ERIC Number: ED317983
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-May
Matching Classroom Instruction with Reading Abilities: An Unmet Need. Technical Report No. 499.
Based on the premise that schools apparently fail to match reading instruction to children's needs, this study was conducted to learn about the process of changing teacher behavior in such a way that a match exists between what is taught and who is being taught. Year-long observation of one kindergarten program that was supplemented with attempts to effect instruction that reflected the children's abilities was conducted. Standard curriculum was to provide instruction for colors, shapes, letters, numbers, words, and letter-sound correspondences. The teacher's tendency to spend more time with the least able children became apparent early in the year and never changed. An equally persistent practice of the teacher was to cover too much with the poorer students and too little with the others. Another tendency was to assign equal importance to everything. The usefulness of knowing a particular letter-sound correspondence had no effect on the amount of instructional time it received. The 28 observation periods which occurred during the year supported the conclusion that the teacher continued to assign unique importance to phonics even though a multifaceted conception of beginning reading instruction was persistently recommended and discussed. Interviews revealed that it seems likely that what was considered to be a means for achieving matched instruction was seen by the teacher as a reason to worry even more. Abandoning the long traditions of a lockstep curriculum is a very slow process, requiring much more than one year. (MG)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Illinois Univ., Urbana. Center for the Study of Reading.; Bolt, Beranek and Newman, Inc., Cambridge, MA.