ERIC Number: ED284182
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Jan
Reference Count: 0
Do Errors on Classroom Reading Tasks Slow Growth in Reading? Technical Report No. 404.
Anderson, Richard C.; And Others
A pervasive finding from research on teaching and classroom learning is that a low rate of error on classroom tasks is associated with large year to year gains in achievement, particularly for reading in the primary grades. The finding of a negative relationship between error rate, especially rate of oral reading errors, and gains in reading achievement is generally interpreted to mean that a low rate of error is on the causal path to growth in reading. However, this relationship may be an epiphenomenon: (1) error rate on classroom tasks is a good measure of children's level of reading development, (2) standardized tests and other one-shot assessment instruments are always imperfect measures of reading level, and (3) error rate correlates negatively with end-of-year achievement because it provides additional and more reliable information, beyond that contained in previous test scores, about children's reading ability. Findings from a microanalytic study of third-grade reading lessons confirmed that oral reading errors can have a positive influence on children's comprehension. Errors facilitated comprehension of nonturntakers when task norms emphasized accurate oral reading, but not when norms emphasized story understanding. According to the positive influence theory, an oral reading error followed by feedback fits the pattern of tension followed by resolution shown by other research to improve learning and memory. When the task is accurate oral reading, a failure to read fluently produces tension, which increases attention and instigates deeper processing or a greater "effort after meaning." (A table, figure and references are included.) (Author/HTH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Illinois Univ., Urbana. Center for the Study of Reading.; Bolt, Beranek and Newman, Inc., Cambridge, MA.
Note: A version of this report will appear in the "Elementary School Journal," January 1988.