Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Education, Health & Behavior Studies


The Problem: The purpose of this investigation was to study the effects of the inclusion of a daily period of sustained silent reading in the classroom instructional program on the attitudes toward reading and the independent reading habits of second, third, and fourth graders in a low-income area school.

The Procedure: The sample for this investigation was comprised of children enrolled in twelve classrooms in Longfellox^ Elementary School, Great Falls, Montana. Four classrooms each, at second, third and fourth grade levels, participated in the study. Two experimental and two control group classrooms were identified at each grade level by a random selection process. The study began during the third week in September and ended during the third x^eek in March. Only those children who participated in the study for the entire treatment period were included in the final sample of 288 subjects.

The instruments used in this study were: the San Diego County Inventory of Reading Attitude, the Parent Survey: Children's Reading In the Home, and the Reading Record Form. The pretest and posttest administration of the instruments was conducted by the researcher. The researcher also conducted in-service training sessions and made regular visits to all of the experimental and control group classrooms.

The experimental group classrooms provided a daily period of approximately thirty minutes of sustained silent reading during the six-month treatment period. The control group classrooms had a daily period, comparable in instructional time, of self-selected language activities.

The analysis of the data involved use of a one-way analysis of variance and one-way analysis of covariance. To test each of the six hypotheses, comparisons were made for the total sample and for each of the three grade level samples.

Conclusions: This study has provided evidence which supports the following conclusions, subject to the limitations of the study:

1. Providing children with a daily period of sustained silent reading for a six month period does not affect their expressed attitude toward reading. The findings indicate that experimental and control group children made comparable, positive gains in attitude toward reading during the treatment period.

2. Providing children v/ith a daily period of sustained silent reading for a six month period does not affect their out-of-school reading habits. The experimental and control group children in this study made comparable increases in the amount and variety of self- selected reading done in the home.

3. The inclusion of sustained silent reading in the reading program appears to have a positive effect on the independent reading habits of children. At two of the three grade levels involved in this study the children exposed to a daily period of sustained silent reading made significantly greater gains in independent reading than did control group children.