A comparison of reading achievement patterns using a case study approach

Reccord, Maxine M. (1988) A comparison of reading achievement patterns using a case study approach. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

The study endeavoured to understand and describe the acquisition of literacy among six elementary school children by examining their reading achievement patterns over a five year period. It explored the cognitive, social, and affective factors which influenced these patterns of achievement. Since the research focused on individuals, a case study approach was used. -- The six children who comprised the sample represented an average range of ability as assessed by two measures of general intelligence. At the end of grade 2 these children were relatively comparable in reading comprehension as measured by the CTBS comprehension subtest. However by the end of grade 4 they could readily be divided into an able and a less able group based on CTBS comprehension scores. By the end of the sixth grade, the differences between the two groups had widened considerably. The able and less able group of readers included three children each. The research was concerned with the development of these differences in reading ability and the factors which contributed to them. -- Three data sources were available to the study. They were (a) the SESA data files, (b) school records and (c) data collected by the present investigator. Quantitative data such as information gleaned from questionnaires and interviews were both included. The use of multiple data sources, the availability of various types of data, and the longitudinal dimension of the study allowed the construction of a comprehensive reading achievement profile for each student. -- The results showed that the able and less able readers differed on many cognitive, social, and affective factors which are related to reading, and that these differences influenced their patterns of reading achievement. The able readers decoded more efficiently, could better discern relationships among textual ideas, were better able to make inferences, made more effective use of monitoring and “fix-up” strategies, and had more extensive vocabularies than the less able readers. In addition, the stronger readers had more positive self-concepts, express more confidence in their ability to cope with school work, had more positive and realistic perceptions of themselves as readers, were more likely to come from homes where reading was an activity of choice, and watched less television than the weaker children. -- The research recognized that many factors influencing reading achievement are beyond the control of the school. However, instructional practices which result in long term negative effects on reading achievement should be recognized and avoided. Conversely, practices which have been shown to have positive effects should be fostered. Encounters with print should be successful and pleasant and children should learn to read in a supportive and risk-free environment. Children should read extensively from materials geared to their abilities and interests. Finally the study recognized the need for a comprehensive theory of reading encompassing many understandings and supported by a diversity of research and research methodologies. Such a theory should be understood by teachers so that it may guide teaching practices.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/4319
Item ID: 4319
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 230-237.
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 1988
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Reading (Elementary); Reading comprehension--Case studies

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