The feasibility of rewritten subject material at a lower reading level in geography for less capable readers

Arnold, Jeffrey Kent (1975) The feasibility of rewritten subject material at a lower reading level in geography for less capable readers. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

Many students at St. Patrick's Hall Central High School in St. John's were experiencing reading difficulties with the new geography textbook, Introducing Earth Part II by L. F. Hobley. This internship was concerned with overcoming this reading difficulty by rewriting the textbook material at a lower reading level. -- A formal reading test was given to the students to further assess the nature and the extent of the reading problem. It was found that most of the students were reading at least three years or more below their grade placement level. Due to their severe reading problem students were unable to read and comprehend the content of the geography textbook. -- Objectives selected for this internship were the application of a readability formula to the grade eight textbook to determine its level of readability, the use of a rewritten textbook unit as a learning resource and the evaluation of its effectiveness for less capable grade eight students, and the formation of a set of guidelines for rewriting geography materials at a lower reading level. -- One unit of the eighth-grade geography textbook was analyzed using the Dale-Chall Readability Formula and rewritten at a fourth grade or lower level of readability. Three classes, one control group and two experimental groups, for a total of forty-nine students were the subjects in the study. One experimental class and the control class were taught by the intern and the remaining experimental class was taught by a cohort teacher. The control class read the original textbook material while the two experimental classes were tested on teacher-made tests. Observation by the teachers of the students’ attitudes and behavior were also recorded and used to evaluate the effectiveness of the internship. -- Students using the rewritten textbook materials showed an improvement in attitudes and behavior and in the achievement scores on teacher-made tests. Greater self-confidence appeared to be enhanced through the use of the rewritten material. -- The guidelines outlined in the study show the steps to follow in rewriting materials. Recommendations were made for authors, publishers, the Newfoundland Department of Education, and the local school boards across the province.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/4413
Item ID: 4413
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 59-61.
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 1975
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Geography--Study and teaching (Secondary); Readers--Geography; Reading (Secondary)

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