Action Research

Posted by Shyle on 3:58 PM in
This action research was conducted to my Grade III pupils during the school year 2008-2009. I want to share this research for other teachers' reference especially those who wish to be promoted. I hope this could help.

A Study on the Impact of Birth Order to Pupil’s Reading and Comprehension Ability Using the Individual Psychology Counseling Method

Talairon Central Elementary School
Talairon, Oroquieta City


This paper reports on the investigation of Grade III-Mabini pupils at Talairon Central Elementary School on the impact of their birth order to their reading and comprehension ability using Individual Psychology Counseling Method. Student Personal Data Record, Family Background and Family Counseling forms were utilized in order to know their family background and child’s birth order. PHIL-IRI –Oral pre and post test results were also used to determine the effectiveness of the method.


Reading is the most basic skills. It provides access to other skills and knowledge, facilitates lifelong learning and open may doors – employment, training, higher education and lifelong learning. Pupils who don’t read well face serious barriers as they become adults they will attempt to earn a living wage to support their children’s learning and to fully participate in civic and community life. They are unable to gain access to a wealth of print information that readers take for granted and they miss out on the joy of reading for pleasure. As such, it is important to develop the grade III-Mabini pupils of Talairon Central Elementary School their reading and comprehension ability. This was done studying the impact of pupil’s birth order to reading and comprehension ability using Individual Psychology Counseling Method.

Birth order is defined as a person’s rank by the sequence of birth order among his or her sibling. Birth order is commonly believed to have an impact to pupil’s reading and comprehension ability. Zajonc (2001) is one of the leading researchers who believed that birth order does impact on person’s intelligence. He has developed what has been termed the confluence model with the idea that the intellectual growth of every member is dependent on others in the family.

Scholars have studied the effects of birth orders as far back s the time of Alfred Adler, an Austrian psychiatrist and a contemporary of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jang, who suggest that birth order influence personality. He argued that birth order can leave an indelible impression on an individual’s style of life, which is one’s habitual way of dealing with the tasks of friendship, love and work. According to Adler, firstborns are “dethroned” when a second child comes along and this may have a lasting influence on them. He may respond to birth of second child by feeling unloved and neglected and strives to keep or regain parents’ attention. If this failed, he chooses to misbehave and become very discouraged. Younger and only children may be pampered and spoiled which could be a barrier in developing their reading and comprehension ability.

The area that the researcher wants to investigate is whether or not birth order of her Grade III pupils has an impact on their reading and comprehension ability. Frank Sulloway suggests that birth order has strong consistent effects on pupil’s personality traits that affect their reading and comprehension ability. He argues that firstborns are more conscientious, more socially dominant, less agreeable and less open to new ideas compared to laterborns.

Specific Research Questions or Hypothesis

This study aims to answer the following research questions:

1. Does pupil’s birth order has an impact to their reading and comprehension ability using Individual Psychology Counseling Method?

2. Are the pupils reading and comprehension level increased after implementing the Individual Psychology Counseling Method with regards to their birth order in the family?

A directional hypothesis is used to indicate the direction of the expected outcome. It is expected that the Grade III Mabini pupils of Talairon Central Elementary School will show improvement in their reading and comprehension level.

Methods and Design


The pupils selected for the study were Grade III Mabini pupils of Talairon Central Elementary School who are frustration readers. There were 11 pupils belong to this group consisting of 4 boys and 7 girls.


The survey is composed of forms with three (3) parts. The first part used the Family Background and Student Personal Data Record Form. The second part used Family Counseling Form to be filled up by their parents which included questions involving problems in child at home and to assess birth order. The third part is the PHIL-IRI Oral Tests to asses their reading and comprehension ability.


The researcher gathered baseline data from her pupils. She let her pupils filled up the Student’s Personal Data and Family Background Form showing their family background. She also called up a PTCA meeting to let the parents know their child’s reading ability in school and have them filled up the Family Counseling Form. After that, the researcher analyzed the data filled in by the pupils and parents and studied the impact of a child’s birth order to their reading and comprehension level showed in the PHIL-IRI Oral Pretest.

The pupils who were frustration readers were monitored and recommended to read storybooks. They were also encouraged to have a copy of the Developing Reading Power Book 3 and read books widely on their leisure time and at home instead of playing and watching television. They were kept track through their library borrower’s logbook, their speed reading every month and their result of the comprehension questions of the Developing Reading Power Book 3.


When they got low scores of the reading test, their attention were called up and did counseling using Individual Psychology method. They were not punished by giving low grades but instead, they were cheered up to do their best next time and encouraged to have more practice in reading and comprehend the text they read well. The attention of the parents was called up to inform problems their child’s performance in reading comprehension to have a collaborative plan on their reading progress.

Table 1. The following were the results of the PHIL-IRI Pre and Post Test surveys taken:

DATE: MARCH 12, 2009
TOTAL 25 25

Table 2. Pupil’s Birth Order and Reading Level

FIRST BORN CHILD 6 0 2 2 3 9
SECOND CHILD 1 0 3 0 3 7
YOUNGEST CHILD 4 0 1 2 1 5
TOTAL 11 0 6 4 7 21

Figure 1 below summarizes the survey made using Individual Psychology Counseling Method and the PHIL-IRI-Oral Pretest Result.

Figure 2 below summarizes the survey made using Individual Psychology Counseling Method and the PHIL-IRI-Oral Post test Result.


The frustration readers on the PHIL-IRI-Oral Pretest had shown significant improvement in their reading and comprehension level as shown in Figure 2 after identifying their birth order using the Individual Psychology Counseling Method. As such, it was ascertained that the method used to determine pupil’s birth order is effective in developing reading and comprehension ability of pupils.

One of the things teachers can do is to meet the needs of the pupils towards the improvement of reading and comprehension skills by providing differentiated and varied reading materials with comprehension questions and use appropriate strategies and techniques in teaching depending upon the level of the pupil. However, if the Individual Psychology Counseling Method is inappropriately done and reading and comprehension ability is not monitored well, strategies applied by a teacher may not suit to the learners.


The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of pupil’s birth order to their reading and comprehension ability using the Individual Psychology Counseling Method. In the sample of 25 grade III pupils who participated in this study, the finding showed the importance of determining the birth order of the pupils to develop their reading and comprehension skills, shaping and transforming them into a better citizen and lessen the difficulties exist in the classroom, if not be eliminated.

Limitations of the Research

There are also limitations to this research. The sample size of the research is small and we did not take into consideration individuals who were adopted, foster and step children. In addition, it is only carried out in one class. Moreover, the research is only carried out for one school year and the limitations of such short term inventions will have to be taken into consideration.

Birth order is just a small fragment of many other things that impacts individual’s reading and comprehension ability. We believe that for future research other things such as parenting style, gender, race and socio-economic status should also be taken into account when looking at what impacts pupils reading and comprehension ability.


The fact that one can reap great benefits from reading cannot be doubted or questioned. It is for the reason that teachers must instill a real love for reading and groom them into becoming lifelong readers. To facilitate this, Individual Psychology Counseling Method in determining pupil’s birth order can broadly help pupils on improving frustration readers into independent readers.

This is an important area of research that can be expanded on significantly more. The knowledge of a person’s birth order could be useful in school settings to help explain why some pupils do better than others. Counseling is also another area that knowing a person’s birth order could be helpful in family sessions, particularly pertaining to sibling rivalry problems.



Prepared by:


Noted by:

Principal I

Approved by:

District Supervisor



shyle, thank you for posting your sample research and action plan. It serves as sample and guide for us teachers who are new to this type of paper works.

thankyou:) it helps a lot!

thankyou! It helps a lot in our project about remedial instruction :)

thanks a lot its a great help.

i do hope next time you will post another research about minimizing non reader pupils.

Good day! I think there is a new format for action research proposal that the DepED is being implemented to be fallowed those who wants to conduct an action research.

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