ERIC Number: ED159661
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1978-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
Influence of Topic Interest on Black Children and White Children's Reading Comprehension. Technical Report No. 99.
Asher, Steven R.
To assess whether black children comprehend more of high- than low-interest reading material, whether the performance discrepancy between white and black children is reduced under high-interest conditions, and to determine the degree of similarity of the interests of white and black children, a study involving 33 black and 33 white fifth graders was conducted. Twenty-five color slides covering a wide range of topics were used to assess interest. The reading comprehension phase of the experiment involved the use of a set of encyclopedia passages, half of which corresponded to the child's least preferred topics. Results indicated that black children comprehended more of high- than low-interest material. White children's performance was similarly influenced by the interest level of material; the gap between white and black children's performance was not reduced under the high-interest condition. Analysis of children's topic preferences indicated considerable cross-race similarity of interests, a finding which cautions against overestimating the uniqueness of black children's interests when selecting reading material for them. (Author/FL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Illinois Univ., Urbana. Center for the Study of Reading.; Bolt, Beranek and Newman, Inc., Cambridge, MA.