An examination of the reading expectations inherent in three junior high school language arts programs

Melvin, Katherine (1996) An examination of the reading expectations inherent in three junior high school language arts programs. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

Three junior high school language arts programs were examined to determine the explicit and implicit reading performance expectations held for junior high school students. Eight questions based on the findings of current reading research were formulated to guide the examination. -- The results revealed a lack of any clear or implied statement of performance expectations for any of the thematic units selected for study from either of the three programs. Moreover, performance expectations for the assessment materials and the learning activities were general and open to interpretation. There was no progression of difficulty evident or specified for selections within the units, and readability ratings provided for the selections in two of the programs did not distinguish appropriateness for use in grades seven, eight, or nine. The third program specified selections and thematic units for each of grades seven, eight, and nine. However, within each grade level no progression of difficulty was specified for the selections within units or across units in the program. Although it was suggested that reading strategies such as predicting or scanning be used with particular selections, no explicit instruction guidance was provided on text structure knowledge, or reading strategies, two areas identified in the research as distinguishing proficient readers from less proficient readers. Nor was there a clear statement of the amount of reading students were expected to do in the units. In effect, teachers were expected to adapt the units to meet the needs of individual students. Hence, teachers were not given any criteria on which to judge students' success. -- Based on the research reviewed, the research questions developed, and the analysis of the programs, two main conclusions were drawn: clear reading performance expectations are wanting, and comprehensive instruction in reading is not provided in three current junior high school language arts programs.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/4476
Item ID: 4476
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 219-237.
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 1996
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Reading (Secondary); Language arts (Secondary)

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