V.J. Dowson, Newcastle Preparatory School,
Newcastle-upon-Tyne. (Dec. 1999) - Yr 3 - 1999

Field of Study:

Time of day effects in school children’s immediate and delayed recall of meaningful mathematical material.


R O X O am. O 0
R O X O pm. O 0

Groups were randomly assigned using ability matched pairs. Pupils were pretested using the N.F.E.R. Mathematical Test a standardised test of mathematical ability.


Pupils were randomly assigned to one of two groups, the a.m. or the p.m group. Both groups were given the same lessons; the morning group at 09:00h, the afternoon group at 15:00h. Both groups were given identical lessons on 4 consecutive days either in the morning or the afternoon. All the instructions and questions were written down to ensure that both groups received a consistent lesson, uniform conditions. The two groups were given the same test paper on the day after their last lesson either in the morning or the afternoon, then again one week later in the same place and at the same time as before, lastly 4 weeks later again at the same time same place as the previous tests.


Student scores from the two questionnaires from both groups were analysed statistically. Participants: 40 pupils from two parallel form groups of a Preparatory School. There were 12 female and 28 male pupils. They had an age range of 7 years 8 months to 8 years 8 months.


  Immediate Test Delayed 1 week Delayed 4 weeks
  n x SD n x SD n x SD
Morning 20 69.8 13.41 20 71.75 13.95 20 70.1 14.21
Afternoon 20 72.25 12.9 20 72.35 14.28 20 72.4 14.19
Effect Size     0.19     0.04     0.16

A matched pairs t-test showed there was no statistically significant difference of immediate recall between the 09:00h and the 15:00h group (t=0.59, d.f.=38, p= 0.56). The delayed recall of the afternoon group was also not statistically significantly different from that of the morning group one week later (t=0.90, d.f.=38, p=0.38) and four weeks later (t=0.58, d.f.=38, p=0.57).


Time of Day, immediate, delayed, recall, information.


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