ERIC Number: ED220809
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Dec
The BASAL: What Does It Demand of the Beginning Reader?
Osburn, Bess; Bobruk, Toni
To determine the general characteristics of beginning reading materials, to establish categories in regard to concepts and the instruction of concepts, and to search for a common framework among concepts, a study surveyed six popular, widely promoted basal series which had been copyrighted within the past 5 years. For each lesson, the stated objectives, method of presentation, language to be used by the teacher, opportunities to confirm the students' acquisition of the concepts presented and the extension activities were examined. In the first survey over 50 separate objectives were identified, indicating the diverse assortment and varied sequencing within the programs. The second examination identified six categories that encompassed all the objectives: general concepts, decoding (letters and words), language development, comprehension of written discourse, directionality of print, and concepts about written language. Findings show that some programs contained very little written language and the language that was included did not seem intended to communicate messages. Series did not include informal assessments to determine the child's knowledge of word, letter, sentence, and sound concepts. The cognitive limitations of young children also did not seem to be considered, since some of the materials began with the most abstract and ambiguous units of language--graphophonic relationships. An assumption that seemed implicit in the programs is that all children need the same rigid sequence of skills, but over all, findings suggest that the authors did not agree upon the objectives and concepts necessary to teach these skills. (HOD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Reading Conference (31st, Dallas, TX, December 2-5, 1981).