Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Teaching & Learning


The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of rapid reading training (as described by Vearl McBride) on the reading rates and comprehension of large print and braille readers. Of specific interest were comparisons among a group taught by McBride and two taught by the researcher under McBride’s tutelage, furthermore, it was a purpose of this study to investigate differences that exist between informal and formal tests given before and after sixteen hours of rapid reading training. Informal testing consisted of oral reporting on individually chosen prose fiction to achieve an estimated "book report" comprehension. This is the type of testing normally employed by McBride in his teaching of rapid reading workshops. Formal testing was done by the researcher and consisted of individually-administered silent reading paragraphs from Spache’s Diagnostic Reading Scales. Finally, correlations between rate gains achieved and variables such as age, sex, years of education, minutes practiced, and level of motivation for improvement were also of interest in this study.

Fifteen braille-reading adults, ages 19-62 and with a mean age of 38.6 years, composed McBride’s rapid reading group. These adults came from twelve different states and Canada for a two-week workshop held August 5-16, 1974, Canton, Missouri. Members of this group enrolled voluntarily and paid their own tuition and living expenses to attend. Twelve braille readers ages 10-65 and with a mean age of 34.2 years, made up the first group taught by the researcher; the second group were large print readers, ages 10-19 and with a. mean age of 13.5 years. Loth of these latter groups were recruited from the North Dakota State School for the Blind and surrounding communities at no personal cost to any member. This workshop was held September 16-27, 1974, in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

The conclusions of this study were:

  1. 1. Reading rate can be significantly increased for braille and large print readers after sixteen hours of rapid reading training, without significant change in comprehension.
  2. 2. Reading rate on informal tests (no objective measure of comprehension) is significantly greater after rapid reading training than in rate on formal tests.
  3. 3. Rates predicted by braille and large print readers before rapid reading training do not significantly differ from rates achieved on informal tests after training.
  4. 4. Groups of large print and braille readers, while differing significantly in age, years of education, minutes of practice outside of training, and initial motivation for taking rapid reading training, do not differ significantly in their rate, increases or changes in comprehension level after rapid reading training.
  5. 5. Rate improvements made by braille and large print readers after rapid reading training are not significantly related to their reading rates before training.
  6. 6. Rate improvement after rapid reading training is negatively related to the age of braille and large print readers.
  7. 7. Reading rale before and after rapid reading training is negatively related to the number of years a braille reader has previously read print.
  8. 8. Rate improvement after rapid reading training is positively related to the use of more than one finger in the braille reading process.