ERIC Number: ED219726
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Aug
A Description of Reading Instruction: The Tail Is Wagging the Dog. Reading Education Report No. 35.
A study was conducted to determine whether there is a typical instructional sequence used to teach reading in third and fourth grade classrooms, to what extent the core text-related sequence (a child-related introduction of the text, followed by reading, and then discussion and interpretation of text content) is used, and if it is not used, what instructional sequences are provided. Reading instruction was observed on three occasions for each of 10 third and 10 fourth grade classrooms. Observers recorded what was taught, how it was taught, what materials were used, how many students were being instructed together, and how much time was spent on each student. Two instructional patterns were identified. Fifteen teachers divided the students by ability into two or three groups and worked with them on different materials for about 15 or 20 minutes. Five teachers worked alternately with the whole class and with individuals on the same texts. From the student's point of view, both patterns produced the same, surprisingly low, number of text-related events. Sequence data revealed that most classroom sessions do not contain complete text-related sequences, perhaps because 75% to 80% of instructional events involved text-unrelated exercises from workbooks or skill sheets that take students' time away from reading and learning to comprehend text materials. Every group of students must have time every day to have introduced, to read, and to discuss a text with a teacher's help. (JL)
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.