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The effect of theoretical and situational knowledge of reading on teachers’ estimates of readability Crichlow, Kerl Alvin 1978

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T H E E F F E C T O F T H E O R E T I C A L A N D S I T U A T I O N A L K N O W L E D G E O F R E A D I N G O N T E A C H E R S ' E S T I M A T E S O F R E A D A B I L I T Y by KERL ALVIN CRICHLOW B.A. Univers ity of Toronto, 1974 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Faculty of Education) We accept th i s thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September, 1978 © Kerl A lv in Crichlow, 1978 In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s in p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t o f the requ i rement s f o r an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o lum b i a , I ag ree that the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and s tudy . I f u r t h e r agree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e c o p y i n g o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be g r a n t e d by the Head o f my Department or by h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . It i s u n d e r s t o o d tha t c o p y i n g o r p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l not be a l l o w e d w i thout my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . Department o f ' w - ~ " « ' d ^ ^ t ^ * <^X The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h ' C o l u m b i a 2075 Wesbrook P l a c e V a n c o u v e r , Canada V6T 1W5 Date ABSTRACT THE EFFECT OF THEORETICAL AND SITUATIONAL KNOWLEDGE OF READING ON TEACHERS 1ESTIMATES OF READABILITY This study sought to determine:: 1. To what extent teachers who possess t h e o r e t i c a l and s i t u a t i o n a l knowledge of elementary reading i n s t r u c t i o n are accurate i n estimating the r e a d a b i l i t y l e v e l s of materials. 2. To what extent teachers who possess t h e o r e t i c a l and s i t u a t i o n a l knowledge of elementary reading i n s t r u c t i o n are more accurate i n estimating the r e a d a b i l i t y levels of materials than a) in-service teachers who possess only s i t u a t i o n a l knowledge of reading from teaching experience? b) pre-service teachers who possess only t h e o r e t i c a l knowledge of elementary reading instruction? c) pre-service teachers who possess neither t h e o r e t i c a l knowledge of elementary reading i n s t r u c t i o n nor s i t u a t i o n a l knowledge of reading from teaching experience? Data were c o l l e c t e d from 72 subjects who were enrolled i n undergraduate classes i n the Faculty of Education at The University of B r i t i s h Columbia and who were categorized, i n groups of 18, with respect to pre-service or in-service preparation i n elementary reading i n s t r u c t i o n as well as classroom teaching experience at this level. The results indicated that teachers who possessed theoretical and situational knowledge of reading were not more accurate than other teachers in estimating the readability levels of the selected passages, and that the accuracy with which teachers in a l l groups, estimated the readability levels of passages decreased as the readability levels of the passages increased. TABLE OF CONTENTS page ABSTRACT i'i TABLE OF CONTENTS iv LIST OF TABLES v i LIST OF FIGURES v i i ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS v i i i CHAPTER ONE THE NATURE OF THE PROBLEM 1 THE PROBLEM 2 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY 4 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY 5 DEFINITION OF TERMS 6 OVERVIEW OF STUDY 6 Review of Literature 6 Selection of Subjects 7 Instrumentation 7 Col l e c t i o n of Data 8 Analysis of Data 8 SUMMARY 8 ORDER OF PRESENTATION 9 CHAPTER TWO REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE 10 LIBRARIANS' NAD TEACHERS' ESTIMATES OF BOOKS 10 TEACHERS' ESTIMATES OF CURRICULAR MATERIAL AND READING PASSAGES 14 SUMMARY 18 - i v -P a 9 e CHAPTER THREE METHOD • • 2 0 THE SUBJECTS 20 INSTRUMENTATION 24 COLLECTION OF DATA 26 PREPARATION OF DATA 27 ANALYSIS OF DATA 2 7 SUMMARY 28 CHAPTER FOUR THE RESULTS 30 SUMMARY 4 2 CHAPTER FIVE SUMMARY, DISCUSSION, AND CONCLUSION 4 3 THE METHOD 4 4 ANALYSIS OF DATA 46 FINDINGS 4 7 DISCUSSION 4 8 CONCLUSION 5 2 I m p l i c a t i o n s f o r Fu t u r e Research 53 P r a c t i c a l I m p l i c a t i o n s 53 BIBLIOGRAPHY 55 APPENDIX A 59 APPENDIX B 61 APPENDIX C 67 -V-L I S T OF T A B L E S Page Table 1 A l l o c a t i o n of Subjects to Experimental Conditions 21 Table 2 Biographical Characteristics of Subjects 21 Table 3 Reading Courses 22 Table 4 The Mean Deviation Score for Each Passage 31 Table 5 Summary Table of the Analysis of Variance . 32 Table 6 A Frequency D i s t r i b u t i o n of The Readability Estimates of Each Passage for Group One 33 Table 7 A Frequency D i s t r i b u t i o n of The Readability Estimates of Each Passage For Group Two 34 Table 8 A Frequency D i s t r i b u t i o n of The Readability Estimates of Each Passage For Group Three 35 Table 9 A Frequency D i s t r i b u t i o n of The Readability Estimates of Each Passage For Group Four . . . . . . . . 36 Table 10 Mean Estimate and Standard Deviation For Combined Groups .... .... 41 Table 11 Correlation C o - e f f i c i e n t s For Paired Observations 41 - v i -L I ST OF FIGURES page .Figure.1 Accuracy of Estimates of R e a d a b i l i t y f o r Groups 1 and 2 • 38 F i g u r e 2 Accuracy of Estimates o f R e a d a b i l i t y f o r Groups 3 and 4 38 F i g u r e 3 Accuracy of the Mean D e v i a t i o n Score f o r The Combined Groups 39 - v i i -ACKNOWLEDGEMENT I am indebted to my adviser Dr. T. Westermark, for the tremendous amount of i n t e r e s t that he showed and for the guidance that he offered at a l l stages of my study. Without his assistance I could not have done i t . I am also thankful for the assistance, time and cooperation that the members of my committee Dr. K. Slade and Dr. F. Pieronek invested i n my study; and for the technical assistance that was offered by Dr. R. Sweet. My sincere thanks to those teachers who p a r t i -cipated i n the study; to Denise for her moral support; and to Halcyon and Lincoln who were always anxious to see me complete t h i s study. - v i i i -1 CHAPTER ONE THE NATURE OF THE PROBLEM INTRODUCTION Teachers make i n s t r u c t i o n a l decisions at various stages during an academic year. Farr and Brown (19 71); Meyers (19 70); Palardy (1955); Shavelson (1976); and Taylor (1970) have discussed the importance of decision making i n educational settings and express the view that teachers' decisions may s i g n i f i c a n t l y influence outcomes such as students' achieve-ment and af f e c t i v e growth. Other educators have attempted to i d e n t i f y factors that a f f e c t decision making. Greenwood 2-t at. (1971) ad-vance the premise that teachers t y p i c a l l y make decisions on the basis of personal b e l i e f s . Broudy (1972) and M e r r i l l (1968) consider theory to be important in decision making. They claim that the u t i l i z a t i o n of th e o r e t i c a l knowledge, by teachers, increases the effectiveness of t h e i r decisions. MacDonald (1970) also discusses decision making i n education. He equates professional decision making - decisions made by persons i n various professions - with r a t i o n a l decision making and states that t h i s emerges from the u t i l i z a t i o n of the o r e t i c a l and s i t u a t i o n a l knowledge. 2 Decision making i s an esse n t i a l part of teachers' jobs. The frequency with which i n s t r u c t i o n a l decisions are made suggests that teachers' s k i l l s in decision making de-velop p a r t l y from the kinds of experiences and feedback that are available i n th e i r p r a c t i c a l setting. Moreover, the claim that decision making i s enhanced by the use of th e o r e t i c a l knowledge leads to the expectation that teachers who possess such knowledge, i n addition to th e i r p r a c t i c a l experiences, ought to make r a t i o n a l decisions. THE PROBLEM In the implementing of c u r r i c u l a r goals, teachers select from among a variety of commercially developed reading materials. The selection of materials for read-ing i n s t r u c t i o n i s one of the curriculum planning tasks that involves decision making. Some educators consider t h i s task to be d i f f i c u l t and have recommended guidelines to a s s i s t teachers i n the evaluation of reading materials (B e l l , 1976; Clark-Jones and Parks, 1976; Mac Intyre and Nelson, 1969; and Sabol, 1970). Evaluation of materials represents one aspect of the selection process. Another important aspect i s the estimating of the r e a d a b i l i t y l e v e l s of materials. Teachers' estimates of the r e a d a b i l i t y of materials that may be selected for i n s t r u c t i o n a l use are necessary for the following reasons: 3 1) I n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s i n l e v e l s o f p u p i l achievement are u s u a l l y p r e s e n t i n every c l a s s o f s t u d e n t s . I t i s t h e r e f o r e necessary f o r teachers to s e l e c t a l s o , r e a d i n g m a t e r i a l s t h a t are a p p r o p r i a t e to the l e v e l s o f those students who are r e a d i n g above or below the c l a s s l e v e l (grade l e v e l ) . 2) R e a d a b i l i t y l e v e l s are not i n d i c a t e d on some rea d i n g m a t e r i a l s t h a t may be s u i t a b l e f o r i n s t r u c t i o n a l use, and 3) Research f i n d i n g s i n d i c a t e t h a t some p u b l i s h e r s ' m a t e r i a l s may be too d i f f i c u l t f o r the students f o r whonv they were intended (Arnsdorf, 196 2; Cramer and Dorsey, 1969; F e i n b e r g z£ at., 19 73; M i l l e r , 1962; M i l l s and Richardson, 1963; and Smith, 1962) . These reasons suggest t h a t teachers ought to make acc u r a t e e s t i m a t e s of r e a d a b i l i t y l e v e l s o f m a t e r i a l s to ensure t h a t m a t e r i a l s t h a t are s e l e c t e d are a p p r o p r i a t e to s tudents' l e v e l s o f r e a d i n g achievement and would not f r u s t r a t e s t u dents' l e a r n i n g by imposing b a r r i e r s to understanding (Harker, 19 77). K l a r e (19 74) s t a t e s t h a t teachers have long been, making s u b j e c t i v e estimates o f r e a d a b i l i t y with s k i l l de-veloped l a r g e l y from experience and feedback from r e a d e r s . T h e o r e t i c a l knowledge from b e h a v i o r a l s c i e n c e s such as psychology o f re a d i n g and l i n g u i s t i c s , t h a t concerns f a c t o r s t h a t are a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the d i f f i c u l t y l e v e l s of re a d i n g m a t e r i a l s , i s a l s o important f o r making ac c u r a t e s u b j e c t i v e estimates o f r e a d a b i l i t y . The r e l a t i v e e f f e c t of t h e o r e t i c a l knowledge of re a d i n g on the accuracy of experienced t e a c h e r s ' s u b j e c t i v e e s t i m a t e s of r e a d a b i l i t y has been,ignored i n pre v i o u s r e s e a r c h . T h i s study was 4 undertaken to investigate the e f f e c t of t h e o r e t i c a l and s i t u a t i o n a l knowledge of reading on teachers' subjective estimates of r e a d a b i l i t y . PURPOSE OF THE STUDY The purpose of the study was to investigate the ex-tent to which t h e o r e t i c a l and s i t u a t i o n a l knowledge of reading contributes to the accuracy of teachers' estimates of the reading l e v e l s of selected prose passages. The following research questions were investigated. 1) To what extent teachers who posses t h e o r e t i c a l and s i t u a t i o n a l knowledge of elementary reading i n s t r u c t i o n are accurate i n estimating the read-a b i l i t y l e v e l s of materials? 2) To what extent teachers who possess t h e o r e t i c a l and s i t u a t i o n a l knowledge of elementary reading i n s t r u c t i o n are more accurate i n estimating the r e a d a b i l i t y l e v e l s of materials than a) inservice teachers who possess only s i t u a t i o n a l knowledge of reading from teaching experience? b) pre-service teachers who possess only theore-t i c a l knowledge of elementary reading i n -struction? c) pre-service teachers who possess neither th e o r e t i c a l knowledge of elementary reading i n s t r u c t i o n nor s i t u a t i o n a l knowledge of reading from teaching experience? I t was assumed that teachers would accurately judge matters which they properly understand. Such understanding may develop from t h e o r e t i c a l knowledge and from p r a c t i c a l experience. The f i r s t research question investigates the accuracy with which teachers i n elementary schools who 5 possess th e o r e t i c a l knowledge from unive r s i t y l e v e l reading courses and who have p r a c t i c a l experience from matching students with materials, make subjective e s t i -mates of r e a d a b i l i t y . The second research question seeks to determine whether teachers who possess s i t u a t i o n a l knowledge of reading from matching students with reading materials but who have not taken unive r s i t y l e v e l courses i n elementary reading; pre-service teachers who have taken university l e v e l courses i n elementary reading, as well as those who have not taken such courses are as accurate i n making sub-jec t i v e estimates of the r e a d a b i l i t y l e v e l s of materials, as those teachers who possess th e o r e t i c a l and s i t u a t i o n a l knowledge of elementary reading. Data from the study may provide d e f i n i t e answers to the research questions and may have implications for pre-service and in-service teacher preparation i n elementary reading. LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY The l i m i t a t i o n s of t h i s study are the following: 1) The sample of subjects that was used consisted only of teachers who were taking pre-service or in-service teacher t r a i n i n g at The University of B r i t i s h Columbia. 2) The subjects were selected from i n t a c t u n i v e r s i t y classes. 6 DEFINITION OF TERMS For the purpose of t h i s study the following terms are defined. 1) Accufiate. <ti>t<lmat(Lt> of r e a d a b i l i t y refers to teachers' subjective estimates, of the read-a b i l i t y l e v e l s of materials, which are the same as or which are not s t a t i s t i c a l l y , s i g n i -f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t from the actual r e a d a b i l i t y l e v e l s of the materials. 2) SsLtu.at4.onaZ knowZcdgz of reading i s used i n this study to ref e r to knowledge that i s acquired from evaluating and matching students with reading materials. 3) ThtlofiztiaaZ knowZcdgz of reading refers to knowledge of reading that i s acquired from university l e v e l courses i n elementary reading i n s t r u e t i o n . 4) RzadabZZity ZzvtZ i s defined as the grade l e v e l at which material may be read by children of average reading a b i l i t y , with at l e a s t 95% word recognition and at lea s t 75% comprehension (Betts, 1946). OVERVIEW OF STUDY The general procedures followed i n this investigation were (1) a review of l i t e r a t u r e , (2) selection of subjects, (3) construction of an instrument, (4) c o l l e c t i o n of data, and (5) analysis of data. A b r i e f discussion of each step i s presented i n this section. Review of L i t e r a t u r e . The l i t e r a t u r e was reviewed to (1) determine what has been done i n previous studies i n which subjects estimated the reading levels of materials and, (2) determine what needs to be done. 7 Reviews of studies i n which l i b r a r i a n s and teachers' estimates of the r e a d a b i l i t y of books were investigated, are followed by reviews of studies that investigated teachers' estimates of the r e a d a b i l i t y of selected passages. Selection of Subjects In order to c o l l e c t data to answer the research questions, four groups of subjects whose status d i f f e r e d i n teaching experience and i n t h e o r e t i c a l knowledge of reading were selected. These subjects were enrolled i n the Faculty of Education at The University of B r i t i s h Columbia and were taking in-service or pre-service teacher t r a i n i n g . Instrumentation The instruments that were used i n the study were a questionnaire, a r a t i n g scale and reading passages. The questionnaire was designed to c o l l e c t biographical i n -formation on each subject. The rating scale was used by the subjects to indicate t h e i r estimates of the r e a d a b i l i t y l e v e l s of the passages. It ranged from one to ten with an i n t e r v a l of ten grade points between each grade l e v e l . The scale was ac-companied by instructions for i t s usage and for estimating the grade levels of the reading passages. The reading passages were selected from the D:lagnot>tA.c. Re.adA.ng Scale.*: Revised E d i t i o n . The reading l e v e l s of the passages ranged from grade 1.6 to grade 7.5. The rating scale, mentioned above, was reproduced below each 8 passage. C o l l e c t i o n of Data The instruments were administered by the investigator to each group of subjects during the f i n a l h a l f hour of the i r class period. Each subject completed the question- ' naire and used the rating scale that was provided for each passage to indicate an estimate of the grade l e v e l of the passage on the basis of the instructions that were given. A l l data were co l l e c t e d within one week. Analysis of Data Deviation scores for each passage were obtained by calc u l a t i n g the difference between each estimate and the actual grade l e v e l of a passage. Deviation scores were used for c a l c u l a t i n g the mean estimate for each passage for each group. In order to determine whether the re s u l t s were s t a t i s t i c a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t the following tests were performed: 1) The analysis of variance for a two-factor experiment with repeated measures on one factor. The te s t was performed by the U.B.C. BMD 08V Computer Programme. 2) Simple c o r r e l a t i o n s . The U.B.C. Simcort Com-puter Programme calculated the correlations among the estimates for a l l passages, and 3) Linear and non-linear tests for trend were performed on the mean estimate for each passage. SUMMARY The present chapter has presented a statement of the problem which i s to determine the e f f e c t of the o r e t i c a l and 9 s i t u a t i o n a l knowledge of r e a d i n g on t e a c h e r s ' s u b j e c t i v e estimates of the grade l e v e l s of r e a d i n g m a t e r i a l s . The need f o r the study, i t s l i m i t a t i o n s and a b r i e f d e s c r i p t i o n of procedures t h a t were f o l l o w e d , were a l s o presented. ORDER OF PRESENTATION The content and o r g a n i z a t i o n of the chapters i n t h i s study are as f o l l o w s : Chaptz.fi One. p r e s e n t s the problem, the need f o r the study, the l i m i t s o f the study, and an overview of the g e n e r a l procedures. Chapte.fi Two d e a l s with the r e l a t e d l i t e r a t u r e i n -c l u d i n g r e s e a r c h on l i b r a r i a n s ' judgements of r e a d i n g m a t e r i a l s . Chapte.fi Thfiee. p r o v i d e s a d e t a i l e d d e s c r i p t i o n of the method and i n c l u d e s the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f the s u b j e c t s , the c o n s t r u c t i o n of the instrument, the c o l l e c t i o n and the a n a l y s i s o f data. Ckapte.fi Touh. c o n t a i n s a r e p o r t on the r e s u l t s of the s t a t i s t i c a l a n a l y s es t h a t were performed on the data. Chapte.fi ftve. concerns the f i n d i n g s , c o n c l u s i o n s , p r a c t i c a l i m p l i c a t i o n s and i m p l i c a t i o n s f o r f u t u r e r e s e a r c h . Appendix A pr e s e n t s a l l items on the q u e s t i o n n a i r e . Appe.nd.yLx 8 c o n t a i n s the passages t h a t were used f o r c o l l e c t i n g data f o r the study. kppzndtx C c o n t a i n s the r a t i n g s c a l e and i n s t r u c t i o n s f o r i t s usage and f o r e s t i m a t i n g the r e a d i n g l e v e l s o f the passages. 10 CHAPTER TWO REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE The c u r r i c u l u m p l a n n i n g task of matching students w i t h m a t e r i a l s i n v o l v e s the e s t i m a t i n g of the grade l e v e l s of r e a d i n g m a t e r i a l s . Teachers f r e q u e n t l y make s u b j e c t i v e estimates of such m a t e r i a l s . The extent to which t h e i r estimates are accurate has been i n v e s t i g a t e d by r e s e a r c h e r s who have compared t e a c h e r s ' e s t i m a t e s and o b j e c t i v e measure-ments of r e a d i n g m a t e r i a l s . The p r e s e n t chapter p r e s e n t s a review of r e s e a r c h d e a l i n g w i t h (1) l i b r a r i a n s ' and t e a c h e r s ' estimates of the r e a d a b i l i t y of s e l e c t e d books, and (2) t e a c h e r s ' estimates of the d i f f i c u l t y o f c u r r i c u l a r m a t e r i a l and s e l e c t e d passages. LIBRARIANS' AND TEACHERS' ESTIMATES OF BOOKS In t h i s s e c t i o n , reviews of s t u d i e s i n which t e a c h e r s ' estimates of r e a d a b i l i t y were compared w i t h o b j e c t i v e measurements from c l o z e t e s t s and r e a d a b i l i t y formulas are presented. The review of l i t e r a t u r e i n d i c a t e s t h a t the c l o z e procedure p r o v i d e s v a l i d measures of r e a d i n g com-prehension ( T a y l o r , 195 3) and t h a t c l o z e scores and m u l t i p l e 11 choice comprehension test scores for the same reading material correlate highly (Bormuth, 1968). Two of the factors on which r e a d a b i l i t y formulas are based correlate highly with the d i f f i c u l t y of reading materials. Chall (1958) and Lorge (1949) claim that vo-cabulary load i s the best single element for the prediction of any aspect of expressional d i f f i c u l t y . The other factor that correlates highly with reading d i f f i c u l t y i s sentence length (Glazer, 1974; Harris, 1974; MacGinitie and Tretiak, 19 71) . Additional support for both factors as v a l i d measures of the d i f f i c u l t y of reading materials i s provided by Coke (19 7 3) who reported that they are reasonably good predictors of comprehensibility. In 1951, Russell and M e r r i l l compared estimates of the r e a d a b i l i t y of 60 books, that were made by li b r a r i a n s and by r e a d a b i l i t y formulas. They sent the t i t l e s of the books to children's l i b r a r i a n s who were working i n ten d i f f e r e n t states and who were requested to state the best grade l e v e l to which each book was suited. The estimates made by 6 3 l i b r a r i a n s were compared with estimates of re a d a b i l i t y made by the Dale-Chall, Flesch, Lewerenz, Lorge, Winnetka and the Yoakam formulas. The results indicated that, i n general, children's l i b r a r i a n s did not agree c l o s e l y with one another i n the i r estimates of the re a d a b i l i t y of the books, but that t h e i r combined ratings c l o s e l y approximate the res u l t s of the combined r e a d a b i l i t y formulas. 12 Findings similar to the above were reported by Jongsma (19 7 2) who investigated the degree of corres-pondence between estimates of the r e a d a b i l i t y of twelve books by 5 3 children's l i b r a r i a n s and by the Dale-Chall, Flesch, Fry, Gunning and McLoughlin formulas; and Russell and Fea (1951) who used data from the Russell and M e r r i l l (1951a) study. Russell and Fea compared the l i b r a r i a n s ' estimates on twelve of the 6 0 books on which they agreed mostly cl o s e l y with objective estimates, for the twelve books, by the Dale-Chall, Flesch, Lewerenz, Lorge, Washburne-Morphett, and Yoakam formulas. In 1954, Wood undertook a similar study i n which the Dale-Chall and Yoakam formulas were used. His purpose was to determine the extent of agreement or disagreement between the estimates of the r e a d a b i l i t y of twelve i n t e r -mediate grade textbooks that were made by 32 experienced teachers who were using the books, and estimates made by the two formulas. Wood observed a moderate agreement between the teachers' and formula estimates and reported that teaching experience seemed to have no s i g n i f i c a n t e f f e c t on the number of books that was chosen by the teachers as sa t i s f a c t o r y . The v a l i d i t y of the findings from the above studies i s questionable. The subjects were asked to estimate the d i f f i c u l t y of books with which they were fam i l i a r and for which they had probably acquired much information from 13 feedback from readers. I t i s not clear from the pro-cedures that were used, the extent to which the l i b r a r i a n s ' and teachers' estimates were biased by feed-back from readers or whether the estimates were indepen-dent of such information. Whereas the subjects' f a m i l i a r i t y with books that were selected i n the preceding studies appear to be a l i m i t a t i o n , i n Boyce' (1974) study, i t was part of the experimental design. Boyce compared teachers' estimates of the r e a d a b i l i t y of books with scores that were obtained by students on cloze t e s t s . The subjects were experienced teachers who were asked to select materials that were suitable for the i n -dependent reading l e v e l of groups of grade six students. The re s u l t s indicated that the material that was selected was directed more to the mean of the groups rather than for the groups as a whole. In this study, teaching experience and p r i n c i p a l s ' ratings of the teachers were the main teacher character-i s t i c s that were considered i n the selection of the sub-j e c t s . The lack of a s i g n i f i c a n t r e l a t i o n s h i p between teaching experience and accurate estimates may have been due mainly to the fact that only four teachers were selected. Boyce's finding was p a r t l y supported by P i k u l s k i and P i k u l s k i (19 77) who also investigated the accuracy of teachers' estimates of students' reading l e v e l . The 14 subjects were experienced teachers who placed 127 grade f i v e children into homogenous reading groups, based on the teachers' estimates of the students* a b i l i t y to read the grade f i v e basal reader at the independent, i n -s t r u c t i o n a l or f r u s t r a t i o n l e v e l . Half of the subjects received a cloze test and the other half received a maze test which were constructed from a passage i n their basal reader. The results revealed much v a r i a b i l i t y i n students' scores and a moderate agreement of 6 7 per- cent between cloze scores and teachers' estimates of students' read-ing a b i l i t y . The l i m i t a t i o n s i n the study concern the sample and the reading material. The investigators used only one reading passage; and a small sample of seven teachers. TEACHERS ' ESTIMATES OF CURRICULAR MATERIAL AND READING  PASSAGES The findings from studies i n which teachers judged the d i f f i c u l t y of test items and reading passages are inconclusive. In 19 30, Smith compared the estimates of d i f f i c u l t y of t e s t items made by teachers and by experts i n test construction. His purpose was to determine whether experienced teachers were accurate i n their judgments. The subjects were 125 experienced teachers who were teaching grades 3-9, 125 pre-service teachers, 15 and 29 experts i n test construction. Each subject e s t i -mated the d i f f i c u l t y of items from a subject area that was chosen by the subject. The results indicated that the experienced teachers were better able to judge the d i f f i c u l t y of the items; and that their judgments for arithmetic, word meaning, history and geography test items were s i g n i f i c a n t l y higher than judgments made by the inexperienced teachers and read-ing experts. Teachers i n Smith's study were not asked to indicate grade leve l s at which the items may be appropriate but used a ten point scale to arrange the item i n order of d i f f i c u l t y . The importance of s i t u a t i o n a l knowledge i n estimating reading d i f f i c u l t y i s also indicated by Dale and C h a l l (1948). They? compared the subjective estimates of reading d i f f i c u l t y of expert teachers i n s o c i a l studies on 78 passages of foreign a f f a i r s from current-events magazines, government pamphlets, and newspapers with estimates for the passages from t h e i r r e a d a b i l i t y formula. They re-ported a c o r r e l a t i o n c o - e f f i c i e n t of .90 between the formula and teachers' estimates but neglected to indicate the number of teachers that was used i n the study, and the procedures that were used i n selecting the teachers and for c o l l e c t i n g the data. The high rel a t i o n s h i p between teaching experience and accuracy i n estimating r e a d a b i l i t y that was reported i n the above studies, was not obtained by Herrington and Mallinson (1958) . The purpose of their study was to determine whether measurements made with r e a d a b i l i t y formulas were more accurate than estimates of r e a d a b i l i t y made by reading experts. The researchers asked superintendents of 100 large public school systems to recommend the most q u a l i f i e d person on their s t a f f i n the f i e l d of reading to a s s i s t i n the study. Each subject received an instrument that was made up of a sheet with instructions and 21 science passages that were approximately 100 words i n length. The estimates made by the experts were compared with measurements of the passages from the Dale-Chall, Flesch and Lorge formulas. The results indicated a great difference between the re a d a b i l i t y formulas and reading experts' judgments; and that the reading experts were less consistent i n the i r estimates. The li m i t a t i o n s i n the study concern the material and the subjects. The q u a l i f i c a t i o n s of the reading experts, t h e i r teaching experience, and the c r i t e r i a on which the superintendents based th e i r selections were not mentioned. The other l i m i t a t i o n s concerns the exclusive use of science material. Powers, Sumner and Kearl (1958) state that differences i n estimates that are observed whenever re a d a b i l i t y formulas are used, may r e s u l t whenever the nature of the material on which the formulas are to be used d i f f e r s from that of the material used i n computing 17 the formula. The use of science material may have been mainly responsible for the lack of s i g n i f i c a n t agreement between the reading experts and the formulas; and for the finding that the accuracy with which experts estimated the materials decreased as the d i f f i c u l t y of the materials increased. Jorgenson (1975) investigated the accuracy of ex-perienced teachers estimates of the r e a d a b i l i t y l e v e l s of selected passages. He used a cross-section of teachers who were teaching d i f f e r e n t grades i n elementary schools i n urban and sub-urban d i s t r i c t s . Each subject received a sheet with inst r u c t i o n s , and six reading passages that were selected from the In^ofimal Reading lyivuntofiy that accompanies the Bztti Ba.-6.-cc ReadeA-i. The re s u l t s showed much v a r i a b i l i t y i n the subjects' estimates of the r e a d a b i l i t y of the passages. Jorgenson reported that the more experienced teachers tended to make more, accurate estimates of the reading lev e l s of the passages than the less experienced teachers; but that the accuracy with which the subjects estimated the r e a d a b i l i t y l e v e l s of the passages decreased as the r e a d a b i l i t y l e v e l s of the materials increased. The subjects i n the study were not randomly selected but were selected i n t a c t by administrators i n two school d i s t r i c t s who were i n charge of elementary curriculum and who were asked by Jorgenson to recommend " t y p i c a l " schools i n the d i s t r i c t s . Jorgenson neglected to investigate the 18 r e l a t i v e contribution of factors, other than teaching experience, on the accuracy of teachers' estimates of re a d a b i l i t y and to provide an adequate description of the educational c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the subjects. The i n -structions that were given to the subjects, for e s t i -mating the re a d a b i l i t y of the paragraphs were too general. Materials may be suitable for students' independent, i n s t r u c t i o n a l and f r u s t r a t i o n reading l e v e l s . Jorgenson neglected to i n s t r u c t the subjects to estimate the read-a b i l i t y of the materials i n accordance with the c r i t e r i a for word recognition and for comprehension that were used i n determining the r e a d a b i l i t y l e v e l s of the para-graphs . In the analysis of the data deviation scores were not used to determine whether there were s t a t i s t i c a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t differences among the teachers' estimates of r e a d a b i l i t y . Instead, the analysis of variance was calculated on the mean estimate of the subjects' responses to each passage. SUMMARY The findings from studies that were reviewed i n d i -cate much v a r i a b i l i t y i n teachers' and l i b r a r i a n s ' estimates of r e a d a b i l i t y . Experienced teachers or read-ing experts were used but the findings of the e f f e c t of experience on the accuracy of estimates of r e a d a b i l i t y are inconclusive. The differences that were reported on 19 the e f f e c t of teaching experience seem to be i n f l u e n c e d by the nature of the task. Teaching experience d i d not have any s i g n i f i c a n t e f f e c t on teachers' estimates of books t h a t they were using but was r e l a t e d to more accurate estimates i n some studi e s i n which reading passages were used. The f i n d i n g that the accuracy i n teachers' e s t i -mates of the grade l e v e l s of reading passages decreased as the d i f f i c u l t y of the passages increased i s c o n s i s t e n t . In a l l s t u d i e s the researchers neglected to provide an adequate d e s c r i p t i o n of the teachers and to i n v e s t i g a t e the e f f e c t of f a c t o r s other than experience, on the making of accurate estimates of r e a d a b i l i t y . The review of l i t e r a t u r e i n d i c a t e s that s t u d i e s on the e f f e c t of t h e o r e t i c a l and s i t u a t i o n a l knowledge of reading on the making of accurate estimates of the grade l e v e l s of reading m a t e r i a l s , have not been undertaken. 20 CHAPTER THREE METHOD This study was concerned with the extent to which theoreti c a l and s i t u a t i o n a l knowledge of reading influence the accuracy of teachers' estimates of the reading l e v e l s of selected prose passages . In order to answer the re-search questions that were formulated, i t was necessary to (1) select groups of subjects, (2) construct i n s t r u -ments, (3) c o l l e c t data, and (4) analyze the data. In this chapter, a detailed description of each of the pro-cedures i s presented. THE SUBJECTS The 72 subjects i n the study were selected from undergraduate classes i n the Faculty of Education at The University of B r i t i s h Columbia. For the investigative purposes of the study, subjects were categorized with respect to pre-service or in-service preparation i n elementary reading i n s t r u c t i o n as well as classroom teach-ing experience at th i s l e v e l . Table 1 i l l u s t r a t e s t h i s p a r t i t i o n i n g and the number of subjects i n each group. The relevant biographical data for the subjects i n the 21 TABLE 1 ALLOCATION OF SUBJECTS: TO EXPERIMENTAL CONDITIONS BACKGROUND "Teaching Education Teaching Experience No Teaching Experience Reading No Reading 18 18 18 18 TABLE 2 BIOGRAPHICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF SUBJECTS Groups Sex M F Range of years of teaching experience Average No. of years of teach-ing experience Average No. of reading courses presently taking 1 0 18 2-25 6.38 1 2 3 15 2-26 9.35 1 3 2 16 0 0 0 4 5 13 0 0 0 22 study are given i n Table 2. Table 3 contains reading courses that subjects had taken or were taking at the time t h i s study was conducted. TABLE 3  R E A D I N G COURSES Course Number T i t l e and B r i e f Description Educ. 305 Curriculum and Instruction i n De-velopmental Reading i n the E l e -mentary School. (The reading process and the teach-ing of basic reading s k i l l s from beginning stages through the elementary school). Educ. 4 7 6 Remedial Reading. (Individual diagnosis and treatment of severe reading d i f f i c u l t i e s . Intensive laboratory practicum. Prerequisite: Educ. 305 and at least one school year of teaching experience). Educ. 4 7 3 A Materials of Reading Instruction. (Analysis and evaluation of materials for reading i n s t r u c t i o n . Pre-r e q u i s i t e : Educ. 3 0 5 ) . Note: Course description i s enclosed i n parentheses. cl Fewer than 5 subjects i n groups 1 and 3 took t h i s course. 23 Group 1 consisted of in-service teachers who were selected from Education 4 76. These teachers had com-pleted Education 305. Eight teachers i n this group had taught i n the Primary and Intermediate Divisions. Seven had taught i n one d i v i s i o n only; and three had taught exclusively as Special Education teachers. Subjects i n Group 2 were in-service teachers who were teaching i n elementary schools and who were selected from Education 305 during their f i r s t week of attendance at that course. Three subjects i n t h i s group had taught i n the Primary and Intermediate Divisions. Thirteen had taught i n one d i v i s i o n only and two subjects had taught exclusively i n Learning Assistance Centres. The pre-service, inexperienced teachers i n Group 3 and and 4 were undergraduates who were enrolled i n teacher t r a i n i n g programmes. Subjects i n Group 3 were being trained for teaching service i n the Primary D i v i s i o n . A table of random numbers was used to sel e c t 18 subjects fro Group 3 from a class of 35 students who had com-pleted Education 305. Subjects i n Group 4 had not taken any reading courses at univer s i t y l e v e l . A table of random numbers was used to select subjects for t h i s group from two classes of subjects who were being trained for teaching service i n the Intermediate D i v i s i o n of Elementary Schools. 24 INSTRUMENTATION The subjects i n the study were asked to estimate the grade l e v e l at which selected prose passages would be suitable for i n s t r u c t i n g children of average reading a b i l i t y . The tasks which were to be performed by the subjects necessitated the u t i l i z a t i o n of professionally developed reading materials; and the development of a questionnaire and a ra t i n g scale. The purpose of the questionnaire which i s reproduced i n Appendix A, was to c o l l e c t information on background variables including teaching status, teaching experience, and on reading courses that subjects had taken or were taking at the time th i s study was conducted. The passages that comprise the reading instrument were selected from the V£agno&t<Lc R<iad<Lng ScaZzA: Revised E d i t i o n . The passages and the i r respective grade levels are presented i n Appendix B. The t e s t manual for the Diagnostic Reading Scales states that the Spache r e a d a b i l i t y formula, groups of subjects and teachers' judgments were used i n determining the grade l e v e l s of passages for the primary grades. The Dale-Chall read-a b i l i t y formula and groups of students were used i n es-tabl i s h i n g the grade levels of passages for the i n t e r -mediate grades. Both r e a d a b i l i t y formulas have been used extensively for estimating the d i f f i c u l t y of reading materials. 25 Klare (196 3) states that the Dale-Chall formula i s the most accurate formula and that i t i s consistently more accurate than others i n comparison. Powers, Summer and Kearl (1958) recommended that the Dale-Chall formula be used wherever possible on account of i t ' s small margin of error and high prediction power. The published technical data for the V-iagno&£<Lc Re.ad.Alng ScaZe.6: Revised E d i t i o n indicate that a t e s t -r e t e s t r e l i a b i l i t y c o - e f f i c i e n t of .84 was obtained for passages at the i n s t r u c t i o n a l l e v e l . Concurrent"validity c o - e f f i c i e n t s of .63 to .92 were - obtained for passages between arades 2 and 6 on the VZagnoit^ic Ruad-Lng ScaZe-&: Revised E d i t i o n and the C a l i f o r n i a Reading Test. Arrangement of Passages The grades 1A, IB and 2B passages were selected i n t a c t . They were retyped, using single l i n e spacing and were rearranged as continuous prose. Segments of approximately 110 words were selected from the 3A, 3B, 4A, 4B, 5A, 6A, 6B and 7A passages. This upper l i m i t was chosen mainly on the basis of the claim that the Dale-Chall and Spache formulas, as well as other formulas that use counts of vocabulary and sentence length, can predict the reading l e v e l of a passage that contains a minimum of 100 words. A table of random numbers was used to arrange the passages into the order i n which they were presented to a l l subjects. 26 Data from a l l the A passages were used for calcu-l a t i n g the analysis of variance. The r e l i a b i l i t y of the instrument was computed from data from a l l A and B passages at the same grade l e v e l . A rating scale was constructed for subjects to record t h e i r estimates of the grade levels of the read-ing passages. The scale ranged from one to ten. Between each (grade) l e v e l were ten grade points. The scale was reproduced below each reading passage and was accompanied by instructions for i t ' s usage (Appendix C); and for grading each passage. A part of the instructions was de-signed to l i m i t comparisons, by subjects, among the various passages. COLLECTION OF DATA Permission to c o l l e c t data i n classes that were attended by the subjects was obtained from!the instructor for each c l a s s . The investigator v i s i t e d each class, b r i e f l y introduced himself, explained the purpose of the study and the tasks to be performed by each subject. Attempts were made to ensure that the instructions for grading the passages and for using the rating scale were c l e a r l y understood. The investigator explained each item on the. questionnaire; the meaning of the grade points on the rating scale; and demonstrated how the scale may be used to record an estimate. The instruments were di s t r i b u t e d to the subjects who completed the 27 q u e s t i o n n a i r e and estimated the grade l e v e l o f each passage. PREPARATION OF DATA A l l data were c o l l e c t e d by the i n v e s t i g a t o r w i t h i n a p e r i o d of one week. P e r s o n a l data and s u b j e c t s e s t i -mates of the r e a d i n g l e v e l s of the passages were coded on sheets before being recorded on IBM data c a r d s . The d i f f e r e n c e between each observed estimate and the a c t u a l grade l e v e l of the passage was c a l c u l a t e d i n p r e p a r a t i o n f o r computer p r o c e s s i n g . ANALYSIS OF DATA The s t a t i s t i c a l technique t h a t was used to determine whether there was any s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e among the mean d e v i a t i o n score f o r each task, by the fou r groups, was the a n a l y s i s o f v a r i a n c e f o r a two f a c t o r experiment i n which there are repeated measures on one f a c t o r . The repeated measures design i s a p p r o p r i a t e f o r a n a l y z i n g the data as the same groups of s u b j e c t s were observed under each o f the l e v e l s o f treatment. The procedures f o r t h i s s t a t i s t i c a l design are o u t l i n e d by Winer (196 2) . The a n a l y s i s o f v a r i a n c e was performed s p e c i f i c a l l y on s u b j e c t s responses to 1A, 2A, 3A, 4A, 5A, 6A and 7A passages. The d e v i a t i o n s c o r e s , the d i f f e r e n c e between the observed score and the a c t u a l grade l e v e l o f a passage 28 were analyzed using the BMD 0 8V programme available at The University of B r i t i s h Columbia computing centre. The grand mean for each of the above mentioned passages was used to determine whether l i n e a r and non-li n e a r tests for trend were s i g n i f i c a n t . The com- . putational procedures for these tests are described by Winer (196 2a). Subjects responses for the corresponding 1A, IB, 3A, 3B, 4A, 4B, 6A and 6B passages were analyzed using the Simcort programme which i s also available at The University of B r i t i s h Columbia computing centre. This programme was used to obtain simple correlations for the purpose of determining the r e l i a b i l i t y of the subjects' estimates for reading passages at the same re a d a b i l i t y l e v e l . SUMMARY This chapter has presented a description of the educational and experiential background of the four groups of subjects, the instruments and the procedures that were used to c o l l e c t and to analyze the data. The instruments that were used were a questionnaire which was designed to c o l l e c t biographical data on the subjects; reading passages which were chosen from the Diagnostic Reading Scales: Revised E d i t i o n and which were administered to each group of subjects; and a rating scale with i n -structions for i t s usage. The data that were co l l e c t e d 29 for s p e c i f i c passages were analyzed using the analysis of variance for a two factor repeated measures design to determine whether s i g n i f i c a n t differences existed among the four groups; and whether a s i g n i f i c a n t l i n e a r or non-linear trend was indicated. The data from a l l passages that were at the same grade l e v e l were analyzed to determine the r e l i a b i l i t y of the reading instrument. The r e s u l t s from these s t a t i s t i c a l analyses are re-ported i n chapter four. 30 CHAPTER FOUR THE RESULTS The purpose of t h i s chapter i s to describe the methods that were used i n the analyses of the data and to present the r e s u l t s . The study sought to determine: 1. To what extent teachers who possess t h e o r e t i c a l and s i t u a t i o n a l knowledge of elementary reading i n s t r u c t i o n are accurate i n estimating the read-a b i l i t y ..levels of materials. 2. To what extent teachers who possess theore t i c a l and s i t u a t i o n a l knowledge of elementary reading i n s t r u c t i o n are more accurate i n estimating the r e a d a b i l i t y l e v e l s of materials than a. in-service teachers who possess only s i t u a t i o n a l knowledge of reading from teaching experience? b. pre-service teachers who possess only th e o r e t i c a l knowledge of elementary read-ing instruction? c. pre-service teachers who possess neither th e o r e t i c a l knowledge of elementary reading i n s t r u c t i o n nor s i t u a t i o n a l knowledge of reading from teaching experience? The data that were co l l e c t e d for each subject i n each of the four groups were punched on separate IBM cards i n preparation for processing by computer. Deviation scores -the difference between subjects' grade estimates and the actual grade l e v e l - for passages were calculated. De-v i a t i o n scores were used i n c a l c u l a t i n g group means, which 31 are presented i n Table 4, for s p e c i f i c passages. The res u l t s , show differences among group estimates of the grade levels of passages at primary and intermediate l e v e l s . TABLE 4 T H E M E A N D E V I A T I O N S C O R E F O R E A C H P A S S A G E Groups P A S S A G E : s 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 ,.427 .438 .672 1 .133 1 .350 1 .600 1 .677 2 .366 .427 .811 1 .044 1 .244 1 .405 1 .300 3 .494 .638 .694 .861 1 .133 1 .316 1 .661 4 .533 .600 .972 .772 1 .083 1 .272 1 .133 The analysis of variance for a two factor experiment with repeated measures on one factor was performed to determine whether s i g n i f i c a n t differences existed among the groups i n the accuracy of th e i r judgements of materials at various r e a d a b i l i t y l e v e l s . The res u l t s of the analysis of variance are summarized i n Table 5. They show no s i g n i f i c a n t differences among the group means (F = 0.42, df = 3/68, p >.05). 32 TABLE 5 SUMMARY TABLE OF THE ANALYSIS: OF VARIANCE Source of Va r i a t i o n df Mean Square r  Between Subjects 71 Groups 3 .4057 <1 Subjects within groups 68 .9578 Within Subjects 432 Tasks 6 11.478 26.38* Groups x Tasks 18 .4475 1.03 Tasks x Subjects within groups 408 .4351 * p <.05 The i n t e r a c t i o n (groups x tasks) was also not s i g n i f i c a n t (F = 1.03, df = 18/408, p >.05) but a s i g n i -f i c a n t main e f f e c t for tasks was obtained (F = 26.38, df = 6/408, p <.01) in d i c a t i n g much v a r i a b i l i t y i n sub-jects' responses across tasks. The range of the v a r i -a b i l i t y i n the subjects' responses i s observed i n Tables 6,7, 8 and 9 which are the frequency d i s t r i b u t i o n s of the groups' estimates of the r e a d a b i l i t y l e v e l s of the passages. The subjects' estimates of r e a d a b i l i t y for passages at the primary l e v e l were more accurate than were the i r estimates of r e a d a b i l i t y for passages at the intermediate TABLE 6 A FREQUENCY DISTRIBUTION OF THE READABILITY ESTIMATES OF EACH PASSAGE FOR GROUP ONE Passages Observed Estimate of Reading Level of Passage Readabil ity Level 1.0- 1.5-1 .9 2.0-2.4 2.5-2.9 3.0-3.4 3.5-3.9 4.0-4.4 4.5-4.9 5.0-5.4 5.5-5.9 6.0-6.4 6.5-6.9 7.0-7.4 7.5-7.9 8.0-8.4 8.5-8.9 9.0-9.4 9.5-9.9 10 1.6 3 8 3 3 1 2.3 1 7 5 3 2 3.3 4 5 3 3 3 4.5 1 1 1 4 5 2 2 1 1 5.5 1 1 2 2 3 3 1 2 1 2 6.5 3 3 3 2 3 2 1 1 7.5 2 2 3 1 2 1 2 3 1 1 TABLE 7 A FREQUENCY DISTRIBUTION OF THE READABILITY ESTIMATES OF EACH PASSAGE FOR GROUP TWO Passages Observed Estimate of Reading Leve' of Passage Readabil ity Level 1.0-1 .4 1 .5-1 .9 2.0-2.4 2.5-2.9 3.0-3.4 3.5-3.9 4.0-4.4 4.5-4.9 5.0-5.4 5.5 5.9 6.0-6.4 6.5-6.9 7.0-7.4 7.5-7.9 8.0-8.4 8.5-8.9 9.0-9.4 9.5-9.9 10 1.6 4 8 4 2 2.3 1 7 5 4 1 3.3 5 4 5 1 1 1 1 4.5 2 1 9 2 3 1 5.5 4 3 4 1 3 1 1 1 6.5 2 2 3 4 2 4 1 7.5 2 2 1 3 2 5 1 2 TABLE 8 A FREQUENCY DISTRIBUTION OF THE READABILITY ESTIMATES  OF EACH PASSAGE FOR GROUP THREE Passages Observed Estimate of Reading Level of Passage Readabil ity Levels ,1.0- 1.5-2.0- 2.5- 3.0- 3.5- 4.0- 4.5- 5.0- 5.5- 6.0- 6.5- 7.0- 7.5- 8.0- 8.5- 9.0 9.5-10 1.4 1.9 2.4 2.9 3.4 3.9 4.4 4.9 5.4 5.9 6.4 6.9 7.4 7.9 8.4 8.9 9.4 9.9 1.6 1 8 3 3 1 2 2.3 1 6 3 4 1 3 3.3 1 1 3 3 6 2 1 1 4.5 4 3 5 4 1 1 5.5 2 3 3 3 5 1 1 6.5 1 1 3 6 1 3 3 7.5 1 4 2 3 2 2 1 3 LO TABLE 9 A FREQUENCY DISTRIBUTION OF THE READABILITY ESTIMATES OF EACH PASSAGE FOR GROUP FOUR Passages Observed Estimate of Reading Level of Passage Readabil ity Level 1.0-1.4 1.5-1.9 2.0-2.4 2.5-2.9 3.0-3.4 3.5-3.9 4.0-4.4 4.5-4.9 5.0-5.4 5.5-5.9 6.0-6.4 6.5-6.9 7.0-7.4 7.5-7.9 8.0-8.4 8.5-8.9 9.0-9.4 9.5-9.9 10 1.6 1 6 7 1 3 2.3 5 6 2 3 1 1 3.3 1 1 5 3 2 3 1 1 1 4.5 1 6 1 3 4 2 1 5.5 1 1 1 5 6 3 1 6.5 1 1 2 4 2 3 2 3 7.5 1 1 3 5 1 4 2 1 LO 33 l e v e l . F i f t y four percent of the t o t a l sample estimated the grade:1 passage as being suitable for grade 1 students. Forty six percent of the t o t a l sample e s t i -mated the grade 2 passage as being appropriate for grade 2 students while t h i r t y four percent of the subjects estimated the grade 3 passage at that l e v e l . Among the passages at the intermediate l e v e l the subjects were most accurate i n estimating the grade 4 passage. Thirty four percent of the t o t a l sample e s t i -mated that passage at the grade four l e v e l while only sixteen percent of the t o t a l sample estimated the grade 6 passage as being suitable for grade s i x students. Eight teachers estimated the grade 7 passage at the grade four r e a d a b i l i t y l e v e l while 10 teachers i n d i -cated i t ' s r e a d a b i l i t y l e v e l at grades 9 and 10. A l l groups consistently underestimated the read-a b i l i t y l e v e l s of the passages. The extent to which the mean estimate of each group across the seven tasks deviated from the actual reading l e v e l of each passage i s i l l u s t r a t e d i n Figures 1 and 2. The mean deviation score for the combined groups across the seven tasks for which the analysis of variance was calculated, i s plotted i n Figure 3. The results indicate a strong relationship between an increase i n the r e a d a b i l i t y l e v e l of the material and a decrease i n the accuracy of teachers' estimates of r e a d a b i l i t y . ! i ! i ! j I i_ "I 2 3 k 5 6 7 8 Passages Figure 1. Accuracy of Estimates of Readabil ity For Groups 1 and 2. ! ! ! ! I I L _ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Passages Figure 2. Accuracy of Estimates of Readabil ity For Groups 3 and 4. 39 Tests for trend were performed to further examine the relationship between the increase i n the r e a d a b i l i t y of the materials and the decrease i n the accuracy of teachers' e s t i -mates. The results for the l i n e a r trend are s t a t i s t i c a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t (F = 155 .05, df 1/408, p <.01). The sum of squares-' for the tasks factor, as determined by the analysis of variance, i s 68.87; and the v a r i a t i o n due to the l i n e a r trend i s 6 7.46. This means that 9 7.9 per cent of the v a r i a t i o n i n the 40 deviation scores may be accounted for by the li n e a r component of the trend. The non-linear t e s t for trend, was not s t a t i s t i c a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t (F = 0.6 52, df 5/40 8, p >.01). Only 1.41 units of the score v a r i a t i o n were not predicted by the li n e a r regression equation. Subjects' scores on the 1B± 3B, 4B and 6B passages were correlated with t h e i r scores on the 1A, 3A, 4A and 6A passages for the purpose of determining the r e l i a b i l i t y of their estimates for material at the same reading l e v e l of d i f f i c u l t y . The means and standard deviations for these passages are reported i n Table 10; and the corre-l a t i o n c o - e f f i c i e n t s that were computed for the pairs of passages are presented i n Table 11. The c r i t i c a l values of the c o r r e l a t i o n co-efficients for 71 degrees of freedom at the .05 l e v e l i s given by Downie and Heath (1974) . S i g n i f i c a n t relationships e x i s t between the subjects' estimates of r e a d a b i l i t y for the 1A and IB passages and the 6A and 6B passages. The low c o - e f f i c i e n t of .46 that was obtained for the 4A and 4B passages may be explained i n terms of the sampling of content material, the s i m i l a r i t i e s i n factors that influence the d i f f i c u l t y of materials at various grade level s and the order i n which the material was presented. I t may have been easier for subjects to be more consistent i n t h e i r judgments of the r e a d a b i l i t y of materials at the grades 1 and 6 lev e l s mainly on basis of obvious differences such as content and vocabulary. The differences between TABLE 10 MEAN ESTIMATE AND STANDARD DEVIATION FOR COMBINED GROUPS Passage Actual Readabil ity Level Mean S.D. 1A 1.6 1.9 .49 IB 1.6 1 .7 .48 3A 3.3 3.2 1.04 3B 3.3 3.8 1 .27 4A 4.5 3.8 1 .00 4B 4.5 4.2 1.35 6A 6.5 5.5 1.34 6B 6.5 5.4 1 .26 TABLE 11 CORRELATION CO-EFFICIENTS FOR PAIRED OBSERVATIONS Passages 1A 3A 4A 6A IB .80* 3B .63 4B .46 6B .70* *P <.05 42 material at the grades 4 and 5; 5 and 6; or 6 and 7 may not be as obvious. This factor, i n addition to the order i n which the passages was presented may have affected the consistency with which the grade 4 passages was estimated. Both grade 6 passages appeared in the f i r s t and second positions i n the instrument while the grade 4 passages appeared i n the fourth and tenth positions. SUMMARY The present chapter has described the methods that were used i n the analysis of the data and has presented the r e s u l t s . The groups' estimates of the r e a d a b i l i t y of the 1A, 2A, 3A, 4A, 5A, 6A and 7A passages were analyzed to determine whether s i g n i f i c a n t differences existed among the groups. The analysis of variance for a two-factor experiment with repeated measures on one factor indicated no s i g n i f i c a n t differences existed; that the i n t e r a c t i o n (groups by tasks) was not s i g n i f i c a n t ; but a s i g n i f i c a n t e f f e c t existed for tasks. In general, the accuracy of the subjects estimates of the r e a d a b i l i t y of passages decreased as the d i f f i c u l t y of the reading material increased. A c o r r e l a t i o n matrix that was calcu-lated on the subjects' scores for the 1A. IB, 3A, 3B; 4A, 4B; 6A and 6B passages for the purpose of determining the r e l i a b i l i t y of estimates, indicated s i g n i f i c a n t cor-relations existed between the 1A and IB; and the 6A and 6B passages. 43 CHAPTER FIVE SUMMARY, DISCUSSION, AND CONCLUSION THE PROBLEM The s e l e c t i n g of reading m a t e r i a l s by elementary s c h o o l teachers f o r i n s t r u c t i o n a l use i s one of the c u r r i -culum p l a n n i n g tasks which c o n s i s t s o f s e v e r a l r e l a t e d tasks and which i n v o l v e s d e c i s i o n making. One of the r e l a t e d tasks i s the e s t i m a t i n g of the r e a d a b i l i t y l e v e l s of m a t e r i a l s . Accurate estimates o f r e a d a b i l i t y l e v e l s are needed f o r matching students with m a t e r i a l s and are n e c e s s i t a t e d by r e s e a r c h f i n d i n g s t h a t some p r o f e s s i o n a l l y developed m a t e r i a l s may be too d i f f i c u l t f o r the students f o r whom they were designed; by i n t e r i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s i n r e a d i n g achievement t h a t are u s u a l l y p r e s e n t i n a c l a s s o f students; and by the omission of r e a d a b i l i t y l e v e l s from some p u b l i s h e r s ' m a t e r i a l s t h a t may be s u i t a b l e f o r i n s t r u c t i o n a l use-Previou s r e s e a r c h i n which t e a c h e r s ' estimates o f the r e a d a b i l i t y l e v e l s of m a t e r i a l s were i n v e s t i g a t e d focussed mainly on the r e l a t i o n s h i p between t e a c h i n g experience and the accuracy of tea c h e r s ' estimates of r e a d a b i l i t y . The e f f e c t of t h e o r e t i c a l and s i t u a t i o n a l knowledge of re a d i n g on the making of ac c u r a t e estimates o f r e a d a b i l i t y l e v e l s 44 was not previously investigated. The present study sought to determine the r e l a t i v e influence of the o r e t i c a l and s i t u a t i o n a l knowledge of reading on the accuracy of teachers' estimates of the r e a d a b i l i t y of selected prose passages. THE METHOD S p e c i f i c a l l y , the study sought to answer the following research questions: 1. To what extent teachers who possess t h e o r e t i c a l and s i t u a t i o n a l knowledge of elementary reading i n s t r u c t i o n are accurate i n estimating the r e a d a b i l i t y l e v e l s of materials? 2. To what extent teachers who possess t h e o r e t i c a l and s i t u a t i o n a l knowledge of elementary reading i n s t r u c t i o n are more accurate'in estimating the r e a d a b i l i t y l e v e l s of materials than a. in-service teachers who possess only s i t u a t i o n a l knowledge of reading from teaching experience? b. pre-service teachers who possess only theoretical knowledge of elementary reading instruction? c. pre-service teachers who possess neither th e o r e t i c a l knowledge of elementary reading i n s t r u c t i o n nor s i t u a t i o n a l knowledge of reading from teaching experience? In order to answer the research questions that were formulated for the study data were c o l l e c t e d from 7 2 subjects who were enrolled i n undergraduate classes i n the Faculty of Education at The University of B r i t i s h Columbia. For the investigative purposes of the study subjects were categorized, i n groups of 18, with respect to pre-service or in-service preparation i n elementary reading i n s t r u c t i o n 45 as well as classroom teaching experience at th i s l e v e l . Group One consisted of in- s e r v i c e teachers who were selected from Education 4 76 - Remedial Reading, and who had completed Education 305, the basic developmental reading course that i s a pre-requisite for other courses i n reading that are offered by the university. The average number of years of teaching experience for this group was 6.38 years. Group Two was made up on in-service teachers who were selected from Education 305 during their f i r s t week of attendance at that course. These subjects had not com-pleted any courses i n elementary reading i n s t r u c t i o n at university l e v e l . Their average number of years of teach-ing experience was 9.35 years. The subjects i n Group Three were pre-service teachers who had completed no courses i n reading i n s t r u c t i o n other than Education 305. The subjects i n Group Four were also taking pre-service teacher tr a i n i n g but had not enrolled i n any courses i n reading i n s t r u c t i o n that were offered at univers i t y l e v e l . The instruments that were used for c o l l e c t i n g data were a questionnaire which was used for c o l l e c t i n g bio-graphical data on each subject; eleven reading passages; and a rating scale which ranged from one to ten and which was reproduced below each reading passage. The scale was used by the subjects to indicate t h e i r r e a d a b i l i t y estimate of the passage. The passages were selected from the V<Lagno*£-ic Re.adi.ng Scale*' Revised E d i t i o n . The test manual for that instrument states that the Spache and Dale-Chall r e a d a b i l i t y formulas, groups of subjects and teachers judgments were used i n establishing the r e a d a b i l i t y l e v e l s of the passages. The published technical data for the passages indicates that a r e l i a b i l i t y c o - e f f i c i e n t of .84 was obtained on a t e s t - r e t e s t for passages at the i n -s t r u c t i o n a l l e v e l and that a median v a l i d i t y c o - e f f i c i e n t of .78 was obtained between the V-iagno*£Lc Re.adi.ng Scale*: Reivsed E d i t i o n and the Cali.{softnl.a Reading Te.*t for pass-ages between grades 2 and 6. Segments of approximately 110 words were chosen from those passages whose length exceeded 100 words. A l l passages were retyped as con-tinuous prose and were arranged i n random order. Prior to the d i s t r i b u t i o n of the instruments to the subjects, the investigator explained the purpose of the study and demonstrated the use of the rating scale for recording estimates of the r e a d a b i l i t y l e v e l s of the passages. A l l subjects estimated the r e a d a b i l i t y l e v e l s of the selected passages a f t e r i t was s u f f i c i e n t l y clear that the instructions and the nature of the task were understood. ANALYSIS OF DATA The analysis of variance for a two factor experiment with repeated measures on one factor was performed 47 s p e c i f i c a l l y on the subjects' responses to the LA, 2A, 3A, 4A, 5A, 6A and 7A passages to determine whether there were any s i g n i f i c a n t differences among the mean deviation score for each task, by the four groups. The data for these passages were analyzed using the BMD 08V programme available at the UBC Computing Centre. Tests were also performed on the grand mean for each of the above passages to determine whether l i n e a r and non-linear tests for trend were s i g n i f i c a n t . The subjects' responses to the 1A, IB; 3A, 3B; 4A, 4B; 6A and 6B passages were analyzed using the Simcort programme available at the UBC Computing Centre to obtain simple correlations for the purpose of determining the s t a b i l i t y of the subjects responses. FINDINGS The r e s u l t s of the analysis of variance for a two factor experiment with repeated measures on one factor indicated that the subjects who possessed t h e o r e t i c a l and s i t u a t i o n a l knowledge of reading were not more accurate than the other subjects i n estimating the r e a d a b i l i t y of the passages; and that there were no s i g n i f i c a n t differences among the groups' estimates of r e a d a b i l i t y (F = 0.42, df = 3/6 8, p £.0.5) . The i n t e r a c t i o n (groups x tasks) was not s i g n i f i c a n t (F = 1.03, df = 18/408, p >.05) ,but the main e f f e c t for tasks was s i g n i f i c a n t (F = 26.38, df = 6/408, p < .01) . 48 A test £ox- trend indicated a strong l i n e a r re-lationship between an increase i n the d i f f i c u l t y of the r e a d a b i l i t y l e v e l s of the passages and a decrease i n the accuracy of teachers' estimates of r e a d a b i l i t y (F = 155.05, df = 1/40 8, p <.01) . The l i n e a r trend accounted for approximately 98% of the observed v a r i a t i o n i n teachers' estimates of r e a d a b i l i t y . A c o r r e l a t i o n matrix that was computed for s p e c i f i c pairs of passages indicated s t a t i s t i c a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t c o r r e l a t i o n c o - e f f i c i e n t s of .80 and .70 for the subjects' responses to the 1A and IB; and to the 6A and 6B passages. DISCUSSION Each teacher posseses r ' . knowledge of factors that are associated with the varying levels of d i f f i c u l t y of reading materials. I t was assumed that such knowledge would influence the accuracy with which teachers make subjective estimates of r e a d a b i l i t y ; and that teachers who possess s i t u a t i o n a l knowledge of reading from matching students with reading materials and who have taken uni-v e r s i t y l e v e l courses i n elementary reading i n s t r u c t i o n would be more accurate i n making subjective estimates of r e a d a b i l i t y than teachers who do not possess such knowledge and/or preparation i n elementary reading. The above assumption was not supported by the re s u l t s that were obtained from the analysis of the data. The finding that a l l groups were equally accurate i n estimating 49 the r e a d a b i l i t y of the passages may be explained i n terms of practices that are followed by teachers whenever they estimate r e a d a b i l i t y ; and i n terms of li m i t a t i o n s that may have arisen from the experimental design of t h i s study and which may have affected the accuracy with which the in-service teachers, es p e c i a l l y those who possessed t h e o r e t i c a l and s i t u a t i o n a l knowledge of reading, made subjective estimates of r e a d a b i l i t y . Publishers often indicate the r e a d a b i l i t y l e v e l s of t h e i r materials and the population of students for whom the materials may be su i t a b l e . Teachers use such information whenever they make subjective estimates of re a d a b i l i t y but may base t h e i r estimates mainly on the li k e l i h o o d that the: materials are l i k e l y to be suitable, too easy or too d i f f i c u l t for t y p i c a l students from their classes., whose reading achievement leve l s are known to the teachers. In this study teachers may have been deprived of such frames of reference and consequently may have been unable to make more accurate estimates of the r e a d a b i l i t y of the passages. The second explanation concerns the use of read-a b i l i t y formulas. Teachers may make more objective e s t i -mates of r e a d a b i l i t y (readability formula estimates) than subjective estimates of r e a d a b i l i t y . Reliance on read-a b i l i t y formula estimates may l i m i t teachers' a b i l i t y to make subjective accurate estimates of r e a d a b i l i t y and may explain why the subjects i n Group One, inspi t e of the i r 50 accreditation from university courses i n elementary reading, were not more accurate i n estimating read-a b i l i t y than the other subjects. The t h i r d explanation that may account for the finding being discussed, concerns the amount of material with which the subjects were presented and the amount of material on which their subjective estimates of read-a b i l i t y i n the i r p r a c t i c a l settings, are based. Teachers may u t i l i z e several selections of reading material that contain more than 110 words whenever they make subjective estimates of the r e a d a b i l i t y of materials. The amount of material that was used may have d e f i n i t e l y l i m i t e d the a b i l i t y of teachers who possessed t h e o r e t i c a l and s i t u -a t i o n a l knowledge of reading to be more accurate i n the i r estimates of r e a d a b i l i t y . The fourth explanation concerns procedures u t i l i z e d by teachers, whenever they estimate the r e a d a b i l i t y of materials of varying lev e l s of r e a d a b i l i t y , that are i n -dependent of the amount of material that was presented to the subjects. Whenever teachers make subjective estimates of the r e a d a b i l i t y l e v e l s of materials of varying lev e l s of r e a d a b i l i t y , they may u t i l i z e procedures which are more elaborate than those which were permitted i n t h i s study. The subjects were instructed to estimate the grade l e v e l (readability level) of each selection i n turn; to look neither forward nor backward at other selections while they were i n the process of estimating a p a r t i c u l a r 51 selection; and to make no changes i n t h e i r estimates. These instructions were designed to determine whether teachers are able to accurately estimate the r e a d a b i l i t y of a selection without reference to another s e l e c t i o n . I t i s l i k e l y that teachers who perform tasks similar to those of the experiment,.' i n their p r a c t i c a l settings, u t i l i z e d i f f e r e n t procedures that may include an arrange-ment of the materials i n apparent order of d i f f i c u l t y p r i o r to estimating t h e i r r e a d a b i l i t y l e v e l s . The random order i n which the materials were presented may have prevented the teachers from being more accurate i n their estimates of r e a d a b i l i t y . The above explanations are presented to account for l i m i t a t i o n s that may influenc • the finding that a l l groups were equally accurate i n estimating the r e a d a b i l i t y of the passages but they do not explain the finding that the accuracy with which teachers estimated the r e a d a b i l i t y of the materials decreased as the r e a d a b i l i t y l e v e l s of the materials increased. This finding may be explained i n terms of the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the material. At the primary l e v e l , i t was easier for subjects, to u t i l i z e t h e i r knowledge of factors that influence r e a d a b i l i t y such as sentence length and vocabulary. These factors are also important i n estimating the read-a b i l i t y of materials at the intermediate l e v e l s but other factors such as conceptual load, sentence transformations and the varied meanings of a word i n d i f f e r e n t contexts 52 also have to. be considered. I t i s possible that the subjects i n the study are aware of these factors that influence r e a d a b i l i t y but may have been prevented from e f f e c t i v e l y u t i l i z i n g t h e i r knowledge, pa r t l y on the basis of the amount of material that was presented. This explanation i s presented mainly on the basis of an apparent r e l a t i o n s h i p between the amount of material that was presented and the subjects' tendency to underestimate the r e a d a b i l i t y l e v e l s of the material. The consistent pattern that emerged from the subjects' estimates seems to suggest that the subjects were equating the d i f f i c u l t y of the material partly, with the amount of material that was presented. CONCLUSION; On the basis of the data that were .analyzed i n the present study i t may be concluded that teachers vary widely i n their estimates of the r e a d a b i l i t y of materials; and that they are more accurate in estimating the read-a b i l i t y of primary l e v e l material that contain approxi-mately 110 words than they are i n estimating the read-a b i l i t y of intermediate l e v e l material that contain a similar number of words. The research finding that there i s a s i g n i f i c a n t r e l a t i o n s h i p between an increase i n the re a d a b i l i t y l e v e l s of materials and a decrease i n teachers' estimates of r e a d a b i l i t y i s s u f f i c i e n t cause for under-taking research to further investigate the accuracy of teachers' subjective estimates of the r e a d a b i l i t y l e v e l s of reading materials. Implications for Future Research The findings of t h i s study and the need for teachers to accurately estimate the r e a d a b i l i t y l e v e l s of materials for the purpose of matching students with materials suggest that the study may be re p l i c a t e d with the following v a r i -ables being manipulated: 1. Quantity ofi matzniaZ. The minimum amount of material that i s necessary for making accurate estimates of r e a d a b i l i t y may be determined from p i l o t studies i n which experienced teachers who have not taken university courses in elementary reading are used. These subjects are recommended on the basis of the implications that the findings may have for pre-service and in-service teacher t r a i n i n g . 2. V acton.* that inlZuzncc ncadabi.Zi.ty. The factors that are considered by teachers i n estimating the r e a d a b i l i t y l e v e l s of materials needs to be i n -vestigated. Teachers may be presented with read-ing passages and may be instructed to estimate the r e a d a b i l i t y .levels of the materials; and to l i s t the factors that they considered i n a r r i v i n g at t h e i r estimates of r e a d a b i l i t y . This procedure provides the researcher with information on factors considered by the subjects and whether thei r weaknesses may l i e i n a lack of s p e c i f i c t r a i n i n g i n estimating the r e a d a b i l i t y of materials. 3. Gn.adc n.angt*. The use of grade ranges seems worthy of investigation. Teachers may be asked to express t h e i r estimates of r e a d a b i l i t y i n not more than 2 grade leve l s e.g. 4.5-5.5; 6.1-7.1. This pro-cedure allows teachers greater l a t i t u d e to express estimates of r e a d a b i l i t y . P r a c t i c a l Implications The findings of t h i s study have implications for pre-service and in-service teacher t r a i n i n g . They suggest 54 that teachers may need s p e c i f i c t r a i n i n g i n estimating the r e a d a b i l i t y l e v e l s of materials. Teachers are f a i r l y accurate i n estimating the r e a d a b i l i t y l e v e l s of materials for the primary grades but may need assistance i n coping with the subtle differences that e x i s t between material at higher grade l e v e l s e.g. 5-6; 6-7. Support for s p e c i f i c t r a i n i n g i n estimating r e a d a b i l i t y i s provided by Popp and Porter (1975) who demonstrated that judges become very accurate i n estimating r e a d a b i l i t y after they have been taught what c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of reading materials.to consider and which ones to ignore whenever they make sub-je c t i v e estimates of the r e a d a b i l i t y l e v e l s of materials. 55 B IBL IOGRAPHY Arnsdorf, V, Betts, E. Bormuth, J. Boyce, M. Broudy, H, C h a l l , J. Readability of Basal Social Studies Materials. Reading Teacher, 16, 1962-63, 243-246 . Foundation* oft Reading Instruction, York: American Book Company, 1946. New Comparable Cloze and Multi-Choice Com-prehension Test Scores. Journal ofi Reading, 1967, 291-99. Some D i f f i c u l t i e s i n Using Cloze Procedure to Assess Readability. Master of Education Thesis, University of Melbourne, 1974. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 110 921). The Real Wofild ofi thz Public School*. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Inc., 19 72. Readability: kn Appraisal o^ Research and Application. Columbas: The Bureau of Educational Research, Ohio State University, 1958 . Clark-Jones, B. and Parks, J . Our Learners - The Consumers: Selection and Evaluation of Instructional Materials. I n t e r n a t l o n a l Journal o^ Instructional Media, 3 No. 2, 1975-1976, 179-84. Coke, E. Readability and Its E f f e c t s on Reading Rate. Subjective Judgments of Comprehensibility and Comprehension. Paper Presented at The Annual Meeting of The American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, 1973. Cramer, W. and Dorsey, S. Science Textbooks - How Readable Are They? Elementally School Journal, 70, 1969-1970, 28-33. Downie, N.M., and Heath, R.W. Basic Statistical Methods: Fourth E d i t i o n . New York: Harper and Row. 1974 . Farr, R. and Brown, W. Evaluation and Decision Making. The Reading Teacher, 24, 1971, 341-346, 354. 56 Glazer, S. Is Sentence Length a V a l i d Measure of D i f f i c u l t y i n Readability Formulas? Reading Teach en., 2 7 No. 5, 1974, 464-68. Greenwood, G.; Good, T.L.; and Siegel, B.L. ?n.oblem Situation* in Teaching, New York: Harper and Row, 1971. Harker, W.J. Selecting Instructional Materials for Content Area Reading. Journal o$ Reading, 21, 1977, 126-130. Harris, A. Some New Developments i n Readability A Paper Presented at The Annual International Reading Association World Congress on Reading, (5th, Vienna, Austria, August, 1974). Herrington, R., and Mallison, G. An Investigation of Two Methods of Measuring The Reading D i f f i c u l t y of Materials for Elementary Science. Science Education, 42, 1958, 385-90. Jongsma, E. The D i f f i c u l t y of Children's Books: Librarians' Judgments versus Formula Estimates. Elementary English, 49, 1972, 20-25. Junkola, J. Teacher Evaluation of Instructional Materials. Teaching Exceptional Children, 3, 1970, 73-76. Klare, G. The Mea*un.emznt o{ Rzadability. Ames, Iowa: Iowa State University Press, 196 3. Klare, G. Assessing Readability, Rzading Rz*zan.ch Quan.ten.ly, 10, 1974-1975, 62-102. McDonald, J. Vi*cen.nible Teachen., Ottawa, Canadian Teachers Federation, 1970. Mac Gin t i e , W., and Tretiak, R. Sentence Depth Measures as Predictors of Reading D i f f i c u l t y . Reading Re*ean.ch Quan.ten.ly, 6 , 1971, 364-377 . Mc Intyre, R., and Nelson, C. Empirical Evaluation of Instructional Materials. Educational Technology, 9, 1969, 24-27. M e r r i l l , M. Teachers: Technologists or Technicians? Journal of Teacher Education, 19, 196 8, 325-331. M i l l e r , W. Readability versus Reading A b i l i t y . The Journal o{ Educational Re*zan.ch, 56, No. 4, 1962, 205-209. 57 M i l l s , R., and Richardson, J . What Do Publishers Mean by Grade Level? Reading Teacher, 1962-63, 359-362. Myers, D.A. VeclS'lon Making In Curriculum and Instruction. Ohio: I n s t i t u t e for Develop-ment of Educational A c t i v i t i e s , Inc., 1970. Palardy, J.M. Teaching Todayi Tasks and Challenges . New York: Mac M i l l a n Publishing Co. 1975. P i k u l s k i , J., and P i k u l s k i , E. Cloze, Maze, and Teacher Judgment. Reading Teacher, 1977, 766-773. Popp, H., and Porter, D. Measuring The Readability of Children's Trade Books. 19 75 (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED. 113 684). Powers, R., Summer, W., and Kearl, B. A Recalculation of Four Adult Readability Formulas. Journal ol Educational Psychology, 49, 1958, 99-105. Russell, D., and Fea, H. V a l i d i t y of Six Readability Forumlas As Measures of Juvenile F i c t i o n . Elementary School Journal, 52, 1951, 136-144. Russell, D., and M e r r i l l , A. Children's Librarions Rate The D i f f i c u l t y of Weil-Known Juvenile Books. Elementary English, 28, 1951, 263-268. Selecting Instructional Materials. English Journal, 66, No. 1 1977, 9-14. The V a l i d i t y of Teachers' Judgments of D i f f i c u l t y i n Cu r r i c u l a r . M a t e r i a l . Journal ofa Educational Psychology, 21, 1930, 460-466. A New Readability Formula for Primary Grade Reading Materials. Elementary School Journal, 53, 410-413. The Cloze Procedure: A New Tool for Measuring Readability. Journalism Quarterly, 30, 1953, 415-33. The Teacher as Manager: A Symposium edited by George Taylor. London. The Camelot Press Ltd., 1970. Sabol, J.W. Smith, H.E. Spache, G. Taylor, W. Taylor, G. 58 Winer, B.J. Stati6iic.aJiPn.-inc.ipZz* in ExpenimentaZ Ve*ign. New York: McGraw-Hill Inc. 1962. Wood, L. R e a d a b i l i t y of C e r t a i n Textbooks. EZementafiy EngZi*h, 31, 1954, 214-216 . 59 APPENDIX A QUESTIONNAIRE 60 APPENDIX A QUESTIONNAIRE Name: Sex: M Year i n University: 1 2 3 4 5 6 Present teaching status: F u l l time teacher:_ Part time teacher:_ Substitute teacher; Not teaching: No. of years of teaching experience: (0) (1-2) (3-5) (6-9) (10+) No of years of experience at each grade: K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Grade presently teaching: K 1 2 3 4 5 6 If you have "0 years" of teaching experience, se l e c t a grade that you would prefer to teach: K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Reading Courses completed: Educ. 305 Educ. 473 Educ. 4 76 Educ. 477 Educ. 4 05 Other Courses Reading Courses presently taking: Educ. 305 Educ. 405 Educ. 473 Educ. 476 Educ. 477 Educ. 475 Other Courses APPENDIX B REAPING P A S S A G E S 62 APPENDIX B READING PASSAGES 6B GRADE 6.5 When the early s e t t l e r s came to America, trade was carried on by barter or by using such things as tobacco, sugar, and furs as money. Sometimes the s e t t l e r s used Indian wampum. Wampum was shell s that were made into beads and was used by the Indians as decoration and as money. Of course, when more people came from Europe to se t t l e i n America, they found they would need money to pay workmen. A mason did not always want his wages i n grain or too l s . People had to have coins, so they used whatever was available - English s h i l l i n g s , Swedish and Dutch money, and Spanish d o l l a r s or "pieces of eight". 6A GRADE 6.5 Elephants are found wild today only i n warm regions -i n t r o p i c a l A f r i c a and i n India. The story was very d i f f e r e n t 50 thousand years ago. Then, two species of the elephant family roamed North America and Europe i n vast numbers One of them was the mastodon. The mastodon l i v e d i n the eastern part of our country during the period of the Great Ice Age. In the swamps that were formed when the ice disappeared, many of the huge creatures were trapped and k i l l e d . We have found some of their skeletons. At a glance, the mastodon must have looked much l i k e the elephants of today, except that i t was covered with coarse, wooly hair and i t s tusks were much larger. 5A GRADE 5.5 As a ship's boy, John Paul had a l l sorts of odd jobs on board. Sometimes he scrubbed decks or helped the cook. He cleaned the captain's cabin and ran errands, but he had other duties that pleased him more. He helped to clean 63 the guns, which the merchant s h i p c a r r i e d f o r p r o t e c t i o n . An s e v e r a l times he stood behind the b i g wheel to s t e e r the s h i p . C a p t a i n Benson wrote i n the s h i p ' s l o g , or d a i l y r e c o r d , t h a t the t r i p was calm and s m o o t h - s a i l i n g . Nothing unusual happened, but every day was a r e a l ad-venture f o r the new s h i p ' s boy. A t the end of the coyage i t was a t h r i l l to s i g h t l a n d . 4A GRADE' 4.5 Yesterday Bob took a t r i p to a c i t y market t h a t was l i k e a s t o r e but a g r e a t d e a l b i g g e r . I t d i d n ' t have any bread or canned goods l i k e the gro c e r y s t o r e s . But there were a g r e a t many b i g boxes of vegetables and f r u i t s . Bob was hungry and wanted j u s t one plum or c h e r r y to t a s t e . He wondered i f one of the men would s e l l him j u s t one plum. Everyone was buying the f r u i t and vege-t a b l e s by the whole c r a t e . When Bob asked the man to s e l l him one plum, he laughed and gave Bob an e x t r a l a r g e plum wrapped i n paper but wouldn't take any money. 3B GRADE 3.3 Mary was going downtown to watch the parade. She skipped and ran along the s t r e e t because she c o u l d h a r d l y wait to get t h e r e . She was e a r l y and found a good p l a c e to stand. P r e t t y soon she c o u l d hear the music of the bands coming down the main s t r e e t . The men of the f i r s t band were dressed i n s c a r l e t , w i t h white f e a t h e r s i n t h e i r h a t s . The men of the second band were c l a d i n dark blue, w i t h r e d f e a t h e r s i n t h e i r caps. A f t e r them came the tr u c k s loaded w i t h flowers and f r u t i . Then came accompany of s o l d i e r s i n dark green uniforms. L a s t of a l l was another band dressed i n white s u i t s and y e l l o w f e a t h e r s . 7A GRADE 7.5 J u s t as i n d r i v i n g a c a r , we use a t l e a s t three speeds i n r e a d i n g . High gear i n re a d i n g i s c a l l e d skimming, while s t u d y i n g i s re a d i n g i n low gear. Between these two, a t second gear, i s what might be c a l l e d a 64 moderate speed of reading. As you may have heard, the good reader adaps his rate to the.purpose of his reading. The rate he uses i s determined by how much he wants to get out of the material he i s reading. His rate i s also influenced by the d i f f i c u l t y of the reading material. Thus, he s h i f t s from gear to gear according to the amount he wants to r e t a i n or how d i f f i c u l t he finds the going. 2A GRADE 2.3 Bob has a l i t t l e red wagon. He l i k e s to ri d e i n i t . He p u l l s i t slowly up the h i l l . Then he rides i t quickly down again. One day he took his dog with him. He pulled the dog up the h i l l . Then they rode down the h i l l . But the dog did not l i k e to ride down. He jumped out of the red wagon. Bob went down by himself. Now he does not try to take his dog i n the wagon. 1A GRADE 1.6 Mary was on her way to school. She came to the corner. She saw a red l i g h t . Then she saw the green l i g h t . Then she went on to school. IB GRADE 1.6 Bob. had a dog. The dog's name was Spot. Spot had a big brown spot on h i s back. Bob and Spot played together. Bob threw a stick... Spot ran af t e r i t . They had fun together. 4B GRADE 4 .5 Mary's teacher took her c l a s s . f o r a nature walk one sunshiny day l a s t week. Every time the group came to a new plant, they would stop and examine i t while the teacher explained i t s parts. She showed them how a bee gets i t s honey from flowers and how a bug had eaten part of the leaves from some plants. On-a few plants, the flowers had f a l l e n o f f , and seeds had begun to form. Later, while they were looking at some blossoms, one boy spied a nest hidden i n a tree.. They were very quiet, hoping the mother would return to feed her young ones. 3A GRADE 3.3 Bob has a brown and white dog named Spotty. He i s c a l l e d Spotty because he has brown spots on his nose. Bob always takes his dog on his t r i p s to the woods. The dog helps scare the rabbits. Bob walks slowly, but his dog scampers through the leaves. One day Spotty l e f t Bob and went o f f by himself. Bob c a l l e d and whistled, but the dog did not come back to him. After a while Bob heard the dog barking a long way o f f . Bob walked toward the sound of the barking u n t i l he found the dog. Spotty thought he had caught a black and white k i t t e n . A P P E N D I X C RATING S C A L E 67 A P P E N D I X C R A T I N G S C A L E Read the f i r s t s e l e c t i o n . Put an X on the scale, below the selection, to indicate your estimate of the grade l e v e l d i f f i c u l t y of the material. For example: you may mark a passage as 3.5 i f you f e e l that an average c h i l d who has spent 3 months i n grade 3 could ^read the passage with no less than 95% accuracy i n word recognition and 75% i n comprehension ( i . e . the ch i l d ' s i n s t r u c t i o n a l level) . I H I I H T H I I H I IM . i l n , . m . i l . u i • „ MIM I I m . i l w i i . n u l u f, i t I , •,, t i n • Im i , •••• I 8 JO Estimate the grade l e v e l of each selection i n turn, i . e . estimate the f i r s t before you estimate the second; the second before the t h i r d , etc. Do not change any of your grade estimates. 

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