtained from a statistical analysis disclosed few differences in characteristics. Transient children were fount to be more resourceful, adaptable, persistent and enthusiastic. Punctuality and shyness were significant differences possessed by the permanent groups.

Pertinent information was obtained from the office records, the teacher and the children. Due to the preponderance of children coming from broken homes in the transient group, statistical tables were made of groups from broken homes and non-broken homes. Transient and permanent children grouped together. This analysis exhibited the children from broken homes to be less alert, less creative, less popular and less honest. Deficiencies also occurred in attitude, verbal expression and work habits. The study of only transient children from broken homes and non-broken homes revealed the children from broken homes to be less popular, less punctual and less honest. Deficiencies also occurred in attitude and work habits.

No statistical significant differences were revealed in the number of children repeating a grade between the transient and permanent groups of children. Likewise, no difference was disclosed in their participation in community activities.

An analysis of the writing samples of the transient children showed their concerns related to changing schools. These children, on the whole, were concerned about meeting new friends and leaving old friends. They were worried about the differences in their school work. Many felt a change at the beginning of the year was all right but did not care for a change during the year. Many felt that changing schools was an adventure and that it took little time to adjust to a new school situation.

The socio-economic status of these transient and permanent children undoubtedly had some bearing on the results of this study. Studies of children from Puerto Rican families, Mexican families and children from migratory families may be vastly different.

As this study pertained only to children in grades four through six, the writer trusts it will be an inventive to someone to make a study in grades one through three. It is possible that results obtained may be significantly different.



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