A study of topical reading interests and their relation to the literature texts of selected grade nine students

Dunne, Maureen Elizabeth (1980) A study of topical reading interests and their relation to the literature texts of selected grade nine students. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

This study was designed to investigate the extent to which the reading interests of the grade nine students of the Roman Catholic School board of the Burin Peninsula in Newfoundland were satisfied in the curriculum of their literature course, primarily the anthology and assigned novels. -- This study was part of an intensive, cooperative effort of three graduate students to analyze the status of reading in the curriculum of the students and teachers under the board concerned and to make the findings available to the local school authority, together with some suggestions and recommendations for future development of a high school reading program. -- For this study, two questionnaires were formulated: one examined general reading interests, while the other investigated specific reading interests as they related to selections in the anthology and assigned novels. Both questionnaires were tested for student comprehension and ease of administration in a pilot study in a junior high school. The population of the present study consisted of 209 grade nine students under the jurisdiction of the board concerned. Information regarding intelligence quotient and reading ability of the students was obtained from the research data of another Master’s thesis which was conducted concurrently with this one. The resulting data of the General Topical Interest Questionnaire and the Specific Literature Interest Questionnaire were analyzed by computer programs. -- An analysis of the data revealed that the students displayed interest in a wide variety of topics and character types. The type of literature they liked best was short stories, followed by novels and plays. Poetry and essays fell far behind. -- Five of the six interest ratings that were assigned the major sections of the literature curriculum ranged from 0.61 to 0.69. This percentage can be interpreted as the average percentage of students to whom the unit has the potential of appealing. -- The factor of sex exerted a significant influence upon the ratings given to the units of short stories, poetry, non-fiction, plays and novels. The factor of age exerted a significant influence upon students’ ratings of the selections in the short story, poetry, drama and novel units. The factor of intelligence exerted a significant influence upon student ratings on the units of poetry and non-fiction. The factor of reading ability exerted a significant influence upon student ratings of the selections in the short story, poetry and drama sections. -- Reading ability exerted a significant influence upon the ratings with students assigned to the level of difficulty of the poetry section of the text. -- Several recommendations were made by the research after consideration of the findings of the study. Among these were: -- 1. The text should be supplemented by materials in which the students have expressed interest. -- 2. The units of poetry and mythology need to be revised and supplemented. -- 3. Two groups of students need special consideration in the selection of curriculum materials: those above the average age for grade nine and those of above average intelligence. -- 4. Alternative choices of literature materials should be available for boys and girls.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/7576
Item ID: 7576
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 89-94
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 1980
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador--Burin Peninsula
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Reading (Secondary); Reading interests

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