ERIC Number: ED328870
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Questions in Elementary Science and Social Studies Textbooks. Technical Report No. 463.
Armbruster, Bonnie B.; Ostertag, Joyce
A study examined how many and what kind of questions appear in elementary science and social studies textbooks and teachers' manuals. Approximately 7500 questions from fourth and fifth grade science and social science textbooks from three major publishers were classified according to the following characteristics: (1) type of cognitive demand; (2) source of answer; (3) target relationship (the kind of information required, such as definition or cause and effect); (4) the form of the question; (5) purpose of the question; and (6) the number of words per question. Results indicated that almost half of the instructional questions and two-thirds of the assessment questions are type 1 questions (involving little or no inference) and the next most frequent question is of type 2 (requiring some degree of inference). Type 3, 4, and 5 questions were relatively sparse in both content areas. Recommendations based on the study, current reading theory, and common sense include adding questions asking for the "main idea", turning type 1 questions into higher order questions, using alternative instructional and assessment methods where available, providing students the opportunity to write extended answers, and ensuring that the questions are worded clearly. (Nine tables of data are included, and 32 references are attached.) (RS)
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.