ERIC Number: ED369045
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994
A New Look: Basals of the Nineties.
Gieniec, Colleen; Westerholt, Sheri
A study determined whether basal series published in 1993 are consistent with research on literacy development which indicates that children need authentic text that is full-length, unedited and connects content to the reading experience. Pupil editions, teacher's manuals, lesson structure, skills taught, the amount of skill work compared to coherent reading of continuous text, and assessment suggestions offered in the first- and fourth-grade versions of basals published by MacMillan/McGraw-Hill, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Houghton Mifflin and Scott Foresman were examined. Results indicated that: (1) the basals, particularly the first-grade versions, have dramatically increased the amount of authentic literature; (2) teacher manuals remained voluminous but were less directive; (3) students were engaged in coherent reading 50% of the time, compared to 30% of the time as indicated in a 1991 study of basals; (4) skill development was still heavily emphasized; (5) scope and sequence charts reflected a shift in skill development toward strategic reading skills, literary appreciation, and language/writing skills; and (6) informal assessment suggestions reflecting portfolio profiles were available in the teacher's editions of each of the examined series. Recommendations for selecting commercially produced reading materials include: form a committee of teachers, administrators, and parents to assess literacy expectations and materials selection; look beyond packaging to see if authentic literature is used; examine the teacher's manual for usefulness and practicality; see whether assessment measures are testing-oriented or performance-based; and pilot the two final choices. (Contains 10 references, 19 tables, and 6 figures of data; profiles of the basal series are attached.) (RS)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: CIRL 627 Research in Reading Project, William Paterson College.