ERIC Number: ED024543
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1968-Jun
Reference Count: 0
Two Studies of Children's Ability to Formulate and State a Literal Main Idea in Reading. Report from the Reading Project.
Otto, Wayne; Barrett, Thomas C.
The two reported studies examined children's approaches to and success in conceptualizing a literal main idea in reading. The first study examined elementary pupils' ability to formulate a main idea for brief, carefully controlled paragraphs written with one specific but unstated main idea. The study revealed that although subjects' grade placement and paragraph readability were critical factors in determining response quality, the children's main idea responses were generally of low quality. In the second study second- and fifth-grade students were asked to formulate hypotheses about the main idea after each successive sentence of a paragraph was presented. This study revealed that relatively few subjects were successful in formulating a high level main idea statement and that children may have no clear conception of what a main idea ought to be. It was suggested that systematic teaching designed to channel pupils' energies in formulating "ain idea statements would yield worthwhile results. Background information, methodology employed, and paragraphs used in the study are included. (RT)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC. Bureau of Research.
Authoring Institution: Wisconsin Univ., Madison. Research and Development Center for Cognitive Learning.