A content analysis of the fourth, fifth, and sixth grade basal readers of the 1975 and 1983 editions of the Nelson Language developmental reading program

Robinson, Michael George (1988) A content analysis of the fourth, fifth, and sixth grade basal readers of the 1975 and 1983 editions of the Nelson Language developmental reading program. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to analyse and compare the content of the fourth, fifth and sixth grade basals of the 1975 and 1983 editions of the Nelson Language developmental Reading program. The specific areas investigated were the depictions of (a) males and females, (b) ethnic groups, (c) the elderly, (d) the disabled, and (e) reading. The analysis also sought to determine the extent of Canadian content in the two editions. -- The contents of the basal readers were scrutinized by means of an analysis kit based on A Consumer’s Guide to Sex, Race and Career Bias in Public School Textbooks, and analysis package developed by Britton and Lumpkin (1977b). After the two editions of the Nelson Language Developmental Reading program had been analyzed according to the criteria of the analysis kit, the analysis was subjected to a rater-rater test of reliability. -- The results of the analysis suggested that some attention had been given to the portrayals of males and females in the 1983 edition, as girls and boys were found to be equally represented. Women, however, were discovered to be poorly depicted in comparison to men in both editions. Although a comparison of the multiethnic content of the two editions revealed that some positive changes had occurred, the use of illustrations to define ethnicity in the 1983 edition indicated that the changes were quantitative rather than qualitative. While the content of bother editions was found to be predominantly Canadian, some improvements in the quality of the Canadian content in the 1983 edition were noted. -- The analysis revealed that the elderly and the disabled were inadequately portrayed in both the 1975 and 1983 editions. The investigator believed that the lack of progress was not surprising as concerns about the portrayal of the elderly and the disabled in basal readers may have been voiced too late to have had any effect on the 1983 edition. The act of reading was found to be poorly depicted in both editions. This finding was perplexing given that basal reading series are designed as tools for teaching reading.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/4324
Item ID: 4324
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 383-395.
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 1988
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Textbook bias

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