Title

Relationship Between Student Participation in a Secondary School Reading Program and Selected School Performance Variables

Date of Award

5-1-1976

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Teaching & Learning

Abstract

Problem: The purpose of this study is to investigate four questions: 1. Are Students' reading achievement gains that are attained through participation in a remedial reading program during the sophomore year retained thoughout high school? 2. Does participation in a secondary remedial reading program affect students' general school-related behavior? 3. What benefits do students perceive from participating in a remedial reading program? 4. What recommendations can be made to improve the existing remedial reading program at Red River High School in Grand Forks, North Dakota?

Identified from reading achievement and nonverbal IQ scores and selected from the 1973-74 sophomore class, 49 experimental students, 27 girls and 22 boys, received remedial reading instruction based on individual, diagnostic reading evaluations in small sclasses of 10 to 15 students for one hour each day of the school week. Thirty-four experimental students received remedial instruction for at least nine weeks but for less than a full academic year. Forty-nine control students were matched with experimental students on the factors of sex, grade level, reading acievement, and nonverbal IQ. All of the students in the study were enrolled in Grand Forks public schools from the fall of 1972, when the students were in the seventh grade, through February, 1976, when the students were in the 12th grade.

To examine differences between the experimental and control groups the students' following school-related behavior variables were compared: IQ; reading achievement in grades 9 and 12; grade point averages (GPAs) in grades 9, 10 and 11; school absences in grades 9, 10, and 11; class cuts in grade 11, suspensions from school in grade 11, and attitudes toward reading in grade 12. Data for each of these variables was collected either from school records or from the results of the four evaluative instruments: reading subtests from the Iowa Test of Educational Development, Form X-5; the Lorge Thorndike Intelligence Tests; Student Views Toward Reading Attitude Survey, and the Guy Reading Q-Sort. The data was analyzed through analysis of variance, analysis of covariance, computation of adjusted means, and determination of correlation coefficients.

Results: Remedial reading instruction in grade 10 did not appear to significantly affect students' reading achievement in grade 12. There was no significant differences between students who had participated in the reading program for a full year and students who had participated for only part of the year. However, experimental students who made the greatest gains in reading achievement scores could be identified at the ninth grade level by their high IQ scores (p < .05), low GPAs (p <.05), and large number of school absences (p<.05).

Remedial reading instruction in grade 10 did not appear to significantly affect students' school-related behavior, as identified by the selected behavior variables, either during the year students participated in the reading program or the year following remedial instruction. There was no significant difference on any of the behavior variables between students who had received remedial instruction for a full year and students who received remedial instruction for only part of the year. Experimental students who made the greatest gains in reading achievement scores had the most positive attitudes toward reading in grade 12 (P < .05).

Experimental students' responses on the Q-sort indicated that students felt remedial reading instruction improved their reading ability. Experimental students also indicated that remedial reading instruction did not affect their success in school. Those experimental students who had the greatest gains in reading achievement scores indicated that following remedial instruction they experienced greater enjoyment from reading activities and from discussions concerning their reading activities.

Conclusions: The results of this study supported earlier researchers' conclusions that short-term compensatory education does not produce significant longterm effects on objective measures of students' reading achievement or school-related behavior. This study also supported earlier researchers' conclusions that students perceive positive effects of remedial instruction which either are not or cannot be determined by available assessment instruments.

Recommendations: To improve the current Red River High School reading program, these major changes were recommended: (1) The reading program should be expanded to include both developmental and remedial reading services for all students; (2) the school's reading specialist should serve both as a reading teacher and as a consultant to content area teachers; and (3) the remedial aspects of the reading program should be expanded in duration.

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