Measuring educational potential with the draw -A- person test
Ssali, Ruth E.I.
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This study was aimed at validating the use of the Draw - A - Person (DAP) test in Kenya to measure the Intellectual Maturity of Children between the ages of six and nine years. The measure would then be used to accurately group pupils, in the lower primary classes of Kenya, in terms of their mental capabilities in order to be able to offer them more effective classroom instruction. The subjects for the study were 360 primary school pupils from standard I, II and III of four primary schools in Nairobi Province whose average age 7.5 years. Two of the schools were high cost schools and other two were low cost schools. All the subjects were administered the DAP test. The test consists of a drawing of a Man, a drawing of a Women and a drawing of the Self in that order in a test booklet. The children's drawings were then hand scored and an average score obtained for each pupil. The data was coded and the services of a computer utilized to perform descriptive and inferential analysis. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS Nie, et.al., 1975) was used to set a program for the computer. In addition, information on each subject's past academic performance in class was obtained from the class teachers. The one-way ANOVA analysis indicated significant differences in scores between the age groups (six, seven, eight and nine years). Significant differences were also found for the drawings of a Women and the Self when the performance of male and female subjects were compared using a t - test. The differences were not significant for the drawing of a Man. Further, the one-way ANOVA results indicated significant differences in performance between subjects from the high cost and those from the low cost schools. Finally, the analysis revealed that the DAP test scores were well correlated. The correlation between Man drawing and Women drawing was +0.62; between Man and Self-+0.63 and between Women and Self +0.71. These scores also correlated well with school performance. It was concluded that: firstly, the performance on the DAP test was maturational in nature and thus improved with increasing age; secondly, that since the upbringing of boys and girls varies considerably, this determines how and what concepts they form and this determines their performance on the DAP test, however, even with separate assessments for boys and girls the results could still be meaningful in a coeducational classroom; thirdly, that school conditions especially those of the low cost schools need to be improved upon in order to boost the ability of the pupils to the maximum; and lastly, that the DAP test scores could complement the teachers' classroom assessments very effectively and objectively.