ERIC Number: ED228611
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Feb
Reference Count: 0
Educational Content of Basal Reading Texts: Implications for Comprehension Instruction.
Schmidt, William H.; And Others
To explore the issue of educational content in basal readers, a study analyzed 34 basal reading textbooks, representing eight of the most commonly used series in American elementary education. Educational content was defined and categorized along three dimensions: subject matter, function, and ethos. The subject matter component covered theories, facts, and information found in the written text. The functional component addressed the applied knowledge of a process nature and included such levels as reasoning/problem-solving, moral reasoning, contemplation, creativity, feeling/catharsis, initiative/persistence, absurdity/paradox, humor in the use of language, and cunning/intuition. The ethos component concerned virtue such as that found in folk and fairy tales. The question asked by each coder relative to each component was whether there was sufficient detail (descriptive, explanatory, or evocative) in each basal selection to code for the presence of a particular content category. Findings revealed that only 4% of all the selections had content on all three dimensions. Of those texts that presented opportunities for subject matter learning, three quarters had nothing else to offer. There were readers with relatively high subject matter content, but the focus of the subject varied greatly. Some basal readers showed the process of human functioning in more than half of their selections, while others contained no educational content of this kind. Slightly less than half of the texts contained essentially no ethos content. (HOD)
Descriptors: Basal Reading, Comparative Analysis, Content Analysis, Elementary Education, Publishing Industry, Reading Material Selection, Reading Research, Textbook Content, Textbook Research, Textbook Standards
Institute for Research on Teaching, College of Education, Michigan State University, 252 Erickson Hall, East Lansing, MI 48824 ($3.25).
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Michigan State Univ., East Lansing. Inst. for Research on Teaching.