ERIC Number: ED329920
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Descriptive Analysis of Educational Equity and Grouping for Reading Instruction in First Grade Classrooms.
McDaid, Janet L.
An ethnographic study examined the issue of educational equity in student placement as it related to the first-grade reading program in the San Diego City Schools. Four first-grade classrooms from four different schools, one in each of the districts's four operations areas, were selected for study as being representative of the geographic location, school enrollment, racial/ethnic census, number of limited English proficient students, and participation in categorically funded programs. Data gathered included: observations of classroom instruction; simultaneous analysis of the observations to develop categories based on recurrent routines, events, and interaction patterns contained in the observations; interviews with teachers; and teachers' documents about individual students' progress through the basal textbooks. Results indicated that: (1) students with low reading skills received the same amount of instructional time as average and above-average readers; (2) very few students actually were moved into different reading groups during the year; (3) students received their reading instruction in achievement groups and continued working with their group members for seatwork and with the classroom aide during the reading period; (4) untrained aides were used for small group work with students; and (5) teachers closely followed the instructional approach prescribed in the teacher's guide for all groups. Findings suggest that by following the basal reader textbook almost exclusively and placing students into achievement groups, the district's reading program was not providing all first grade students with equal opportunities to receive the highest quality reading instruction. A brief postscript to the study adds the information that, during 1990-91, the school district began implementing a new English language arts program using a literature-based and integrated approach to the teaching of the language arts. (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: San Diego Unified School District CA
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (72nd, Chicago, IL, April 3-7, 1991).