University of Tasmania
whole_BushStephanie1980_thesis.pdf (10.19 MB)

Comparison of three primary reading schemes in Tasmania

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posted on 2023-05-27, 08:13 authored by Bush, Stephanie
A sample of 3135 grade 3 to grade 6 children from ten metropolitan Hobart, Tasmania primary schools was selected to contrast three reading schemes: Wide Range Readers (UK), the SRA Basic Reading Programme (USA), and SRA Reading Laboratories (USA). Standardised test results from the Tasmanian Education Department Sub-Junior and Junior General Ability Tests, the Raven's Coloured Progressive Matrices Sets and the Schonell Silent Reading Tests A and B for the period 1971 to 1976 were provided by high school Guidance Officers and primary school principals. Schools were selected on the basis of using one reading scheme exclusively and only those children who were in continuous attendance were considered. Numbers per reading scheme were: Wide Range Readers, 1598; the SRA Basic Reading Programme, 501; SRA Reading Laboratories, 1036. The Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics furnished data (1971 Census) which enabled the following grouping of classes by socioeconomic level: Lower, 1340; Middle, 1413; Upper Middle, 382. Factors influencing children's reading achievement that have been considered in this study are: Reading scheme, sex, IQ, change of school, socioeconomic level and school grade. The following factors, outlined in the literature on children's reading, were not considered: Teaching style and teacher effect, effect of television and other media, parent's attitudes to education, parent's educational level, reading opportunities in the home, home stability, language spoken in the home, family size, child's position in the family, and various psychological and physiological problems. Experimental procedures were selected to minimise the influence of these factors. Analysis of Variance, Analysis of Covariance, and a posteriori testing were performed on IQ and RQ (reading quotient) scores for the various groups with computer programmes provided by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and the University of Tasmania. With the significance cut-off taken at p ‚Äöv¢¬ß 0.05 no significant pattern of one reading scheme's effectiveness over another was found. Superior class mean RQ and IQ levels for middle socioeconomic level children were found. irrespective of reading scheme, with the exception of the grade 3 sample. Male and female reading achievement was not significantly different, with the exception of the grade 6 sample, where females' achievement was superior. Wide variation was found in reading achievement over time and SRA Reading Laboratories showed the most regular improvement.


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Copyright 1980 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Thesis (M.Ed.)--University of Tasmania, 1981. Bibliography: l. 103-122

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