Influence of different visual perceptual constructs on academic achievement among learners in the NW-CHILD study
De Waal, Elna
Pienaar, Anita E.
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Visual perception plays an important and integrating role in the development of cognitive abilities and perceptual-motor skills. Visual perception comprises different independent constructs that may function in an integrative manner. This study aimed to determine whether (and the extent to which) various visual-perceptual constructs influence the academic achievement of 12-year-old school children. In a cross-sectional analysis, we extracted only 2016 data from 581 learners (mean age = 12.92 years, SD = 0.42) who were participants in the North-West Child Health, Integrated with Learning and Development longitudinal study (2010–2016). We used the Test of Visual Perceptual Skills, Third Edition, the North-West Provincial Assessment and mid-year school examination reports to determine visual perceptual abilities and academic achievement of this participant group. We calculated correlations between visual perceptual constructs and academic performance using Spearman rank order correlations and separately analyzed the influence of gender and socioeconomic status with independent T tests. Different visual perceptual constructs did have significant influences on specific areas of academic learning and on academic achievement generally (r = .26 to r = .41). Spatial relationships showed slightly greater correlations with academic achievement (r = .15 to r = .33) than did other basic visual perceptual constructs, possibly because spatial relationships are not completely developed at age 12. Complex and basic visual perceptual skills had medium significant retrospective correlations with grade point average (r = .40 and r = .41) and first additional language (r = .30 and r = .33). We concluded that basic and complex visual perceptual constructs remain important for academic achievement in this age-group, while gender and socioeconomic status influence both visual perceptual abilities and academic achievement
- Faculty of Health Sciences