ERIC Number: ED333441
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990
Making It Hard: Curriculum and Instruction as Factors in Difficulty of Literature. Report Series 4.8.
A study reexamined data from an earlier study of the effect of teacher questioning techniques on students' understanding of and responses to literature. Data were reexamined for instructional correlates of difficulty of recall and difficulty of depth of understanding. Subjects, 1,041 students in 58 eight-grade English classes in 16 midwestern urban, suburban, and rural schools, took a test consisting of a set of increasingly more probing questions concerning five literature titles they had studied in class that year. Additional data included teacher and student questionnaires concerning instructional practices and student backgrounds, and class observations. Control measures included a brief personal essay and a multiple-choice test and a written response to two brief stories and one poem from the National Assessment of Educational Progress. The study was also controlled for race, ethnicity, sex, socioeconomic status, and grade level, since a few schools included seventh-grade students in eighth grade classes. Results indicated that: (1) curriculum and instruction significantly affected the difficulty or ease that students experienced with literature; (2) the absence of frequent, extensive writing was by far the most significant factor in handicapping students' recall and understanding; and (3) different instructional practices potentially complicate literature in different ways. (Three tables of data are included; 22 references are attached.) (RS)
Descriptors: Classroom Environment, Classroom Research, Difficulty Level, Grade 8, Instructional Effectiveness, Junior High Schools, Literature Appreciation, Questioning Techniques, Reader Response, Recall (Psychology), Teacher Behavior
Literature Center, University at Albany Ed B-9, 1400 Washington Ave., Albany, NY 12222 ($3.00 prepaid; checks payable to The Research Foundation of SUNY).
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Endowment for the Arts, Washington, DC.; Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Center for the Learning and Teaching of Literature, Albany, NY.