ERIC Number: ED255894
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-May
Reference Count: 0
The Dumbing Down of Textbooks: An Analysis of Six Textbook Editions during a Twelve Year Span.
Gionfriddo, Jeanne Jarema
Three readability formulas were applied to chapters from six textbooks to determine (1) if there was a significant difference in readability of three consecutive textbook editions of a seventh grade and of an eighth grade text over a 12-year period (1968-1980), and (2) whether eighth grade students would perform equally to the same content from a current and from a 1968 edition of the text. The texts involved were from the Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich Science series for the seventh and eighth grades. The three readability formulas used to determine the grade level of each text were the Dale-Chall Formula, the Fry Formula, and SMOG Grading. After the three readability formulas were applied to the six texts, 17 eighth grade students were asked to read equivalent chapters in the 1968 and 1980 editions of the eighth grade text. The results showed that text readability dropped over the 12-year span, and that students performed significantly better on the current, lower readability level text. (HOD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Dissertations/Theses - Masters Theses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: M.A. Thesis, Kean College of New Jersey.