ERIC Number: ED220805
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Sep
When Do Children Begin "Reading to Learn"? A Survey of Classroom Reading Instruction Practices in Grades Two through Five. Technical Report No. 261.
Mason, Jana; Osborn, Jean
A commonly held belief about reading instruction in the elementary grades is that students must first learn to read so that they will then utilize their reading skill to learn from written language and to acquire new ideas. Consequently most of the instructional time in the primary grades is spent in teaching students how to recognize words and read fluently, whereas in the intermediate grades there is an instructional shift toward more diversified reading texts with an emphasis on learning how to understand, interpret, and evaluate new concepts. To investigate the questions of whether teachers believe there is an instructional shift and whether any direct evidence supports an actual shift toward comprehension instruction at about the fourth grade, a questionnaire was designed for second through fifth grade teachers that sampled their views about reading instruction. Additional data were obtained through observations of third and fourth grade teachers. Both the questionnaire and the observations focused on how classrooms were managed, how students were grouped for instruction, how reading materials were selected, and how reading tasks varied in quality and quantity. Questionnaire results indicated changes over grade in procedure and method of organization of the classroom. They also show that while teachers believe that word-level instruction should be replaced by text-level comprehension instruction in the upper grades, there is little actual change in emphasis. Observations reveal a small decrease over grade in word recognition instruction but no increase in text level comprehension. Consequently, reading instruction does not conform to teachers' beliefs or to expectations of teacher educators. (HOD)
Descriptors: Beginning Reading, Classroom Observation Techniques, Classroom Techniques, Comparative Analysis, Elementary Education, Grouping (Instructional Purposes), Intermediate Grades, Primary Education, Reading Comprehension, Reading Instruction, Reading Material Selection, Reading Research, Teacher Attitudes, Teaching Methods, Word Recognition
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.