ERIC Number: ED221826
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Characteristics of Written Questions in Selected American History Textbooks: An Investigation.
Seminoff, Nancy Wiseman
Given the important role written questions have as a teaching strategy and their apparent use in textbooks, this study examined the written questions posed in representative American history textbooks intended for students at the seventh and eighth grade levels. Ten textbooks were randomly selected from a larger group of texts. Three chapters in each of the 10 texts were then randomly selected and the questions in each chapter identified. A seven-point scale was devised to describe the clarity, objectivity, and structure of each question. The same scale was further used to describe the extent to which each of the 30 sets of questions possessed sequence. In addition, each question was categorized by level of response--literal, interpretive, or applied. A summary of the means for the seven-point scale revealed the following scores: clarity--4.09, objectivity--6.18, sturcture--2.82, and sequence--4.09. Findings also revealed that literal questions were posed with considerably higher frequency in these selected books than interpretive and applied level questions. With the exception of a single text, applied level questions were excluded almost totally. The apparent absence of applied level questions and the extensive emphasis on literal level questions suggest that the questions are at odds with the emphasis of social studies on modes of inquiry. (HOD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Meeting of the National Council for the Social Studies (Detroit, MI, November 21-24, 1981).