ERIC Number: ED258191
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1985-Feb
Reference Count: N/A
The Effects of the Mason Thinking and Writing Program on the Skills of Second Grade Children. Technical Report.
A study assessed the effects of the Mason program (a supplementary language arts program in which expository writing is introduced) on writing skills, such as writing mechanics, expression, and related thinking skills. These skills were measured by standardized tests and by actual writing performance. Subjects, approximately 400 second grade students divided into a treatment group (in the Mason program) and a control group, were tested at the beginning and end of instruction. Program students were asked to write in such a way that a humorous imaginary character named Mr. Magargle (who is easily confused and who is always in need of help) can understand written explanations or instructions. The lessons included specific instruction and practice in exercising a variety of thinking skills important in expository writing, including classification skills, presenting a logical sequence of ideas, and distinguishing between the necessary and the unnecessary. Students were taught to reread and correct their own work. Results indicated that for most writing measures, statistically significant group differences favoring the treatment group were found, especially in sentence quality and in the overall quality of responses to writing exercises. Also, the great majority of experienced teachers thought that the Mason program had a moderately or strongly positive effect on student writing. (EL)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Applied Educational Research, Inc., Princeton, NJ.