ERIC Number: ED326833
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1990-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
Comprehension Instruction in Current Basal Reader Series. Technical Report No. 521.
A vast amount of reading comprehension research was reported in the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s. The study reported in this paper used the basal reading programs considered by California for adoption in 1988 as a vehicle for examining how the comprehension research had affected basal materials. Five series that were completely new and that had been issued by influential publishers were chosen for study, and two topics were selected for attention: main idea and story structure. Results revealed that the five series did not turn out to be as different from their predecessors as they appeared to be at first. Four of the five series examined use expository and narrative text indiscriminately when they teach and review main ideas. As a result, the conception of "main idea" that the four series foster is neither clear nor consistent. The series are similar to older programs except that they cover many more topics. Results also showed that all five series teach the components of stories early; and much of what they teach is covered quickly. Additionally, the four series that use narrative text for main idea instruction never relate what is done with stories in the manual sections to what is taught in other sections labeled "story structure." Finally, examination also revealed that expository texts are often referred to as "stories," even though all five series teach and frequently review the nature of "story." Findings suggest that manual segments dealing with main idea and story structure need to be improved. (Three tables and 3 figures of data are included; 36 references are attached.) (KEH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
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.