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Heading effects on fifth grade recall of expository prose without and with heading strategy awareness Hobbins, Carole I. 1993

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HEADING EFFECTS ON FIFTH GRADE RECALLOF EXPOSITORY PROSE WITHOUT AND WITH HEADINGSTRATEGY AWARENESSbyCAROLE IRENE HOBBINSB.Ed., University of British Columbia, 1964A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OFTHE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OFMASTER OF ARTSinTHE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIESDepartment of Language EducationWe accept this thesis as conformingto the required standardTHE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIAAugust, 1993© Carole Irene Hobbins, 1993In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanceddegree at The University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make itfreely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission forextensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the Headof my Department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying orpublication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my writtenpermission.Department of Language Education (Reading)The University of British Columbia2075 Wesbrook PlaceVancouver, CanadaV6T 1W5Date: August 31, 1993ABSTRACTThis study was designed to investigate whether the presence of headings in regularclassroom content area reading material naturally facilitated the quantity and type ofrecall of expository prose by fifth grade students and whether the exposure to and use ofheading strategy instructions further improved the recall of the students. One hundredthirty-one students from seven classrooms in three school districts in the lower mainlandand on Vancouver Island were selected to take part in the study. Each treatment groupwas composed of approximately an equal number of higher, middle and lower readingcomprehension ability students as determined by a Canadian standardized reading test.The treatments consisted of a control group that received no headings and no strategyinstructions, an experimental group with headings present but no strategy instructions,and second experimental group that received a passage with the headings present andheading strategy instructions. All students read a four page passage from a BritishColumbia authorized social studies textbook and one day later, were given two postteststhat involved free recall and main idea recall/formulation measures. It was found thatheadings and heading strategy instructions significantly aided treatment group 3 (thesecond experimental group) in recalling and formulating main ideas, and to some extenthelped these students with overall recall. Treatment 3 did not help the students to recallsubordinate (supporting ideas) or sub-subordinate ideas (details). There were nosignificant effects for the headings only group (headings present in text) over the controlgroup who read the passage without headings. A similar but weaker pattern was foundfor each reading comprehension ability level. These results are discussed in terms ofprevious research. General conclusions, implications for instruction, and suggestions forfurther research are also made.iiTABLE OF CONTENTSAbstract ^Table of Contents List of Tables ^  ixList of Figures  xiiAcknowledgements ^ xiiiCHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION ^  1Statement of the Research Problem  1Rationale ^  1The General Problem ^  1Processing Aids that Help with Comprehension and Recall ^ 3Headings: An Important Processing Aid ^ 6Research on Heading Functions  8Factors Affecting Reader Use of Headings ^  11Non-text Factors Affecting Heading Utilization ^ 12Developing Student Awareness of Heading Functions  14Features of the Study ^  16Purpose of the Study  18Null Hypotheses ^  19Significance of the Study ^  20Defuntions ^  21Organization of the Thesis ^  26Summary ^  26CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE ^  28Introduction ^  28Function of Headings in Comprehension and Recall ^ 29Link to Prior Knowledge ^  30Clarifying Structure to Improve Comprehension ^ 35Headings as a General Organizational and Signalling Aid ^ 36Exploring Thematic Functions of Titles ^ 41Order ^  51Hierarchical Levels ^  53Summary ^  61Heading Effects on Recall ^  61Introduction ^  61Heading Studies  64Possible Factors that Influence Heading Effects ^  77Introduction ^  77Textual Factors that Might Influence Heading Effectiveness ^ 78Type of Headings ^  78Position of Headings  82Frequency of Headings ^  83Type of Text ^  84Factors of the Reader that Influence Heading Effectiveness ^ 86Age ^  87Sex  89Reading Ability ^  89Prior Knowledge  91Preference ^  92Awareness of Heading Functions ^  93Summary ^  93Reader Awareness and Ability to Use Headings Effectively ^ 94Introduction ^  94Problems with Young Students' Awareness of Heading Functions ^ 95Developmental Readiness ^  95ivLack of Maturity Versus Lack of Experience and Knowledge ^ 96Research Studies on Direct Instruction of Headings ^ 97High School/Adult Level ^  97Elementary School Level  98Summary of Direct Instruction Heading Research ^ 101Type of Direct Instruction ^  101On-Going Teacher Guidance ^  101Direct Skill or Knowledge Instruction ^ 102Strategic Instruction ^  107Summary ^  110Heading Strategies for Improving Comprehension and Recall ^ 111Prereading Strategies ^  111Postreading Strategies  113Summary of the Chapter ^  114CHAPTER THREE: METHODOLOGY 115Introduction ^  115Plan of the Chapter ^  115Restatement of the Thesis  115Design of Experiment ^  115Population and Selection of Subjects  118Sample Size ^  118Research Population  119Selection of School Districts ^  119Classroom Selection  120Selecting and Classifying Subjects into Reading Ability Levels ^ 121Classification of Subjects into Treatment Groups ^ 122Effect of Classroom Conditions on the Research Design ^ 122Testing Instruments ^  123vStandardized Test Material ^  123Test Selection  123Specific Test Information ^  127Nonstandardized Materials  130Prereading Component ^  130Main Expository Passage  131The Posttests ^  137Scoring ^  141Procedure ^  143The Organizational Phase ^  143Pilot Study Phase  144Results of Pilot Study #1 ^  145Developing the New Scoring System ^ 147Pilot Study #2 ^  161Main Study Phase  161Preparing for the Research, Administering the Pretestand Preparing for the Treatments ^ 161Preparing and Administering Treatments  163Administering and Scoring Posttests ^ 164Data Analysis ^  165Limitations  169Summary of the Chapter ^  171CHAPTER FOUR: THE RESULTS 172Introduction ^  172The Actual Study Versus the Planned Study ^ 172General Research Conditions ^  176Setting Up the Study  176Carrying out the Research ^  177viRepresentativeness of the Sample ^  178Results of the Research ^  179The Standardized Pretest Measures ^  179Data Analysis Considerations  180Scoring Reliability ^  180Outliers ^  182Results of the Nonstandardized Posttest Measures ^ 184Free Recall: Superordinate Ideas ^  184Free Recall: Subordinate Ideas  186Free Recall: Sub-subordinate Ideas ^ 186Free Recall: Total ^  187Main Idea Recall/Formulation: Accuracy ^ 188Free Recall and Main Idea Recall/Formulation: Total ^ 189Analysis of Variance - Higher Reading Comprehension Abilityand Treatments ^  191Analysis of Variance - Middle Reading Comprehension Abilityand Treatments ^  195Analysis of Variance - Lower Reading Comprehension Abilityand Treatments ^ 201Summary of Research Results  207CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS ^ 209Summary of the Research ^  209Discussion of Research Results  210Results of the Pretest ^  210Summary of Posttest Results  211Effect for Presence of Headings on Recall ^ 211Effects of Heading Strategy Instruction  211Effects of Reading Comprehension Ability Performances ^ 214viiEffects of Treatments on Specific Reading ComprehensionAbility Groups ^ 214Suggestions for Future Research  216Publishers ^  216Researchers  217Researchers and/or Teachers ^  218Conclusions ^  219BIBLIOGRAPHY 222APPENDICES ^ 239Appendix A 239A.01 Prerealing Component (versions A and B) ^ 240A.02 Main Passage Component (versions C and D) 255A.03 Original Text ^  265Appendix B ^ 270B.01 Posttest for Free Recall - Pilot Study #1 ^ 271B.02 Scoring Protocols - Pilot Study #1 275B.03 Posttest for Free Recall - Pilot Study #2 ^ 280B.04 Posttest for Free Recall - Main Study 284B.05 Results of Pilot Study #1 ^ 288B.06 Pilot Study Scoring Comparison  289B.07 New Scoring Protocol ^ 290Appendix C ^ 295C.01 Letters to Publishers and Responses ^ 296viiiLIST OF TABLES2.01 Heading Effects on Immediate Recognition Memory ^ 652.02 Heading Effects on Delayed Recognition Memory 652.03 Heading Effects on Immediate Recall ^ 762.04 Heading Effects on Delayed Recall 773.01 Diagram of the Experimental Pretest-Posttest Control Group Design ^ 1163.02 Factorial Design with Emphasis on Distribution of Subjects in Cells ^ 1173.03 A Comparison of School Districts on Enrollment and General Economy ^ 1203.04 A Comparison of Three Studies on Readability ^ 1353.05 The Factorial Design with Emphasis on Data Analysis 1674.01 Comparison of Means and Standard Deviations of the T-scores of Grade 5Groups from Nine School Districts in Southwestern British Columbia onthe Gates-MacGinitie Reading Test, Comprehension Subtest ^ 1794.02 The Final Factorial Design with Cell Size (n), Means and (S.D.) on Pretest:Gates-MacGinitie Reading Comprehension Subtest ^ 1814.03 Intra-rater Reliability Correlation Coefficients for the Posttests ^ 1824.04 Analysis of Variance by Treatment Groups with Outlier Present (n=131) onQuantity of Superordinate Ideas Recalled on the Free Recall Posttest ^ 1854.05 Analysis of Variance by Treatment Groups with Outlier Removed (n=130)on Quantity of Superordinate Ideas Recalled on the Free Recall Posttest ^ 1854.06 Analysis of Variance by Treatment Groups with Outlier Removed (n=130)on Quantity of Subordinate Ideas Recalled on the Free Recall Posttest ^ 1864.07 Analysis of Variance by Treatment Groups with Outlier Removed (n=130)on Quantity of Sub-Subordinate Ideas Recalled on the Free Recall Posttest ^ 1874.08 Analysis of Variance by Treatment Groups with Outlier Removed (n=130)on Total Ideas Recalled on the Free Recall Posttest ^ 1884.09 Analysis of Variance by Treatment Groups with Outlier Removed (n=130)on Accuracy of Recall on the Main Idea Recall/Formulation Test ^ 189ix4.10 Analysis of Variance by Treatment Groups with Outlier Removed (n=130)on Total Quantity Recalled on Both Posttests ^ 1904.11 Analysis of Variance - Higher Reading Comprehension Ability Group withOutlier Removed (n=42) and Treatments on Quantity of Superordinate IdeasRecalled on the Free Recall Posttest   1914.12 Analysis of Variance - Higher Reading Comprehension Ability Group withOutlier Removed (n=42) and Treatments on Quantity of Subordinate IdeasRecalled on the Free Recall Posttest   1924.13 Analysis of Variance - Higher Reading Comprehension Ability Group withOutlier Removed (n=42) and Treatments on Quantity of Sub-SubordinateIdeas Recalled on the Free Recall Posttest ^  1934.14 Analysis of Variance - Higher Reading Comprehension Ability Group withOutlier Removed (n=42) and Treatments on Total Number of Ideas on theFree Recall Test   1934.15 Analysis of Variance - Higher Reading Comprehension Ability Group withOutlier Removed (n=42) and Treatments on the Accuracy of Main IdeaRecall/Formulation on Posttest 2 ^  1944.16 Analysis of Variance - Higher Reading Comprehension Ability Group withOutlier Removed (n=42) and Treatments on Total Quantity Recalled on BothPosttests   1954.17 Analysis of Variance - Middle Reading Comprehension Ability Group(n=41) and Treatments on Quantity of Superordinate Ideas Recalled on theFree Recall Posttest ^  1964.18 Analysis of Variance - Middle Reading Comprehension Ability Group(n=41) and Treatments on Quantity of Subordinate Ideas Recalled on theFree Recall Posttest ^  1974.19 Analysis of Variance - Middle Reading Comprehension Ability Group(n=41) and Treatments on Quantity of Sub-Subordinate Ideas Recalled onthe Free Recall Posttest ^  197x4.20 Analysis of Variance - Middle Reading Comprehension Ability Group(n=41) and Treatments on Total Number of Ideas on the Free Recall Test ^ 1984.21 Analysis of Variance - Middle Reading Comprehension Ability Group(n=41) and Treatments on the Accuracy of Main Idea Recall andFormulation on Posttest 2 ^  1994.22 Analysis of Variance - Middle Reading Comprehension Ability Group(n=41) and Treatments on Total Quantity Recalled on Both Posttests ^ 2004.23 Analysis of Variance - Lower Reading Comprehension Ability Group(n=47) and Treatments on Quantity of Superordinate Ideas Recalled on theFree Recall Posttest ^  2014.24 Analysis of Variance - Lower Reading Comprehension Ability Group(n=47) and Treatments on Quantity of Subordinate Ideas Recalled on theFree Recall Posttest ^  2024.25 Analysis of Variance - Lower Reading Comprehension Ability Group(n=47) and Treatments on Quantity of Sub-Subordinate Ideas Recalled onthe Free Recall Posttest ^  2034.26 Analysis of Variance - Lower Reading Comprehension Ability Group(n=47) and Treatments on Total Quantity of Ideas Recalled on the FreeRecall Posttest   2034.27 Analysis of Variance - Lower Reading Comprehension Ability Group(n=47) and Treatments on Accuracy of Main Idea Recall orFormulation ^  2044.28 Analysis of Variance - Lower Reading Comprehension Ability Group(n=47) and Treatments on Total Quantity of Ideas Recalled on BothPosttests ^  2055.01 Summary of Scheffé Statistical Results ^  212xiLIST OF FIGURES2.01 Graphic Heading on Information-Processing Functions of Headings ^ 29xiiACKNOWLEDGEMENTSI would especially like to thank:• Dr. F. Pieronek, thesis advisor, mentor and friend, for her patience, enthusiasmand her helpful assistance with the ideas that form the backbone of this thesis.Her knowledge and insight on content-area reading has been invaluable.• Dr. H. Ratzlaff for his great assistance with the statistical and methodologicalaspects of this thesis. His kindness, clarity and wisdom were much appreciated.• Dr. A. Lukasevich for kindly agreeing to be the reader for this thesis.• Dr. T. Rogers who helped me to understand basic statistics and to Dr. R. Conryfor stressing the need to let the thesis problem guide the methodological choices.• Five previous Master's students from the Department of Language Education:Karen Coulombe, Richard Gibbs, Jo-Anne Goble, Cynthia King, andRoderick Stables for showing the way.• School board officials, principals, teachers and students who made this researchpossible.• Peter M. Hobbins, my husband, who has been so supportive and helpfulthroughout the whole thesis process.CHAPTER ONEIntroductionSTATEMENT OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEMThis study was designed to investigate whether the presence of headings in contentarea reading material naturally facilitated the quantity and type of recall of expository proseby fifth grade students and whether the exposure to and use of heading strategy instructionsfurther improved the students' recall.RATIONALEThe General ProblemMany students find it difficult to comprehend expository prose in school(Baumann, 1981b; Taylor, 1982). Yet, in upper elementary grades and high school,classroom tasks require the students to process increasing amounts of expository materialto obtain information in their content area subjects (Baine, 1986). Beginning in grade four,the emphasis in reading shifts from narrative to expository prose (Baker & Stein, 1981)and the students need to develop new strategies to comprehend the material satisfactorily.At this time, the students must learn to sense the gist or main idea of the passage plus readfor details in text material that frequently uses a hierarchical structure rather than the morefamiliar story structure (Baumann, 1981a; Taylor, 1982). Educators then expect studentsto recall the material on tests or assignments and be able to discuss or apply the conceptsand information learned. Unfortunately, many students do not find the shift to expositorytext an easy one (Baine, 1986; Spiro & Taylor, 1987) and some children continue to haveproblems understanding content area reading material even in high school (Goble, 1986).1There are a variety of reasons why elementary school students find it difficult tocomprehend and recall expository prose in content area textbooks. Some of these causesare text-related. One reason is the increasingly larger and more unfamiliar concept load thatis found in expository rather than narrative prose. Another reason lies in a lack offamiliarity that elementary students have with the organization of expository text structure.It is often hierarchical in nature with certain elements more central (superordinate or mainideas) than other supportive (subordinate ideas or subtopics) or subordinate elements(subordinate details) (Duchastel, 1982; Meyer, 1985). Students need to develop newschemata for comprehending how the parts relate to each other and to the whole.Moreover, young readers are not always aware of textual clues or text signals present intext that may aid them in comprehending the material. Yet another cause found byBaumann (1981b), Tierney, Bridge and Cera (1978-9), and Taylor, (1980) is thatelementary children have difficulty identifying important information when readingexpository texts. This task becomes more difficult when main ideas are not explicitly statedin the passages; a condition that is common in many of our textbooks (Baumann & Sem,1984; Braddock, 1974).Duchastel (1982) considers the task of selecting important information one of thecentral problems of text processing for any learner. "The student studying a text is thusfaced with the very complex task of focusing on the important points in the text andstructuring these in a coherent and memorable whole, while at the same time constantlyprocessing new inputs that may be of only secondary importance" (Duchastel, 1982, p.178). As a result of the difficulty of the task, many students need to develop the ability tocomprehend the main ideas or the gist of passages they read in textbooks (Baumann,1981a, 1981b, 1986a). Closely interlinked with comprehension is recall. Poorcomprehension makes recall more difficult. Baumann (1984) and Taylor (1982) maintainthat good main idea comprehension is an especially important aid in recall. "Since readersare faced with large amounts of text, all of which cannot be recalled, it is desirable for2readers to be able to discriminate important ideas from less important ones so that memorycan be used efficiently to retain the essential information in text" (Baumann, 1984, P. 94).Whatever the reason for the students' failure to comprehend expository prose as easily asnarrative prose, this difficulty clearly affects students' ability to recall passages in ameaningful manner. Studies by Bridges and Tierney (1981) and Boljonis and Kaye (1980)showed that third and fourth grade students, respectively, were better able to recall a well-structured narrative than an expository passage. Graesser (1981) says that memoryresearch has shown that narrative prose is recalled better than any other genre, includingexpository prose. Yet, two of the more critical tasks to be acquired in the upper years ofelementary school are learning to comprehend and recall the expository prose in contentarea textbooks.Processing Aids that Help with Comprehension and RecallTo make learning from expository prose easier, textbook authors have devised avariety of processing aids in text material that are thought to improve comprehension, recalland/or retrieval of information. Organizational aids are one such group of processing aids.Examples of these are purpose questions, marginal notes, outlines, headings and topicsentences (Dee-Lucas & Di Vesta, 1980; Snavely, 1961), and advance organizers such asparagraph abstracts, (Ausubel, Novak & Hanesian, 1978; Mayer, 1979; Mayer &Bromage, 1980), enumerated sentence outlines, and true-false or completion pretests(Proger, Taylor, Mann, Coulson & Bayak, 1970; Proger et al. 1973). In addition toadvance organizers, there are also concurrent and post organizers (Ratzlaff, 1970;Rickards, 1975-6). Outlines, headings and topic sentences are organizing aids that:provide the reader with information about the texts' structure ororganization. [These] .. . generic classifiers are designed to facilitate recallby making the relationships among various informational units of the textexplicit, such that the superordinate ideas can be used to facilitate recall ofthe subordinate information. (Dee-Lucas & Di Vesta, 1980, p. 304)3One type of organizer that has received much research attention is the advanceorganizer. Ausubel, Novak and Hanesian (1978) say these organizers differ fromsummaries and overviews because advance "organizers are presented at a higher level ofabstraction, generality, and inclusiveness than the new material to be learned" (p. 171).Additionally, they say "the principle function of the organizer is to bridge the gap betweenwhat the learner already knows and what he needs to know before he can meaningfullylearn the task at hand . . . " (p. 171-172). The organizer does this by providing "ideationalscaffolding for the stable incorporation and retention of the more detailed and differentiatedmaterial that follows in the learning passage" (Ausubel, Novak & Hanesian, 1978, p. 171-172). Advance organizers are designed to facilitate meaningful learning by relating newconcepts in the reading material "to specifically relevant aspects in the learner's cognitivestructure" (Ausubel, Novak & Hanesian, 1978, p. 170-171). (See MacDonald-Ross(1979) for a different opinion of advance organizers and the learner's cognitive structure.)Hartley and Davies (1976) summarize types of organizers by saying that paragraph abstractadvance organizers clarify the task ahead, purpose questions and true-false or completionpretests alert students to the upcoming learning material and headings and overviewsprepare the reader for the passage to come.Other processing aids act as signaling devices or text signals and thus aidcomprehension. Examples include preview sentences, underlined headings, logicalconnections (Loman & Mayer, 1983; Meyer, 1975) and pointer words (Spyridalcis &Standal, 1987). "A signal is generally described as a word, phrase or statement thatpreannounces content and/or reveals relationships in content" (Spyridakis & Standal, 1987,p. 285). Meyer (1985) adds that "signaling is information in text that does not add newcontent on a topic, but that gives emphasis to certain aspects of the semantic content orpoints out aspects of the structure of the content . . . "(p. 76). Jonassen (1985) explainsthat comprehension is aided when the organization or structure is clear because the author'sintent is more fully constructed by the reader (p. 59-62) and misunderstanding is reduced4(Meyer, 1985, P. 66). Spyridakis and Standal (1987) maintain that, in theory, "signalsshould aid a reader in instantiating the appropriate schema, in forming a hierarchicalframework in which to store textual information, in deciding what information is important,and in checking the correctness of his or her integration and storage of information inmemory" (p. 286).Some types of signaling aids also act as types of access structures. In addition tolinguistic cues that were discussed above, signaling devices can cue readers spatially andtypographically. Jonassen and Kirschner (1982) state that "the same typographic cues thatsignal the structure of discourse may also function as access structures" (p. 133-134) andtherefore aid the reader who is searching for information by pointing out the location. Theystress that readers frequently need to search text for specific information rather than read ina start-to-finish manner and explicit signals may "provide the reader with enoughinformation to enable them to hypothesize about material without reading it all through"(Jonassen & Kirschner, 1982, p. 133-134). At an earlier date, Waller (1979) said,"Whereas a continuous discourse assumes and perhaps enforces a relatively passivesequential reading strategy, a typographically structured text allows for more selectivesampling. ... If the paragraphs are typographically signalled, they can be easily accessedand used for text selection, previewing the argument, reference, and revision" (p. 176)."The phrase 'access structures' was coined by Waller (1979) to describe a variety offeatures of text design that help readers to find their way around or to help gain access tocomplex text" (Hartley & Trueman, 1985, p. 101). Examples of access structures areheadings, concept maps, content lists, glossaries and opening summaries or overviews(Waller, 1979), and these structures provide either local or global accessibility (Jonassen,1985).It is not too hard to see the value of access structures when we try to access text in anon-linear fashion. However, the relationship of certain signaling and organizing aids inimproving comprehension and recall is not so obvious. Results from research on5processing aids have generally been inconclusive. Although many studies do indicate thatthe various processing aids may assist comprehension and recall, a relatively large numberof studies show no significant effects (organizers - Barnes & Clawson, 1975; Jonassen,1982a; Luiten & Ackerson, 1980: signaling devices - Meyer, 1975; Spyridakis & Standal,1986, 1987). It may be that the processing aids are partly dependent on the learner and thesubject matter. If the reading material is too difficult for the reader, then processing aidsare likely to be of no help. Yet, if the learner finds the topic and content of the passagesufficiently easy to understand, s/he may not always need signaling and organizing aids(Jonassen, 1982a; Spyridakis & Standal, 1987). In addition, if students are not aware ofhow to use some organizational aids, these devices may not be as successful in improvingthe learning and retention of material (Goble, 1986; Kloster & Winne, 1989; Lenz, Alley &Schumaker, 1987). In view of the great need students have for help in comprehending andrecalling expository prose, further study of processing aids is warranted.Headings: An Important Processing AidAccording to the literature, one type of processing aid that is considered to be anorganizational aid (Proger, Taylor, Mann, Coulsen & Bayuk, 1970; Snavely, 1961), asignaling device (Glover & Krug, 1988; Spyridakis & Standal, 1986; Loman & Mayer,1983) and an access structure (Waller, 1979) is the category called headings. Titles,headings and subheadings all identify content and summarize it in a few words. Headingsallow the reader to perceive the organization of the text and access information from anypart (Duchastel, 1982). As a linguistic signaling device, headings announce "contentbefore the reader encounters the actual content" (Spyridakis & Standal, 1987, p. 286).Moreover, text authors and publishers can signal status of information typographically andspatially using headings. Some examples of explicit typographical signaling of headingsare varying the size of the type, or using boldface, italic and underlining to emphasizeheading levels. Because of their importance as summarizers of major themes and decoders6of the hierarchical structure, headings are usually cued by means of boldface and typesize(Glynn, Britton & Tillman, 1985). (See Rennie, Neilsen & Braun, 1981, for results oftypographical cueing on memory for superordinate structures in connected discourse).Access structures, such as headings, are signalled typographically and spatially "in order tobe spotted by the skimming, searching, or browsing reader" (Waller, 1979, p. 184).When headings are set off spatially from the rest of the passage, they stand out. Inaddition, Waller (1982) has called headings a type of macro-punctuation because headingsdelineate or mark where a particular unit of text begins and ends as well as organizing textcomponents into clear sequences and structures in a process called serialization. As aprocessing device that is thought to aid comprehension, recall and retrieval, headings seemto serve a variety of functions. Moreover, headings are a common feature in mostexpository textbook material. Therefore, it is important to take a closer look at headingsand explore the functions that headings serve the reader, especially for the elementaryschool student who is just beginning to learn the content of expository text material.Funk & Wagnalls Canadian College Dictionary (1989 edition) defines a heading asa caption or title, as of a chapter; a section or division of a subject or discourse; and assomething serving as the front or top part of anything. Therefore, headings can denote anybook titles, chapter titles, main headings, subheadings and running heads used in a piece ofexpository prose. Heading research has tended to focus on titles and headings separately.Krug, George, Hannon and Glover (1989) say, ". . . the term 'headings' refers tostatements used to subdivide a text into smaller units of related information. In our view,headings are not synonymous with titles. Titles are terms or descriptive phrases designedto provide a label or organizing concept for an entire passage" (p. 111-112). Whereheadings have been added to text in heading research, they have usually been designed torepresent superordinate concepts that subsume the information underneath or act as cues forthe superordinate idea (main idea or topic) of the paragraph or passage (Coulombe, 1986;Dee-Lucas & Di Vesta, 1980; Goble, 1986; Gibbs, 1985; King, 1985; Stables, 1985).7Because this study uses actual classroom text materials, the chapter titles and main headingsare both included in the passage selections. But, unlike Krug et al. (1989), Waller (1979)has suggested that chapter headings or titles function in the same manner as main headings(even though they are superordinate to headings, subheadings and contained passagecontents, and have a labelling capacity). Therefore, in this study, any references toheadings includes chapter titles, main headings and subheadings. Book titles, unit orsection titles and running heads are not included, however.Research on Heading FunctionsIntuitively, headings seem to be a useful aid to comprehending, accessing andrecalling text material but it is important to check out this conclusion empirically. Headingshave not been researched extensively the way paragraph abstract advance organizers have.Yet, over the last forty years, researchers have begun to explore a growing number ofdifferent aspects about heading functions. Specifically, researchers have attempted to showthat the use of headings can serve a number of functions such as:• aiding search and retrieval of information - Hartley & Trueman, 1983; Hartley &Trueman, 1985; Kobasigawa, Lacasse & MacDonald, 1988,• linking background information or prior knowledge with new ideas - Glover &Krug, 1988; Wilhite, 1988a, 1988b,• aiding comprehension or text understanding - Bransford & Johnson, 1972;Doctorow, Wittrock & Marks, 1978; Kozminsky, 1977; Spyridakis & Standel,1986,• contributing to the awareness of hierarchical organization - Brooks, Dansereau,Spurlin & Holley, 1983; Meyer, 1984; Spyridakis, 1986,• improving recognition memory - Jonassen, 1983; Spyridakis & Standel, 1987;Wilhite, 1988a, 1988b, 1989, and8• facilitating the recall of material - Brooks, Dansereau, Spurlin & Holley, 1983;Coulombe, 1986; Goble, 1986; Hartley & Trueman, 1985.Various researchers and educators have described headings as an organizational aid, a signalingdevice and access structure and have designed a variety of experiments to explore these issues.If headings could be shown to function in all these ways, then headings would be important aids,indeed, for students using expository textbook material.In spite of a growing body of heading research results, researchers have not beenable to show with any certainty that headings are consistently useful as an aid to readers.Research instead has produced mixed results showing both significant (e. g. Dee-Lucas &Di Vesta, 1980; Doctorow, Wittrock & Marks, 1978; Goble, 1986, Hartley & Trueman,1985; Holley, Dansereau, Evans, Collins, Brooks & Larsen, 1981; Wilhite, 1986a) andnon-significant (e. g. Christensen & Stordahl, 1955; Gibbs, 1985; King, 1985; Landry,1966; Robinson & Hall, 1941; Spyridakis & Standel, 1986; Stables, 1985, Wilhite,1986b) effects for the use of headings as aids in expository prose. The same mixed resultsthat were found generally for organizers and signaling aids, are found when research datafor headings are analyzed.It becomes necessary to look closer at these results to see if there are any patterns inthe findings. A review of the literature revealed that certain heading functions are moreclearly supported by significant results than others. There appears to be a considerable linkbetween amount of prior knowledge and the effectiveness of headings in comprehensionand recognition memory (Glover & Krug, 1988; Wilhite, 1988a, 1988b, 1989). Also,research results mostly support the access functions of search and retrieval and headinguse. Hartley and Trueman (1983, 1985) carried out 15 experiments exploring the effectthat absence or presence of headings had on search (with unfamiliar material) and retrieval(with previously read passages). Every experiment showed significant effects for thepresence of headings except one (p < .06). Other researchers have had similar results(Kobasigawa, Lacasse & MacDonald, 1988; Hartley & Burnhill, 1978; Jonassen & Falk,91980). [Note: The latter two experiments were citations by Hartley and Jonassen (1985)].Only two experiments, (Charrow & Redish, 1980 and Jonassen, 1983) cited by Hartleyand Jonassen (1985) failed to show significant effects for headings aiding retrieval.Headings also affect comprehension when titles are used with ambiguous text(Bransford & Johnson, 1972; Dooling & Lachman, 1971; Kozminsky, 1977; Schallert,1976). When less ambiguous or more normal text is used, the results are not so positive(Christensen, 1955; Landry, 1966; Spyridakis & Standel, 1986). Spyridakis and Standel(1986) say,That good comprehenders select and store superordinate informationhierarchically seems well established in the literature [1-4]. However, theresearch on whether signals facilitate this process is quite contradictory:some studies have found significant effects on reading comprehension whileothers have not. (p. 344)It has been very difficult to monitor comprehension directly because it is one of thoseprocesses that goes on in the reader's brain and it is hard to comment on or verify while itis actually occurring. Therefore, some type of immediate recall or recognition measure isoften substituted as an indirect way of checking comprehension and recall results becomevery important as a way to explore both memory and understanding.One possible heading function with the most controversial results is the headingresearch on the absence or presence of headings as a facilitator of recall. This researchquestion has been explored with adults resulting in significant (Glover & Krug, 1988) andnon-significant findings (Christensen & Stordahl, 1955; Hartley, Tobin & Trueman, 1987;Robinson & Hall, 1941); with high school students resulting in significant (Hartley &Trueman, 1985) and non-significant findings (Gibbs, 1985; King, 1985); with elementaryschool students leading to significant (Goble, 1986) and non-significant findings(Coulombe, 1986, Hartley & Trueman, 1985; Landry, 1966; Stables, 1985). These resultsseem completely inconsistent. Indeed, after completing a large series of recall experiments,10Hartley and Trueman (1985) concluded that headings facilitate the immediate and long termrecall of expository prose only on some passages, with some students and at some agelevels (p. 136, 138).Factors Affecting Reader Use of HeadingsTo make sense of the differing effects that headings can have on comprehensionand recall, it becomes important to look at some factors that may influence how readers useheadings, as well as ways that headings affect readers. Samuels (1983) speaks of factorsexternal to the individual and factors internal to the individual, each needing to be"examined in order to explain why readers have success or failure in reading acquisitionand comprehension" (p. 261). Pearson and Johnson (1978) have expressed similar views.Already, researchers and educators have begun to examine some possible variables thatmight affect the readers' use of headings as reading aids. They are:1) factors in the textual material such as:a) types of headings - question or statement (Hartley, Morris & Trueman, 1981;Hartley & Trueman, 1983, 1985) and amounts of headings - low, ordinary orhigh (Klare, Shuford & Nichols, 1958),b) position of headings - embedded or marginal (Hartley & Trueman, 1983,1985),c) nature of the text - easy or hard, high or low concept load, and semi-literary ortechnical (Coulombe, 1986; Gibbs, 1985; Goble, 1986; Hartley & Trueman,1985; King, 1985; Stables, 1985), and2) factors relating to the reader such as:a) age or developmental readiness (Gibbs, 1985; King, 1985; Stables, 1985),b) background knowledge brought to task (Wilhite, 1988a, 1988b, 1989),11c) preference for heading format (Hartley, Tobin & Trueman, 1987), and amountof heading format (Klare, Shufford & Nichols, 1958),d) reading proficiency and general cognitive ability (Hartley & Trueman, 1985;Hartley, Trueman & Pigram, 1984),e) awareness of heading functions - through experience, direct instruction orsensitization to headings (Coulombe, 1986; Goble, 1986; Holley et al., 1981;Kobasigawa et al., 1988).Each of these factors will be discussed in chapter 2, the review of the researchliterature on heading research. This review provides us with clues to how headings servereaders and how, what readers bring to the reading task, affects their ability to use headingcues as aids. It may be that the level and nature of the passage, the quality of the headings,and the characteristics such as age, expository prose experience, background knowledge,reading style and interest of the reader are all influential variables in whether headingsactually are used by the reader to facilitate comprehension and recall.Non-text Factors Affecting Heading UtilizationIt is crucial to take a closer look at some factors relating to the student, if teacherswish to aid upper elementary school students in processing classroom textual material. Onevariable that educators have to be concerned about is developmental readiness in childrenfor school tasks. Several heading studies have addressed this concern. Stables (1985),King (1985) and Gibbs (1985) did joint studies exploring the effects of text organizationand headings on grade 5 through 10 students' written recall of expository prose (Stables -grade 5 and 6; King - grade 7 and 8; Gibbs - grade 9 and 10). They found that the grade 5and 6 students recalled fewer superordinate and subordinate ideas and were less able toorganize their recalls on easy and at-grade passages than the grade 8, 9 and 10 students didon their easy and at-grade passage recalls (Stables, 1985). Parallel experiments by Goble12(1986) and Coulombe (1986) showed that the grade 5 students who received instruction onheading use as an aid to the macrostructure had significantly greater recall and betterorganization than the control group, while the grade 4 students in a similar experiment didnot. Lastly, Hartley and Trueman (1985) did a series of experiments consisting of 14 and15 year olds using both a hard and an easy passage, and 11 and 12 year olds using only aneasy passage. Headings significantly affected recall for the older students on both passagesbut did not significantly affect the younger students' recall. Each of these researchers havementioned the possibility of developmental effects. However, this may not mean that thechildren are cognitively unready for the tasks that are required.Rather than being cognitively immature, failure of young children in elementaryschool to use headings may be the result of a lack of experience and exposure to features inexpository prose. Baumann (1981b) in his work on ideational prominence has suggestedthat older readers with their added experience with expository prose have well-developedschemata for nonfictional prose that aids them in comprehending the material. Youngerchildren, however, have poorly developed schemata for expository prose and yet havedeveloped the skill to comprehend central themes in narrative prose. Baumann (1981b)concludes that it is lack of experience with the genre rather than lack of cognitive readinessfor the task that affects students ability to select important from unimportant information.The third possible factor relating to the reader is student awareness of how to useheadings to improve comprehension and recall. It would appear that most researchers andteachers assume that headings in text are a self-evident feature. This author made a briefscan of recent texts (last 10 years) for teaching reading in the University of BritishColumbia's Educational Curriculum Library and found scant or no mention of headings intheir indexes. Only one book referred to headings as part of a study strategy. Also, theinvestigator searched through the teacher's guides for British Columbian prescribed grade4 and 5 reading material. There was no reference made about teaching children how to useheadings. Obviously, this scan was not exhaustive. However, it does tend to suggest that13teachers might not be sensitizing children to headings in an explicit manner. (Only teachersand school librarians, who teach childern how to search for information using titles ofbooks or headings in the table of contents, have mentioned explicit instructions). Thefocus of headings in non-search situations seems to be on content or meaning, rather thanlearning to use headings as a text processing aid. It is probably true that many childreneventually do learn to use headings more effectively as they mature and become moreexperienced with expository text. Readers may benefit from headings even if they are notconsciously aware of heading functions. The question that becomes important for theteacher to ask is whether students would find it easier to comprehend and recall expositoryprose in their content area subjects if the students were made metacognitively aware ofheading functions and strategies.Developing Student Awareness of Heading FunctionsOnly a few studies have focused on direct instruction of headings and their resultsare mixed. Holley, Dansereau, Evans, Collins, Brooks and Larsen (1981) found that "nobenefit accrued to students on the basis of training: however, limitations of this finding arediscussed in terms of the amount of training provided and the time available to the studentsfor integrating the new strategies with their existing techniques" (p. 227). Brooks,Dansereau, Spurlin and Holley (1983), on the other hand, in their second experiment,observed that the adult subjects who received instruction plus headings significantlyoutperformed the headings only group on essay recall and had better but not significantperformances on the outlines test. Coulombe (1986) discovered that direct instruction forgrade 4 students "significantly enhanced students' organization of written recall but did notfacilitate an increase in the number of ideas recalled" (p.^Because the at-grade or aboveaverage students did best, Coulombe suspects a lack of mental maturity on the part of somegrade four students in using headings. Goble (1986) found that direct instruction focusingon headings and organization of propositions in text improved scores for quantity and14organization of ideas in delayed recall amongst grade five students. In spite of the mixedresults, all four researchers indicated that heading instruction would be worthwhile. Inview of the difficulty upper elementary children have with main idea comprehension andtheir lack of familiarity with hierarchical expository structure, providing direct instructionfor heading use at the intermediate grade level as part of the lessons on learning to readexpository prose might be very beneficial. In any case, further research on directinstruction of headings is definitely warranted.One direction that reading instruction has taken lately is in aiding students inbecoming active readers. Rather than just teaching skills to students, educators suggest thatteachers need to teach the children strategies for comprehending text. Schmitt (1990)agrees. Strategy instruction involves making students metacognitively aware of theirlearning and encourages the students to choose effective strategies to accomplish theirreading goals. Some of the advantages of strategy instruction are that children learn tomonitor their own reading, are not as teacher dependent, can transfer strategies from onetext to the next and can use strategies if they are advantageous and omit strategies whenthey are not needed. Strategies give the students choices, or options and this leads to asense of control over learning. Although the reading literature does not specify headingstrategies, there are some comprehension improving strategies that include the use ofheadings and have been shown to be successful (Lysynchuk, Pressley & Vye, 1990;Pressley, Johnson, Symons, McGoldrick & Kurita, 1989; Taylor, 1982; Taylor & Beach,1984). (Comprehension strategies that involve the use of headings will henceforth bereferred to as heading strategies). Some of these strategies are: using headings to linkwith prior knowledge, making predictions about the material to be read based on scanningthe main and subheadings in the chapter, using headings to help in locating the mostimportant ideas in the passages and turning heading statements into questions to set apurpose for reading. To date, no one has studied the effects on comprehension and recall15of expository prose when students use a number of heading strategies. Therefore, thesecond part of this study will attempt to assess these effects.Features of the StudyOne condition that is crucial to examine is heading recall using actual content areatext material. Contrived text has been shown to be simpler for students in understandingmain ideas (Hare, Rabinowitz & Schieble, 1989). Kamil (1984), when discussing furthertrends in reading research, says that it "becomes increasingly difficult to defend readingresearch studies that do not have ecological validity. Educational researchers will be evermore concerned about instructional relevance in their studies of reading" (p. 52-53). Thisstudy attempts to improve the ecological (classroom environment) validity by usingpassages selected from actual prescribed or authorized textbook material (therefore, thecontent is somewhat predetermined) and by presenting tasks that teachers might assign in aclassroom situation (Bronfenbrenner, 1976). Although children are involved in a myriadof tasks in their content area subjects, a read and recall type of task is commonly used.Teachers often ask children to read a number of pages from the textbook and then recall theinformation later when answering questions, applying information or writing an exam(Green & Nicol, 1985). Therefore, the researcher will attempt to duplicate a typicalclassroom activity so the findings will be somewhat generalizeable to other classroomcontent area reading conditions.This study attempts to supplement two quantitative experiments: one in thecontroversial area of the presence of headings as facilitators of recall (Hartley & Trueman,1985) and the other in the area of heading instruction (Goble, 1986).Hartley and Trueman (1985) carried out a series of studies involving the presenceor absence of headings in their seventeen experiments on headings. Although they foundthat the presence of headings significantly aided the 14 and 15 year olds in immediate recallon both easy and difficult expository selections, the 11 and 12 year olds were not16significantly affected by the presence of headings. Hartley and Trueman hypothesized thatthese findings suggest "a developmental trend in the ability of children to use headings toaid recall" (p. 140) and thought there was a need for similar studies at the elementaryschool level to confirm or repudiate their findings. Although there have been at least nineheadings studies done at the elementary level (Coulombe, 1986; Doctorow, Wittrock &Marks, 1978; Goble, 1986; Hartley & Trueman, 1985; Hartley, Trueman & Pigram, 1984;Jonassen, Hartley & Trueman, 1985; Kobasigawa et al., 1988; Landry, 1966; Stables,1985), only the Hartley and Trueman (1985) study focused solely on recall of text whenheadings were present or absent. Therefore, a partial replication of the Hartley andTrueman (1985) study, focusing on recall by 11-12 year old students, might be useful.Goble (1986) did a study that showed how grade 5 students (10-11 year olds), withthe aid of direct heading instruction, significantly recalled more information and organizedthe material better than students who read expository prose with headings but no directinstruction. Goble's study makes the developmental theory, that eleven and twelve yearolds might not be cognitively ready, seem less likely and her research suggests that theremight be value in directly instructing students in heading use. Therefore, furtherexploration is definitely warranted.Direct instruction experiments have a number of practical and methodologicalproblems, however. They take up a considerable amount of time which makes it hard tofind willing school administrators and limits the number of classes that one researcher canhandle. Classes usually must be kept intact and therefore random assignment by individualstudents is not possible. These kind of experiments are potentially opened to Hawthorneand John Henry effects, researcher bias and are also much harder to control for extraneousvariables. In addition, it is hard to determine in advance how much instruction is necessaryto teach the required concepts and there is no assurance that students will use theinformation they have been taught in the research test situation. (Taylor, 1982, says thatstrategies have to be performed really well in order to show an effect.) Therefore, it was17decided that a study, which insured that students used some heading strategies, would helpto supplement the information gained from the Goble (1986) study on the value of directinstruction of headings. The second part of the present study explores students' ability toimprove recall of expository prose when the students are directed to use heading strategies.This present study will use grade 5 students because both Goble (1986) and theHartley and Trueman (1985) experiments have eleven year olds in common. In addition,this grade was chosen because, by grade 5, most children have at least been exposed toexpository prose and yet might need some sensitization to strategies for comprehending andrecalling content area reading material more easily. Although headings are used in allcontent area subjects, social studies text material of an information-classification type wasselected because this type was used in both the Coulombe (1986) and Goble (1986)studies. Catterson (1990) says, "Current social studies texts are perhaps the most commonexemplars of information centred prose" (p. 557).In summary, this study is an experiment to see if quantity and type of informationrecalled are significantly improved, firstly by the addition of headings, and secondly, whenchildren are made aware of heading strategies and are asked to use these strategies whenreading a selection from a British Columbia authorized social studies textbook.PURPOSE OF THE STUDYThis study was designed to investigate the effects of three conditions:a) absence of headings,b) presence of headings, andc) presence of headings and heading strategy instructionson the quantity and type of delayed written free recall and main idearecall/formulation of grade 5 students when they read an expository passageselected from a British Columbia authorized social studies textbook.18NULL HYPOTHESESThe following null hypotheses were established to study the research questions:Hoi: There will be no significant differences among the mean scores on thedelayed written posttests for the two experimental groups (treatment group 2- headings without heading strategy instructions and treatment group 3 -headings with heading strategy instructions) and the control group(treatment group 1 - no headings and no heading strategy instructions) onthe following dependent variables:a - quantity of superordinate or main ideas in free recallb - quantity of subordinate ideas or supporting ideas in free recallc - quantity of sub-subordinate ideas or details in free recalld - total score on free recall test (a, b, and c)e - accuracy of main idea recall/formulationf - total score for free recall and main idea recall/formulation testsHo2: There will be no significant differences among the mean scores on thedelayed written posttests of each specific reading comprehension level(higher, middle or lower) for the two experimental groups (treatment group2 - headings without heading strategy instructions and treatment group 3 -headings with heading strategy instructions) and the control group(treatment group 1 - no headings and no heading strategy instructions) onthe following dependent variables:a - quantity of superordinate or main ideas in free recallb - quantity of subordinate ideas or supporting ideas in free recallc - quantity of sub-subordinate ideas or details in free recall19d - total score on free recall test (a, b, and c)e - accuracy of main idea recall/formulationf - total score for free recall and main idea recall/formulation testsHo3: There will be no significant interaction between reading comprehensionability level (higher, middle and lower) and treatment (treatment group 1- noheadings and no heading strategy instruction; treatment group 2- headingswithout heading strategy instruction; treatment group 3 - headings withheading strategy instruction) on the delayed written posttests on thefollowing dependent variables:a - quantity of superonlinate or main ideas in free recallb - quantity of subordinate ideas or supporting ideas in free recallc - quantity of sub-subordinate ideas or details in free recalld - total score on free recall test (a, b, and c)e - accuracy of main idea recall/formulationf - total score for free recall and main idea recall/formulation testsSIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDYThis study has significance for students, educators and publishers. Firstly, if it canbe shown (in this study plus replications in other studies) that headings in textbook materialcan act as an effective processing aid in recalling expository prose, educators andpublishers would be justified in continuing and extending the use of headings on textmaterial. Secondly, if it is further shown that headings are more effectively used whenchildren are given heading strategies instruction, then educators might want to considerteaching upper elementary students ways to use headings that could help improve thechildren's comprehension and recall, thus making the textbook material more20understandable. Publishers of teacher guides to teaching reading might consider writingexplicit instructions for teaching teachers how to instruct students in heading strategies use.Finally, if there are no significant differences amongst the three groups, then lack ofdevelopmental readiness must be seriously considered along with the idea that headingsmay simply not function as recall aids in expository prose. In any case, these resultscombined with similar studies, have important implications for children, teachers andpublishers.DEFINITIONSFor the purpose of this study, specific terms are defined as follows:Access structures: A variety of features of text design that help readers to find theirway around or to help gain access to complex text (Waller, 1979, cited in Hartley &Trueman, 1985, p. 101).Advance organizers: "Material that is presented 'in advance of and at a higher levelof generality, inclusiveness and abstraction than the learning task itself ", (Lenz,Alley & Schumaker, 1987, p. 54, cited in Ausubel & Robinson, 1969, p. 606).Cloze test or inventory: The doze technique involves deleting words from apassage at constant intervals (e.g., delete every seventh word in the text that is notthe first or last sentence). The student is asked to fill in the missing words on thedoze test.. This task is viewed as one type of a comprehension test.Cognition: The actual thinking strategies and processes used by an individual(Barina, 1989, p. 25). The thinking strategies may or may not be at a consciouslevel.Comprehension: Refers to understanding text the way the author stresses theinformation and not to selective comprehension based on specific reader needs.21Content area reading material: The textbooks, resource books, pamphlets andhandouts required to learn information in specific school subject areas such asSocial Studies or Science.Delayed recall: Recall that does not occur immediately after exposure to the readingmaterial. The delay is usually from one to seven days later but can be as short asone intervening activity.Discourse: Connected communication of thought. Although discourse is languagethat can be spoken or written, this study makes reference only to written discourse.Expository prose: Refers, in this study, to written (rather than oral) discourse thatexplains, comments on or interprets subject matter.Gist: The main idea of the paragraph or passage. The gist, main ideas ormacropropositions are found at the top or superordinate levels of the text (Meyer,1984).Headings: Refers to chapter titles, main headings, and subheadings in connectedprose.Heading strategies: Comprehension strategies that involve the use of headingshave been called heading strategies in this study because the focus is on headingseffects.Hierarchical structure: Involves a hierarchy of ideas found in expository prose.The most important or superordinate ideas are usually (but not always) located atthe top of a passage. They are followed by supporting ideas and then by details(Vacca & Vacca, 1986, p. 31).Ideational prominence: The hypothesis is that ideas most central to a text or ideasthat are found in the upper echelons of a passage hierarchy are most memorable(Baumann, 1981b, p. 49).Immediate recall: May be either free recall or cued recall performed immediatelyafter exposure to the reading material.22Information/classification text: (Also referred to as Descriptive in Coulombe,1986) . This is a term used by Coulombe and Goble in their 1986 studies. Theydefine it as expository material that organizes and presents information on theattributes, specifics, explanation or settings of a particular topic. This definition wasadapted from Meyer (1984). Meyer (1984) states that description relationships areone of five basic rhetorical relationships in the content structure (p. 114-115).Information centred prose: According to Catterson (1990), information centredprose is a type of school textbook prose that is centered on information (as opposedto process or concept centered prose) in which the author's main chapter topic andsubtopics are labels for categories of information. Catterson (1990) says, "Currentsocial studies texts are perhaps the most common exemplars of information centredprose" (p. 557). Based on Catterson (1990), Coulombe (1986) and Goble's (1986)information/classification text material fits into Catterson's information centredprose text type which is one type of classification macrostructure.Instantiating schema: A process where elements in the situation are bound to slotsin relevant schema (Adams & Collins, 1985, p. 406-407).Macrostructure: The structure of text at the level of the whole passage or series oflinked paragraphs.Main ideas: Also referred to as superordinate ideas, are those ideas that are found atthe top levels of the expository prose hierarchy.Metacognition: Cognition about cognition, knowledge about one's own thinkingprocesses (Weinert & Kluwe, 1987, p. xi).Microstructure: The "local level of the discourse, that is, the structure of theindividual propositions and their relations" (Kintsch & van Dijk, 1978, p. 365).Narrative prose: Passages that tell a story. Prose containing a narrative structurethat includes six components: setting, initiating events, internal response, attempt,23consequence and reaction (Dishner et al., 1986, P. 235 cites Mandler & Johnson,1977).Organizational aids: Format features which are built into the text to facilitatereading (Vacca & Vacca, 1986, p. 31).Prior knowledge or background knowledge: All the knowledge andunderstanding that a reader has in long term memory and brings to the reading task.This includes concepts, beliefs, expectations and processes.Prose: Refers to written language that consists of sentences that are thematicallyconnected. Discourse (written) is an alternative reference for the word prose.(Voss, Tyler & Bisanz, 1982, p. 351).Recall: Reader's memory for text. It includes free recall where the reader is asked toremember as much of the passage as possible and cued recall where questions areasked and the reader must remember the required information from the text.Recognition memory: Remembering due to identifying or knowing, as byprevious experience or knowledge. Multiple-choice and matching tests are basedon recognition memory.Retrieval: To look for information in familiar or recently read text.Schema: Describes a "particular class of concepts and is composed of a hierarchy ofschemata embedded within schemata. The representation at the top of the hierarchyis sufficiently general to capture the essential aspects of all members of the class"(Adams & Collins, 1985, p.406).Schemata: Schemata is the plural form of the word schema. Anderson, Spiro &Anderson (1978) defme schemata as "mental structures that incorporate generalknowledge ..." (p. 434) Mavrogenes (1983) discusses two types of schemata. Herefers to the knowledge of rhetorical structures or the conventions for organizingtext as textual schemata. Schemata can also refer to the reader's existing knowledgeof real or imaginary worlds and are called content schemata (p. 197).24Search: To look for information in unfamiliar material or material that has not beenread recently.Sensitization: Sensitization refers to the teaching procedures used to increase thelearner's awareness of the functions of headings (adapted from Coulombe, 1986,p. 11). In this research, sensitization will also be referred to as direct instruction.Signaling devices or text signals: Linguistic signaling devices refer toplacement of noncontent words in the passage to emphasize the conceptual structureor organization of the passage (Loman & Mayer, 1983, p. 402). Other signalingdevices use spatial and typographic means to emphasize the conceptual structure ofthe passage.Strategy: A flexible plan for carrying out a sequence of activities to accomplish a taskefficiently as well as effectively.Story structure: A structure found in stories which is made up of a setting, a plotand a theme (Vacca & Vacca, 1986, p. 36).Subordinate ideas: The middle levels of the expository prose hierarchy; alsoreferred to as supporting ideas.Sub-subordinate ideas: The lowest levels of the expository prose hierarchy; alsoreferred to as specific details (adapted from Niles (k. Catterson, 1972).Superordinate ideas: Refers to ideas that are at the top level of the hierarchicalstructure and are considered to be the main or central ideas of the passage or textsegment.Text: Written discourse (aggregate of words) in printed form (Jonassen, 1982b).Although the terms text and textbook are often used synonymously, the usage ofthe term text, in this study, refers to the broader definition of text as a printeddiscourse of any length.Verbatim recall: When students are asked to recall a piece of text in as much detail,and as close to the author's wording, as possible.25ORGANIZATION OF THE THESISThe thesis is organized in five chapters. The first chapter discusses the backgroundinformation, the rationale, and the nature of the thesis problem. Chapter 2 reviews therelevant literature concerning three major themes: the functions of headings incomprehension and recall, factors that affect heading effectiveness, and reader awarenessof how to use headings effectively. Chapter 3 describes the design and plannedmethodology of the study plus methological choices and limitations. Any methodologicalchanges in the actual study and the results of the analysis of the data are presented inchapter 4. The fifth chapter summarizes the study, presents a discussion of the researchfindings, recommends possible directions for future research and suggests implications ofthe research.SUMMARYThe chapter opened with a statement of the research problem. This problemevolved from a more general problem found in elementary classrooms. It was shown thatchildren in the upper grades of the elementary school have difficulty understanding andrecalling expository prose information from content area textbooks. Because of thedifficulty learners have in obtaining information from such textbooks, educational writershave included a number of processing aids in textbooks to assist the learner. Some of theseprocessing devices are called organizational aids, signaling aids and access structures. Oneaid, headings, was isolated for further study because it seemed to have a number ofprocessing functions and was often used by textbook authors. An overview of theavailable research on the function of headings was presented. Although there was clearevidence for the effectiveness of headings as access structures (search and retrieval), theevidence for heading effects on comprehension and recall were more ambiguous.26Therefore, a plan for a research study was developed in order to explore the controversialarea of heading effects on recall. The chapter included the statement of the null hypothesesand definition of key terms. The review of the literature is presented in chapter 2.27CHAPTER TWOReview of the LiteratureINTRODUCTIONThis chapter presents the relevant literature in heading research that has beengathered from a number of fields, especially cognitive psychology, text technology, textanalysis and reading. Details of the research studies will be presented and some referenceswill be made to the views of the researchers so that the studies will be put into a moremeaningful context. Although the main emphasis in this research will be on recall, chapter2 also discusses heading research related to comprehension. Recall, to be useful in theschool setting, must involve both comprehension and remembering. Moreover, recallmeasures often reflect the amount of understanding that took place as well as the ability ofthe student to remember information. By looking at the heading research that exploreseither comprehension or recall, the reader should gain more insight into the nature of howheadings function.In the literature review, three major themes or issues emerged as important areas forfurther study. First, there was the need to thoroughly explore possible functions that thepresence of headings might serve readers in their attempts to comprehend and recallexpository prose. Next, it became necessary to explore heading research on reader and textfactors that might explain some of the controversy that arose over the effectiveness ofheadings as an aid to comprehension and recall of expository prose. Finally, one factor,awareness of heading functions, was selected as a potential way to improve theeffectiveness of headings as aids to comprehension and recall of expository prose. Thisfactor was chosen as it seemed likely that headings were underutilized by grade 5 studentsbecause of their lack of awareness about heading functions. Therefore, the last theme to be28ClarifystructureRetrievalto new textfrom textexplored in chapter 2 is reader awareness of heading uses and the readers' ability to useheadings effectively.FUNCTION OF HEADINGS IN COMPREHENSION AND RECALLFew actual studies have been conducted on the topic of heading effects at theelementary school level. This section of the literature review will present information froma larger set of heading studies that will help to shed light on the possible functions thatheadings might serve readers in their comprehension and recall of expository prose.Hartley and Jonassen (1985, p. 240) diagrammed possible heading functions in thefollowing manner:Figure 2.01 - Graphic Heading on Information-Processing Functions of HeadingsFunctions of headingszEncod\ing^ AccessRelate toprior knowledgeGenerating one'sown headingscu[e]ing recall ^ from memory29Although Hartley and Jonassen present both encoding and access functions, themajor thrust of this research is that part of the diagram shown in bold print. The encodingfunctions of relating to prior knowledge and clarifying structure aid comprehension. Theretrieval function of cueing recall from memory is one aspect of recall. Each will bediscussed separately but it is important to note that they interact with each other.Link to Prior KnowledgeMuch has been said recently in the field of reading about the importance of priorknowledge as an aid to understanding text material (Pace, Marshall, Horowitz, Lipson &Lucido, 1989; Rowe & Rayford, 1987). Headings are thought to serve as are activators ofprior knowledge (Brooks et al., 1983; Glover & Krug, 1988; Holley et al., 1981; KrugGeorge, Hannon & Glover, 1989; Wilhite, 1988b). Hartley and Jonassen (1985) state, "Inorder to make sense of what we read, we have to relate what we read to what we alreadyknow. Our memories contain interrelated networks of concepts (schemata or scripts) thatrepresent objects, events, situations, and ideas. We use these networks to help us interpretand assign meaning to information in text, to make inferences, and to relate newinformation to previously-acquired knowledge" (p. 239). Headings are thought to functionas cueing devices to provide a context for each passage that follows. Hartley and Jonassen(1985) suggest that, "Headings can activate appropriate networks (schemata or scripts)which in turn act as a context for comprehending what is presented" (p. 239).Krug, George, Hannon and Glover (1989) are more cautious in concluding thatheadings aid in the activation of prior knowledge. They offer two hypotheses. Krug et al.(1989) say:From one point of view, headings would seem to operate via a schemaactivation process in which the headings activate relevant content schemata.These activated schemata then guide reading and serve as heuristics for theassimilation of text material. ... Another plausible hypothesis, however,focuses not on encoding but on retrieval. That is, headings may functionas retrieval cues at the time of testing. ... In this view, headings do not so30much guide encoding as they do retrieval. A contrast of these twohypotheses, however, shall require additional research. (p. 120)In exploring the first hypothesis, Krug et al. (1989) say,A ... difficulty with past research is the absence of a theoretical explanationfor the effect of headings. The most logical accounting appears in theliterature examining the effect of 'schema activation' (e. g., Rowe &Rayford, 1987). A schema can be described as a mental framework ontowhich a reader places ideas in a given hierarchical order. The mostsuperordinate ideas would be placed at the apex of the schema andsubordinate ideas would be placed on lower parts of the structure inrelationship to their corresponding superordinate counterparts. (p. 113)Krug et al. (1989) make a distinction between form schemata and content schemata. Theysay,Form schemata are abstract in nature, in that they deal with the general formof things. For example, the form schema for a textbook would includeideas such as a table of contents, an introduction, and a series of chapters.Content schemata, in contrast, are more concrete and less abstract. Atextbook's content schema, for example, could consist of the topics of theindividual chapters (e. g. behaviorism). (p. 113)Krug and colleagues (1989) considered headings a type of content schemata. Theyreasoned, "Since headings are presented separately, they do not inform the reader of thestructure or form of the essay, but activate only knowledge relating to the specific segmentsof text they precede. In other words, each heading activates a content schema for therelevant segment of text" (p. 113).In order to decide if headings function as activators of prior knowledge and thus aidcomprehension of textual material, it is important to look at research that has been carriedout on this topic. Glover and Krug (1988) and Wilhite (1988a, 1988b, 1989) haveconducted research that explores this subject. Each study will be described in some detail.Although Wilhite has written a number of articles (1987, 1988a, 1988b, 1989), allthese articles are based on two experiments that he conducted on headings as activators of31prior knowledge. In the first experiment, Wilhite (1988b) hypothesized that, "If headingsdo encourage memory for passage information by activating schemas as an organizationalframework for the encoding of the material ... then only subjects who possess the relevantschemas, as assessed by some measure of preexisting knowledge about the passage topic,should benefit from the inclusion of headings in the text" (p. 216). In his experiment, 116college students who were enrolled in an introductory psychology class were asked to reada 1,760 word passage on human sexuality. Fifty-five students read a passage version withheadings added and 61 students read the passage version without headings. Prior toreading the test passage, all students had completed a prior knowledge test on humansexuality that consisted of eight multiple-choice questions based on low-level detailinformation from the research passage. Results, using a 2 x 2 MANCOVA to obtaininformation on any significant differences, supported his hypothesis. Only highpreexisting knowledge students significantly benefitted from the inclusion of headings.Wilhite (1988b) says that, "This finding supports the suggestion that part of the beneficialeffect of headings derives from their tendency to activate relevant schemas in the readerduring the encoding of the passage material" (p. 223). Furthermore, Wilhite (1988a)states:The fact that headings did not significantly affect the performance of thesubjects in the low pre-existing knowledge group suggests that otherpossible influences of headings in terms of promoting the interrelating ofconcepts and the use of the headings as retrieval cues (Brooks et al., 1983)did not operate for the subjects with low pre-existing knowledge. Thispossibility that headings did not encourage the interrelating of concepts andthe use of the headings as retrieval cues by the low pre-existing knowledgegroup is consistent with the assumption that the effectiveness of headings inpromoting these operations is somewhat dependent on the headingssuccessfully activating pre-existing knowledge about the topic. (p. 3-4)In the second experiment that was conducted on headings and prior knowledge,Wilhite improved the design of the study by eliminating the need for a prior knowledgepretest. Instead, he selected his groups in a manner that was independent of the test32situation. The high prior knowledge group consisted of 43 college students who wererecruited from a psychology course on learning and memory. The remaining 51 collegestudents were obtained from psychology courses that had not been taught any learning andmemory theory to date. The results were similar to the results of the first experiment. Onlythose students with high preexisting knowledge were able to use headings to significantlyfacilitate answering main-idea retention test questions. Wilhite (1989) concludes, "Theresults of both experiments are consistent with the suggestion that part of the beneficialeffect of headings derives from their tendency to activate relevant prior knowledge in thereader and that low-knowledge readers may thus have difficulty in using headings asorganizational aids in the comprehension and retention of passage information" (p. 116-117).The topic of headings and prior knowledge has also been explored by John Gloverand Damon Krug. They designed a study (Glover & Krug, 1988) to explore theeffectiveness of outlines and headings in assisting students to identify false statements intext. Glover and Krug (1988) explain, "In our view, headings in text should, like outlines,activate relevant schemata in readers and guide their comprehension of text ... . From thisperspective, students should be better able to identify false statements in texts containingheadings than in texts without headings" (p. 302). Furthermore, "... headings aredistributed throughout the text and seem to be more likely to activate relevant schemata ateach appropriate location in text. It may be the distributed nature of headings would lead togreater facilitation of students' ability to identify false statements" (p. 303).In their experiment, 60 students from grade 10 and 11, all of whom had showngood previous knowledge of the topic as assessed on a history test, were randomlyassigned to two treatment groups. All students read a 2,500-word passage on Europeanhistory in which 15 statements had been reworded to make false statements. Variousfurther changes were made to produce several passage conditions: outlines only, headingsonly, both headings and outline, and the control passage with no headings or outline.33The results, using a one-way analysis of variance, indicated a significant differenceamong conditions (F(3,59)=45.52, p<.01, MSe=4.52). One of the results that theresearchers found, using the Tukey HSD procedure, was that both headings and outlinessignificantly facilitated the students' ability to detect false statements in text. As a result,Glover & Krug (1988) surmise that, "... outlines and headings serve to activate relevantschemata. These activated schemata then serve as heuristics that guide the encoding of textinformation. Those segments of text that disagree with prior knowledge are discriminatedfrom the remaining content and identified as false or at least incongruent statements" (p.305).Some researchers have found that headings can fail to aid comprehension eventhough they have activated prior knowledge. Pace, Marshall, Horowitz, Lipson andLucido (1989) found that headings occasionally activate prior knowledge that in some wayconflicts with the new material to be processed. This information then interferes with thenew material that follows. Krug et al. (1989) cites Swans (1980) who concluded thatheadings can sometimes be misleading and headings can "impair text processing if theywere not carefully constructed" (p. 112). Although these studies show negative effects forheadings, they do continue to support the hypothesis that headings do make a link withprior knowledge.Sometimes headings fail to activate prior knowledge. The experiments of Wilhite(1988a, 1988b, 1989) consistently showed that headings were ineffective when the readersdid not have sufficient prior knowledge on the topic. As a result, headings were unable toaid comprehension of text material. Brooks (1983) points out that:... even with unfamiliar material, the content of outline/headings may triggeroff prior schemata. However, it would be expected that these schematawould represent bits and pieces from a variety of higher order schemata, asopposed to a coherent framework. So, although one might certainly expectsome facilitation of performance due to effects on input processes, it seemsprobable that the effectiveness of schematic cues with relatively unfamiliarmaterial will depend on the acquisition and subsequent usage of the cues infurther comprehension, storage, retrieval, and respondings. (p. 293)34In summary, the hypothesis that headings may function as activators of priorknowledge seems to be promising. Headings would appear to be more useful if they relateto something that is familiar in the reader's background knowledge and something that doesnot conflict with the reader's world view. Once prior knowledge has been activated orrecalled, it can then be used to assist the reader in comprehension.Clarifying Structure to Improve ComprehensionOne way that headings were shown to aid comprehension was by acting as a link toprior knowledge. A second way that headings might improve understanding orcomprehension is through clarifying the structure of the textual material that follows (seeFigure 2.01). Taylor (1982) claims that, "... recent research supports the notion thatsensitivity to text structure is an important component in text comprehension and textproduction processes" (p. 324). Englert and Hiebert (1984) agree with Taylor. They state,as a result of their study, that "... these data and those reported in other studies support thenotion that knowledge of text structure aids comprehension" (p. 72). Furthermore, Englertand Hiebert (1984) say, "... the use of text structure is a necessary strategic skill incomprehending text" (p. 71). Meyer, Brandt and Bluth, (1980) also found that their datashowed "a strong relationship between comprehension skills and use of the top-levelstructure in text" (p. 96). If being sensitive to and using the text structure are useful waysto improve ones' comprehension, then it is important to see if headings function to clarifytext structure and if that, in turn, aids comprehension.When authors write informational material, they need to organize the ideas that theywish to express in some sort of order. Moreover, they need to decide what ideas will bediscussed in detail and what ideas will be mentioned briefly in passing. Authors also needto unify their ideas under a cohesive theme. In expository prose, headings are frequentlyused to aid authors to make their organization explicit. Meyer (1985) says that a writerchanges a network of ideas into a hierarchy representing the author's perspective of the35topic (p. 65). Moreover, Meyer suggests that, "due to readers' limited capacity toremember ... everything in text and their need to selectively forget some information,writers must cue readers into viewing some information as more important to rememberthan other information" (p. 66). Headings are believed to help show the author'sorganization by signalling upcoming content that the author wishes to express and makingthe major and minor themes to be discussed clear. [Kozminsky (1977) discusses how thegoal of the task can change a reader's focus. Throughout this thesis, it is assumed that it isthe author's organizational focus that is the required task.]In the Rationale of chapter 1, signalling aids and organizational aids have beendefined. In this chapter, studies that explore headings as general organizational andsignalling aids will be presented. As some heading studies examine specific aspects of textstructure, these will be discussed according to Lee's classification (1965). Lee (1965)isolated three major aspects involved in the specification of supraparagraph prose structure:• Unity: paragraphs which deal with the same thing should be placed together in thepassage.• Sequence: means that units (paragraphs) may have a logical or natural ordering andwell-organized passages use an appropriate sequence.• Hierarchy: some ideas are found at a higher, more encompassing level than othersand this hierarchical structure is not always explicit.Each of these major aspects of text structure will be considered when looking atheading studies. However, these categories will be referred to as theme representingunity, order representing sequence and hierarchical levels representing hierarchy.Headings as a General Organizational and Signalling AidsJonassen (1985) believes that signalling the structure of the passage helps to clarifythe content of the passage. He says, "... the more clearly and explicitly we indicate theoverall structure of a passage, the more likely readers are to comprehend the content of the36passage. If we activate the right schemata, or scripts, in the readers, they will better followthe flow of a passage and anticipate what will come next, as well as providing ideationalanchors that will help readers retrieve information that they have read and remembered" (p.59-60). "... in order to reduce ambiguity and misunderstanding, the author needs toexplicitly signal the structure of a passage. The intent of the signaling is to clarify thecontent of the passage. ... Since information high in the passage structure is better recalled,and since recall of it facilitates recall of information of lower structural importance (details),it is important to explicate the overall structure of the passage for the reader" (p. 60).Headings are a type of organizational aid that signals information linguistically orsemantically (Meyer, 1975; van Dijk, 1979) and typographically (Waller, 1979; Wilson,Pfister & Fleury, 1981). "Signaling is information in text that does not add new content ona topic, but that gives emphasis to certain aspects of the semantic content or points outaspects of the structure of the content ..." (p. 76). Meyer (1985) considers headings ortitles as one kind of preview statement and she says of preview statements:This type of signaling prematurely reveals information abstracted fromcontent occurring later in the text. It uses the same words or paraphrasingto state information toward the beginning of a passage or paragraph that isdeveloped more fully later in the text. It is often seen in titles andintroductory sentences of passages or paragraphs. This superordinateinformation is abstracted out and presented prior to its discussion in detail inthe text. (p. 77)Meyer suggests that writers of informational material can use tides and subtitles to focus onmain ideas and explicitly signal the structure in the following manner: "... a text with aproblem/solution plan explaining how breeder reactors can solve the energy crisis shouldbe titled 'Nuclear Breeder Reactors: A Solution to the Energy Crisis' rather than 'FastBreeder Reactors.' "(p. 85). Wilson, Pfister & Fleury (1981) discuss headings as onetype of typographic cueing device. They say, "The process in which format and layoutassist the reader is often referred to in the literature as 'cu[e]ing'. Such variables as37headings and underlining, typesize, indentation, and paragraph structure all act to cue thereader on where he is in relation to the overall organization of the text, and what is ofgreatest importance on that page. The use of headings and underlining serves to accentuateselected elements in printed text with the expectation of improving learner acquisition andretention. Both are used to draw a learner's attention to information an author considersimportant for the task at hand" (p. 26).Researchers have clearly perceived that headings should function as a generalorganizer and a signalling aid. However, the results from research studies on headings asorganizational aids and signalling devices have not been particularly positive.• Robinson and Hall (1941) used 205 college students who took part in this researchas part of their educational psychology course. The material to be read was takenfrom Russian and Canadian history. One group read the Russian passage withheadings included and the Canadian passage with headings removed. The secondgroup read the same passages but the headings or lack of headings were reversed.The passages were written by the same editorial source and were consideredhomogeneous. The results of this experiment showed no significant effect for thepresence of headings.• Christensen and Stordahl (1955) had 9 flights of basic air-force trainees (who wererandomly assigned to groups) read two passages with headings and withoutheadings among other conditions. Using a3x3x2x2 factorial design, theresearchers explored 36 versions of organizational aids. On the multiple-choiceposttests that were administered immediately after completion of each passage, nosignificant effects were found for the presence of headings at the .05 alpha level ofsignificance. Christensen and Stordahl (1955) say, "Clearly, one can say that theorganizational aids used in this experiment did not effect comprehension asmeasured by the comprehension tests" (p. 73).38• Landry (1966) explored the effects of headings versus no headings plus three otherorganizational aids with 314 grade 5 students. The students were randomlyassigned to each treatment group. The headings plus the other organizational aidshad no effect on general comprehension and immediate recall nor on main idea ordetail concept recall.• Doctorow, Wittrock and Marks (1978) explored generative processes incomprehension with 488 grade 6 students using both a multiple-choice testadministered immediately after reading the passage and a doze test given one weeklater. Two of the treatments were the presence of single and two word headings butno generative processing task. Doctorow, Wittrock and Marks (1978) say, "Thetreatments with the inserted paragraph headings, R1 and R2, produced greatercomprehension and recall than did the reading of the same stories without theparagraph headings (p<.01) on every respective test used in the experiments withthe high-ability readers and with the low-ability readers. These results providesupport for the hypothesis that cues for the retrieval of relevant information canfacilitate comprehension and recall of text" (p. 117).• Spyridakis and Standel (1986) examined the effects of headings, previews andlogical connectives (three signalling devices) in two experiments with 368university students who were at the pre-entry level to Engineering and readcompetently. The results for both experiments (using an easy passage and a hardpassage) showed no significant effects for headings.• Spyridakis and Standel (1987) compared three signalling devices (headings,previews and logical connectives) using 371 pre-engineering university studentsthat were sophisticated readers and had good technical prior knowledge. Theresults showed no significant effects for headings on overall multiple-choiceresponses when the students read four technical passages of varying length anddifficulty. Main effects for headings were only found to be significantly effective39for students reading the passage of greatest difficulty (longest and hardest) whileanswering the inference questions. Significant interactions among headings,previews and logical connectives on the passage of shortest length and mediumdifficulty, and between headings and logical connectives on the passage of greatestdifficulty were also found.The experiments, involving the organizational and signalling aids, that are listedabove are not very supportive of headings functioning as an aid to comprehension asshown by multiple-choice questions and other comprehension measures. However, part ofthe difficulty may be the researchers' inability to truly measure comprehension. There issome question whether researchers will ever be able to measure comprehension. Themethodological problems in comprehension research have been discussed by Baine (1986),and Kintsch and Yarbrough (1982). Kintsch and Yarbrough (1982) say:It is clearly false to assume that comprehension is an ability that can bemeasured once and for all, if only we had the right test. Instead,"comprehension" is a commonsense term for a whole bundle ofpsychological processes, each of which must be evaluated separately. Onlya collection of different tests, each tuned to some specific aspect of the totalprocess, will provide adequate results. To construct such a collection willrequire the guidance of a fairly sophisticated theory of prosecomprehension. (p. 834)Baine (1986) discusses the problem of separating understanding from rememberingand suggests testing students' comprehension "in the presence of the reading material" (p.141). This would eliminate the problem of confusing recall with comprehension. Othercomprehension measures that avoid the problem of memory are eye moment studies andmetacognitive approaches where the subjects discuss their thoughts moment by moment.Neither of these approaches are feasible or useful for all types of comprehension research.Most researchers in this area have chosen to consider recognition tests (multiple-choice andmatching), cued recall tests and an assortment of other types of tests that are administeredimmediately upon completion of the reading of passage as comprehension measures. Free40recalls, commonly used in heading research, are generally considered to be memory checksrather than comprehension measures because the student is specifically asked to recall asmuch information as he or she can. Yet, immediate free recalls can also show aspects ofcomprehension such as arrangement of ideas and the level of understanding exhibited andtherefore, are sometimes considered comprehension tests as well. Rather than measurecomprehension in a general overall fashion, some heading researchers have chosen to usemore specific comprehension focuses. Studies that relate to theme, order and hierarchywill be reviewed in the following sections.Exploring Thematic Function of TitlesOne type of heading considered in this research is the title. It contains the mostsuperordinate level of information and usually reflects the theme or topic of the passage thatfollows. A number of experiments explored whether supplying the reader with relevantcontext knowledge in form of a title (or statement) before reading would affect the readers'understanding and/or recall of the passage. These experiments use both ambiguous andregular narrative and expository prose.Dooling and Lachman (1971) attempted to show that knowledge of the theme of apassage aids retention of its words. In Experiment 1, half the 120 university psychologystudents involved in the study (as part of a course credit) received a thematic title for thematerial they were to read. The material was manipulated in a variety of ways (randomwords, random phrases and intact sentences) to make the two passages ambiguous withoutthe thematic title. The dependent variable was free recall. An analysis of variance onwords correctly remembered (free recall) showed significant effects for thematic titles. Inthe recognition test, under two speeds of timed conditions, the students had to decide if thewords on the cards had appeared in the passage or not. The results showed only slightlymore mean correct recognitions with a thematic title and the analysis was not significant.However, when a crude correction was applied to the recognition data (each subject's41errors were subtracted from the total number of correct responses), there was a significantmain effects for thematic title. When the words were analyzed as high thematic, lowthematic, and function words, only the high thematic words yielded significantly effects forthematic title. This is evidence that the thematic title has a semantic effect on retention.One of the most frequently cited pieces of research in the area of ambiguous proseand comprehension, is the work done by Bransford and Johnson in 1972. They showed,in a number of experiments, "that relevant contextual knowledge is a prerequisite forcomprehending prose passages" (p. 717). In Experiment 1, Bransford and Johnson(1972) used a picture to provide the context for understanding an ambiguous narrativepassage. In Experiment 11,111 and IV, a topic (sentence) provided the semantic context.Both the picture and the topic that was presented before reading significantly affected thecomprehension and recall of the subjects in the four experiments. Bransford and Johnsonsuggest that the critical role of the topic "appears to be in helping subjects create contextsthat can be used to comprehend the passages in the first place" (p. 724). If the topic doesnot do this, then knowledge of topic alone is not sufficient for optimal comprehension ofthe passage as was seen in Experiment 1. Bransford and Johnson (1972) say, "If apassage does not provide sufficient cues about its appropriate semantic context, the subjectis in a problem-solving situation in which he must find a suitable organization of his storeof previous knowledge" (p. 721). However, if the preceding statement of topic providesthe contextual prerequisites for understanding, comprehension and recall is definitelyimproved.Bransford and Johnson used topic sentences to convey the semantic context.However, the same information could have been converted into a title and it would haveprovided the same context (e.g., "The paragraph you hear will be about washing clothes."(Bransford & Johnson, 1972, p. 722) could have been written as Washing Clothes).Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that titles that clearly present the theme or topic, canprovide the semantic context for ambiguous prose.42Dooling and Mullet (1973) noticed that one of the findings of Bransford andJohnson (1972) was that the effect of the thematic topic was at the encoding end of theprocess rather than after the passage had been read. Therefore, the focus of Dooling andMullet's (1973) research (using similar materials and procedure to the Dooling andLachman, 1971) was to explore the locus of effect for thematic titles before reading thematerial, after reading the material and when no title was provided. The results confirmedthe Bran sford and Johnson results. The locus of effect for thematic titles is at the time ofinitial input into memory storage. The effect for a thematic title before reading was F(2,66)=10.8, p<.001). The group that read the title after reading the passage and the controlgroup (no title) did not differ significantly. Moreover, the general effect of the thematic titlewas also significant.Bransford and Johnson's 1972 research is also the precursor to Schallert's work in1976. Schallert (1976) thought that "Bransford and Johnson provided strong evidence thatcontext can increase the amount of information remembered from prose" (p. 621). Sheadds, "Context not only may make vague passages perfectly comprehensible, it also mayaffect the interpretation of messages which have two or more meanings"(p. 621). So,Schallert focused her investigation upon the biasing effect of context on the readers'comprehension of prose. For her study, Schallert constructed paragraphs that wereambiguous, not because they were vague or had unspecified referents as in Bransford andJohnson (1972), but because they allowed two different semantic interpretations. Schallert(1976) hypothesized "that subjects are likely to remember whatever semantic representation[that] is formed during the comprehension stage" (p. 622). Therefore, she continues:It seems reasonable to expect similar contexts effects in the comprehensionand memory of ambiguous paragraphs: Recognition performance shouldreflect the interpretations assigned to the paragraphs during thecomprehension process. Thus, readers in the present study who wereprimed to perceive one meaning of a paragraph by the presence of aparticular context were expected to choose more alternatives on a multiple-choice test which were consonant with this meaning than alternativesconsonant with the other meaning. (p. 622)43Furthermore, she reasoned, "If context is assumed to improve memory byaccessing previously acquired cognitive structures to serve as anchor and framework fornew information, only readers who are processing the paragraphs meaningfully will beinfluenced by the content of their primed existing knowledge" (p. 623). Schallert (1976)used a 4 (task) x 2 (duration) x 3 (context) mixed design with repeated measures on thecontext variable with eight groups of 18 subjects who were randomly selected from a poolof university undergraduate student volunteers. Two of the tasks were semanticallymeaningful and two tasks were not. The contexts were a strong-meaning title (each titlewas six words long), a weak-meaning title and no title at all. The retention measures werea recall measure followed by a multiple-choice recognition test. The results verifiedSchallert's predictions. Schallert (1976) says, "Results clearly indicated that context in theform of titles predictably influenced the comprehension and memory of prose passages" (p.629). She thought that titles served the function of determining which cognitive frameworkbecame accessed depending upon title content. However, her research showed that if thetask that followed was not meaningful, then the titles were not effective in recall orrecognition tasks. She notes though, unlike the research of Bransford and Johnson(1972), Dooling and Lachman (1971), and Dooling and Mullet (1973), who found thatproviding subjects with titles or short phrases describing content significantly affectedrecall, her subjects showed no improvement in amount of recall or recognition, only effectby context or interpretation. Schallert attributes this to her prose being less ambiguous thanthe prose of other researchers.Pichert and Anderson (1977) conducted research that provides further evidence thatperspective has an effect on comprehension and recall. In their experiment, subjects weregiven differing perspectives for the same paragraphs instead of titles. The researchersdescribe perspective as imposing a schema on text. Pichert and Anderson (1977) predictedthat text elements to be learned would vary according to perspective. It is well documented44that people generally recall more of the top level information in a passage than low-levelmaterial. However, Pichert and Anderson (1977) hypothesize that:... structure is not an invariant property of text, but rather that it dependsupon perspective. If, for whatever reason, people take divergentperspectives on a text - that is, impose different high-level schemata - therelative significance of text elements will change. Elements that areimportant on one view may be unimportant on another. By definition, animportant element "fits in" to an organized structure of information and isthereby, we hypothesize, more learnable. Furthermore, readers are morelikely to pay careful attention to and deeply encode important elements.Hence, we predict that the likelihood a text element will be learned variesaccording to perspective.Perspective may have further independent effects on the accessibilityof text elements that have been learned. A high-level schema can serve as aretrieval plan, so to speak outlining the questions one should ask of oneself.The schema is bound to provide implicit cues for important elements but isless likely to do so for unimportant ones. Therefore, among those ideaunits that are stored, the important units will be more accessible and, it ispredicted as a consequence, better recalled. (p. 309)The results clearly showed that perspective influenced comprehension and recall.Pichert and Anderson explain that their study:found that people learn more of the important than the unimportant ideas instories. What the present study demonstrated in addition is that theimportance of an idea unit depends upon perspective: It was an idea'ssignificance in terms of a given perspective that influenced whether it waslearned and, independently, whether it was recalled. The first conclusion isthat it is inappropriate to speak as though the importance of an idea unitwere an invariant structural property of text. (p. 314)The results are explained in terms of schema theory.The same year that Pichert and Anderson were exploring the effects of perspectiveon comprehension and recall, Kozminsky (1977) obtained similar results using biased titlesto alter text comprehension. Kozminsky focused on the one type of superordinatecontextual information: titles in text. Kozminsky says:If a title assumes the role of an anchoring point or superordinate contextaround which the text is organized, then biasing titles may alter the45comprehension of text. They may provide different interpretations tocontext elements in the text, or alternative organizations of the ideas in thetext. Ideas that were central for one title may be less important whenanother title is used, and information that does not fit a biased organizationof the text may be overlooked, as was shown by Schallert (1976). (p. 482)In his research, Kozminsky uses immediate free recall as his measure of variation incomprehension depending on conditions. The free recall is scored on protocols patternedafter the model of Kintsch (1974). Forty-five university students participated in thisexperiment as part of a course requirement. The students read three passages that wereabout 300 pages long. For each text, three titles were constructed: Two titles were biasingand one title was a compilation of the first two titles. The results showed that the maininteraction between the titles and the theme-relevant propositions was significant (F(2,72) =5.92, p<.005) but the effect of titles on overall recall was not. Kozminsky says:Text comprehension is in part a selection process which is guided byadvance information about the text in the form of title. This conclusion issuggested by both the differential recall of theme-relevant propositions andthe lack of difference in overall recall and reading times of the texts as afunction of the biasing titles. (p. 487)He summarizes by saying "... a biasing superordinate context in the form of a title can altertext comprehension in two ways: by guiding the construction of a biased text base, and byrendering sets of propositions unconnected to it. Both ways can explain the differentialrecall of theme-relevant propositions" (p. 489).Schwarz and Hammer (1981) continued the research on effects of thematic titles onvarious kinds of text structures: coherent, slightly disorganized and unstructured text. Intheir rationale, Schwarz and Hammer say:... most readers are eager to find out the author's own schema in order to"understand him." For understanding a coherent text and storing and laterrecalling the important ideas out of it are processes that cannot work withoutgrasping the general message or the schema that embraces the complete text.Orderly presented texts normally allow the reader to get out the generalschema by himself. Nevertheless, this takes time and may be completed46only when parts of the text are already forgotten. A thematic title isexpected to select and activate a schema from an already existing repertoryof schemata and thus, to provide the reader with the general schema at thebeginning, to protect the elements from being dismissed before theircontribution to the whole is understood. Therefore, a title should enhancefree recall even with a regularly structured and comprehensible text. Thesupport of a title is likely to be more valuable, when the text is slightlydisorganized, because it suggests suitable hypotheses for the reorganizationof the material (Dooling & Christiaansen, 1977). However, there may be apoint beyond which disorganization cannot be compensated by a title, atleast with normal reading time (Schwarz & Rammer, 1979). (p. 61)For Schwarz and Rammer, thematic titles consisted of at least one or more wordsthat point to the main contents of the discourse. (In actuality, the title was a long detailedsubordinate phrase.)In Experiment 1,48 college and first year university students volunteered to takepart. The material chosen was a 247 word Norwegian fairy tale that was used in severalways: intact with the completely regular structure group, with its theme moved to the endfor the slightly disorganized group, and with the theme randomly rearranged for theunstructured text. A 2 (title present or absent) x 3 (text structures) factorial fixed-factordesign was selected. The dependent variables were comprehension ratings and free recall.The free recall was administered after a 10 minute distracter item. This was followed bythe comprehension rating activity. The results on the free recall were significant for the titleand for the structure. In addition, the interaction between titles and structure was alsosignificant. In the comprehensibility rating, the only effect was for structure. Indiscussing these results, Schwarz and Rammer say:A thematic title raised the free recall scores for the text with regular structureand the text with slightly disturbed structure, but not for the text withrandom sentence structure. The first two effects confirm the expectationsderived from theoretical reflections. But they do not substantiate thesuspicion of Schallert (1976), who on the basis of her results suggested aceiling effect in the case of easily understandable texts. [The title aidedrecall in the structured passage almost equally, when the researchers hadexpected the slightly unstructured text to benefit the most from a thematictitle]. The fact that titles have no effect under S- [unstructured text] limitsthe generalization one can draw from earlier studies by Dooling andLachman (1971), Bransford and Johnson (1972) and Dooling and Mullet47(1973), that is, that titles typically help under difficult-to-read conditions.Texts may just be too difficult, even with titles. (p. 64)Experiment 2, that involved only eight subjects in the final cell size, explored theunstructured condition under different time and title (present and absent) conditions.Schwarz and Rammer hypothesized that if the students had more time to study the passagewith the title and the unstructured text, they would then find the title effective in improvingcomprehension and recall. The results showed a significant title and reading time effect.The comprehensibility rating was only significant for the reading time, not the title. Theresults confirm Schwarz and Flammer's main expectation. They say, "Prolongingprocessing time allows the thematic title to raise free recall of the text that was presented inrandom sentence order. This may be interpreted as the title suggesting a relatively suitablehypothesis for the reorganization of the material" (p. 65). In their general discussion,Schwarz and Flammer say:Text titles facilitate recall of well-structured and perfectly comprehensibletexts. Thus, even if a text is well comprehensible, thematic titles not onlyserve as text labels or attractors for readers, but are effective facilitators ofencoding, storing, and later recalling the text, as they are for badlycomprehensible, ambiguous texts. Thematic titles seem to affect theactivation of cognitive structures and thus, to operate as an anchor point.Yet, the thematic title also increased free recall if text structure was slightlydisturbed. In this case the title may also have operated as a cue in graspingthe whole sense of the total text. On the other hand the thematic title did notlead to superior free recall, if text material was unstructured. This floorresult suggested that texts may just be too difficult even with titles. Onlyprolonging reading time allowed the thematic title to raise free recall even ofa completely disorganized text in suggesting relatively suitable hypothesesfor the reorganization of the material. Thus, the effect of titles on recall of ascrambled text seems to depend on the time subjects have to read the text.Text structure and title both support understanding , encoding, and recall.They seem to be able to compensate one for the other.Generally speaking, it seems as if a coherent text normally requiresthe reader to construct a sense of the total text. This requires time resources(Kintsch & van Dijk, 1978) which are not available for the encodingprocess. Giving the thematic title in advance relieves the reader of most ofthis task and therefore leads to better recall. (p. 65)48The focus of the study of Duin, Roen and Graves (1988) is not central to the themeof this thesis. They have become concerned with the effect that headings can have onreaders if the headings represent the biases of the publishers. Their experiment, though, isone more piece of evidence that shows that headings can have an effect on the readers'comprehension and recall. The researchers gave students a passage to read with one of twoheadings. One heading had a positive bias and one version had a negative bias. Theresults of the written recall and attitude survey showed no significant differences betweenthe two groups but there were significant effects for biased headings on delayed recall.Therefore, Duin, Roen and Graves conclude that although headings did not affect theprocessing during encoding, their data was "consistent with the position that the titlesgenerated schemata which influenced what was remembered at retrieval, quite possibly byproviding a retrieval plan to guide memory search" (p. 249). Moreover, headings can havea delayed effect on the attitudes towards regular text material. Duin, Roen and Graves say:The most immediate educational implication of the existence of such aneffect may be an emphasis on the importance and potential salience ofheadings in textbooks. ... texts sometimes contain headings which do notaccurately reflect the content they precede. The present study supports thecontention that such mismatches can indeed mislead subjects. ... althoughmany people may read the same text, different people's perception may bealtered by the publisher's choice for a headline. We found that evaluativeheadlines may not influence initial recall and attitudes, but they definitelycan influence readers' later attitudes toward the contents of a text. (p. 249)A number of researchers have commented on these studies that explored the effectsof thematic title or statement.Mayer and Bromage (1980) compare research on advanced organizers to titlebiasing studies. They thought it was necessary to use more natural materials such astextbooks in their study than the metaphorical or ambiguous materials used in the titlestudies. However, they liked the way some of the title studies did not rely totally onoverall retention measures but instead analyzed individual idea units (Pichert & Anderson,491977; Schallert, 1976). Mayer and Bromage found that conceptual ideas and relations inthe text were mainly effected. This research also showed an locus of effect on the encodingend.Wilson, Pfister and Fluery (1981) think headings have to be constructed carefully"because they influence a reader's perception of the text that follows" (p. 26). This idea issubstantiated by S warts, Flower and Hayes (1973), and Bransford and Johnson (1973).Wright (1983) states, "... there are reports that headings can be unintentionallymisleading (Swans, Flower & Hayes, 1980) as well as facilitative (Schwarz & Flammer,1981)" (p. 330).Hartley and Jonassen (1985) agree that headings serve a contextual function. Theysay:... headings cue the recall of appropriate knowledge structures which thenaid comprehension. The context that is activated will determine the meaningthat is assigned to the text. The more familiar the context, the morenetworks that are interrelated and available, the better a passage will becomprehended and remembered (Anderson, Spiro & Anderson, 1978).This theory provides a conceptual rationale for using headings.Nonetheless, the research that supports it employs intentionally ambiguousprose. The effectiveness of headings needs to be affirmed with natural, lessambiguous prose. The question is whether or not headings serve the samecontextual function for prose that is well-organized and meaningful. Fewstudies have examined this question posed in this particular form. Schwarzand Flammer (1981) did find, however, that titles helped Swiss universitystudents to recall Norwegian fairy tales. (p. 240-241)Krug, George, Hannon and Glover (1989) say, "The influence of titles onstudents' memory for prose has been investigated in detail (e.g., Bransford & Johnson,1972; Pichert & Anderson, 1977). In general, titles may help make ambiguous text morecomprehensible and help readers establish a point of view to guide the encoding andretrieval of text" (p. 112).In summary, headings in the form of titles or statements that provide contextualknowledge significantly affect the interpretation of material that is read. Titles and50contextual statements also aid comprehension and recall if the passage is ambiguous but donot necessarily aid comprehension and recall if the text is clearly written. Titles are noteffective with reading material that remains meaningless in spite of the informationprovided by the title. These experiments also show that there is a clear effect for titles at theencoding stage of reading. However, some caution should be taken with the results in thissection. Some of the research was conducted on narrative prose and not all results withnarrative prose are applicable to expository prose.OrderThe second way that headings might function to clarify text structure is related toorder or sequence of ideas. Struck (1983) says "(sub)heads mark definite divisions of asubject and should provide a reasonable clue to the contents of the text ... . [Hence]Headings subdivide and organize text" (p. 340). Miles (1987), in his "Design for Desktop Publishing, said, "Subheadings can perform two functions. They can serve to break up along text and make it seem less forbidding and they can make clear the relationship of onepiece of text to another" (p. 44). When a writer develops textual material he must decidenot only the themes and subthemes but the order in which ideas will be presented. Asheadings and subheadings break text into smaller sections and preview content for eachsection, headings (and subheadings) help to show the order of the author's ideas as onereads. Because headings are also typographically signalled (headings at the same level arecued with the same print type or features), the reader knows which concepts are related andthe order in which the author presents these ideas.If text is read in its presented order from beginning to end, the reader will probablyfocus on the interaction between the heading and the subtext that follows rather than byinterrelating a series of ideas (Brooks, Dansereau, Spurlin & Holley, 1983). ThereforeBrooks and his colleagues speculated that the inclusion of an outline plus headings wouldhelp readers process text more effectively. Brooks et al. (1983) thought:51... outlines may provide the reader with global information about thestructure of a passage, whereas embedded headings may aid the reader indiscovering the relationships between global information presented (outline)and detailed information presented in the passage. If these assumptions arecorrect, it would be expected that the headings/outline combination wouldbe the most beneficial, since this combination would presumably provideboth sources of information. (p. 249)This would imply that Brooks et al. (1983) assume that readers will process text inconsecutive order. In the survey phase of SQ3R (Robinson, 1970), one reading strategyhas long been advocated. This strategy is to read all headings before the main body of thetext is read. If this procedure is carried out, then the order that the author has subdividedthe text in becomes clear and acts like an outline for the text. Therefore, studies involvingheadings and outlines will be reviewed.Brooks et al. (1983), in their first experiment with 132 university psychologystudents, compared the effects of headings that were embedded in text to the effects ofintact headings (outlines) using a series of immediate and delayed test measures (essay,outline, and multiple choice). All immediate test results were non-significant for the fourtreatment conditions (control with no intact or embedded headings; intact headings only;embedded headings only; intact and embedded headings combined). The only significanteffects were in the delayed test situation suggesting that the effect of headings and outlinesis during retrieval from memory rather than as a processing aid.Krug et al. (1989) carried out three experiments involving 178 college students. Intheir first and second experiments, they found that students who received both headingsand outlines outperformed (on an immediate recall test) the groups that received eitheroutlines or headings. Outlines only or headings only groups outperformed the controlgroup who received neither aid. In their third experiment, Krug et al. (1989), "examinedthe effects of headings and outlines on readers' ability to reorder statements taken from thetext" (p. 111). They did this specifically to find out if headings influence knowledge of52text organization. "Students who read outlines prior to the text performed significantlybetter on the reordering task than students in any of the other conditions. Headingsapparently had no effect on readers' ability to reorder statements taken from text" (p. 111).They concluded that outlines seem to provide readers with knowledge of text organizationwhile headings did not. Headings were thought to activate only knowledge relating tospecific segments that they precede.More research is required to fmd out if headings are read before the text, do they actlike an outline and aid comprehension by making the author's order or sequence of ideasexplicit.Hierarchical LevelsA third way that headings are thought to clarify text structure is by making theauthor's hierarchy of ideas explicit. Authors' accomplish this by using headings tohighlight different levels of superordinate information (Goble, 1986; Meyer, 1985; vanDijk, 1979). Headings have the advantage of signalling the top levels of expository proselinguistically (Meyer, 1975) and typographically (Waller, 1979). Baine (1986) notes thattypographic cueing can increase the chance that the cued material will be recalled, increasethe reader's awareness of the underlying structure of prose and direct the reader's attentionto important content (p. 168). Baine (1986), and Rennie, Neilsen and Braun (1981) thinkthat if the content of headings summarizes the topic of the information that follows, thenheadings, that can make use of underlining, bold-face type, italics and larger sized print, allof which isolate and focus attention on the headings, then the effects should be morebeneficial. Rennie, Neilsen and Braun (1981) found, in a series of experiments, that therewas a relationship between cueing, reading achievement and familiarity with the text (theless familiar, the more useful the cueing). Poor achievers on unfamiliar text benefited fromthe main ideas being cued.Meyer (1977), who has studied the structure of prose extensively, says:53The top-level information in the content structure is similar to whateducators have identified as the main ideas of a passage and theinterrelationships among these ideas. The top levels of the structure appearto carry the central message of a passage. In contrast, the low-levelinformation in the content structure corresponds to ideas identified asdetailed information. The low-level information in the content structure isnot part of the central message of a passage although it often supportsvarious aspects of the message; instead, the low levels of the structureappear to contain information peripheral to the central message of a passage.(p. 330-331)Meyer (1977, 1987) points out a number of advantages that a reader has if the top level oftext is signalled and, therefore, noticed. The top level structure "shows an author'sperspective on the relative importance of the content related in his passage" (Meyer, 1977,p. 313). Meyer (1987) says,... the purpose of the author can be identified by examining the content andrelationships at the extreme top levels in the content structure; the idea unitsat this level of the structure embody the author's message. Thus, the top-level structure leads readers directly to the main idea of the text. (p. 61)In addition to the main ideas of a text, top level structure can also show the type ofexpository text that is being used by the author. Meyer (1987) identifies four types ofmajor rhetorical patterns of top level organization: problem/solution, comparison,causation and description. Lastly, Meyer (1977) thinks that, "In ... many learningsituations the most efficient learning strategy is to use the writer or speaker's schema - thetop level of the content structure of a passage - to organize the information presented forstorage in memory" (p. 333).A necessary component to the effective use of headings is the understanding of thecategorization process that underlies hierarchical structure in text. Contee and Gerhard(1986) say, "Ideas are organized in a hierarchy of related categories moving down from thetitle, through chapter headings, main headings, subheadings, to paragraphs.54Comprehension of textbook material is not possible without understanding relationshipsamong the different levels of ideas" (p. 1). Gerhard (1983) explains:Expository text comprehension consists of integrating at least threestructures: the written text, the concepts underlying the text, and theconcepts or schemata already in the mind of the reader to which unfamiliarideas can be related. These three structures are related through thecategorizing process, which, in expository text, usually takes the classicalform. This form defines attributes and sees items in a group as equivalentin some way. This implies the need to bring into the student's consciousrange their own strength as categorizers in daily life, and then help them usethis ability to perceive categories in text. (p. 1)Gerhard (1983) says, "If structural cues or signals are seen, then the words are chunked,or grouped, into units with particular inner relationships. Each inner relationship can thenbe more minutely processed by syntactic, semantic, or cohesion methods ... . If the cuesare not seen, hundreds of separate pieces of information must be processed" (p. 5).Gerhard (1981) concludes that "it is clear that an understanding of the categorizing processis absolutely essential" (p. 147). He explains, "Making sense in part is creating orderthrough categorizing" (p. 142). "At the same time, seeing information in structural groupsimproves the chances of understanding and therefore of remembering it" (p. 146).Experiments Related to Hierarchical Levels  - A number of studies that explore headingfunction in terms of hierarchical levels of information have been carried out. Thesewill be presented below in chronological order except when researchers havecarried out several studies. Some other experiments that relate to the understandingof hierarchical information will also be presented. In these studies that focus onhierarchical levels of comprehension and recall it is important to stress that thereader is being asked to read for general understanding. Kozminsky (1977)cautions, "A distinction between reading for comprehension vs. reading for othergoals may redirect the question of the locus of effect of a superordinate context totask variables" (p. 489).55• Lee (1965) used headings and subheadings as part of the way to make thehierarchy of the passage explicit to naval officer candidates. He then testedfor number of main ideas, number of details and rote learning. His resultsshowed that main ideas of a passage "are learned best if the hierarchy israther painstakingly pointed out in the passage ..." (p. 142).• Waters (1978) carried out two experiments on superordinate-subordinatestructure in semantic memory. The first experiment involved 224 subjectsfrom three age-based teaching groups - third grade, sixth grade, andcollege. She found that there was superior recall for top-level informationand this result was found across all age groups and with differing materials.Moreover, all subjects recalled higher levels of information more than lowerlevels irrespective of comprehension strategies. In her second experiment,using 18 college students, Waters found that, "More recalled subordinatepropositions were associated with recalled superordinate propositions thanwould be expected by chance at every level of supeonlinate-subordinatestructure" (p. 595). These results supports the hypothesis of Kintsch[based on Kintsch, 1974, 1977] "that recalled superordinate propositionscue the recall of associated subordinate propositions through theircommonly shared arguments" (p. 596) and, therefore, "that the differentialrecall of higher-order propositions reflects fundamental structural propertiesof the representation of meaning in memory" (Waters, 1978, p. 592).• Gibbs (1985), King (1985) and Stables (1985) each carried out a studyinvolving the same research questions at two grade levels. However, eachresearcher used students from different grade levels. (Stables-grades 5 and6; King-grades 7 and 8; Gibbs-grades 9 and 10). When the studies areconsidered together, the reader can compare the results for grade 5 to grade10 and one has a better chance to see patterns or spot developmental56changes. King (1985) says, "Written recall was used as the method ofobtaining a measure of comprehension of the passage because it providesfor a purer measure than do questions (Clark, 1982)" (p. 11). [As theseexperiments involve both comprehension and recall, they will be discussedin both sections.]From a larger sample population that completed an at-grade and below-grade (grade 4 readability) passage, 50 subjects from each grade were randomlyassigned to heading present and heading absent groups. The researchers exploredthe number of ideas recalled at the superordinate and subordinate level, theorganization of the recall and the format of the recall on a written free recall test.The results for numbers of ideas recalled and the organization of the recall generallyshowed no facilitating effect for headings present at either the superordinate orsubordinate level and occasionally headings even had a negative effect (grade 10students in Gibbs, 1985, found that headings had a significantly detrimental effecton superordinate recall and grade 8 students, who were good readers [over the 50thpercentile on the Gates-MacGinitie comprehension test], in King, 1985, foundheadings had a detrimental effect on their recall of subordinate ideas from both thebelow-grade and at-grade passages). Over all the grades, headings had a significantpositive effect on the recall of superordinate ideas only on the easy below-gradepassage (Stables, 1985, found that headings had a positive effect on the number ofsubordinate ideas recalled on the below-grade passage by poor grade 5 readers[under 50th percentile on a Gate-MacGinitie comprehension test]). The presence ofheadings significantly affected format in that it led to a greater number of headingsbeing used in the free recalls. Stables (1985) concludes that, "... it appeared thatstudents in this study did not have the higher level skills to make use of headings inthe writing of their passage recalls" (p. 103). King (1985) and Gibbs (1985) agree.57• Spyridakis (1986), commenting in a dissertation abstract, discussed theresults of his experiment using college students with good comprehensionskills on several long and difficult expository passages. He said:The results showed that readers of signaled texts are aidedby signals; signals facilitate readers in building a hierarchicalframework in memory with which to accept incominginformation. Specifically, headings and previews appear tohelp readers design the superordinate level of theframework, and logical connectives appear to help readersfill the lower levels. Moreover, headings and previews donot seem to produce additive effects, and headings andpreviews, functioning at the superordinate level, interactdisordinally with logical connectives, functioning at thesubordinate level. With relatively long, difficult expositorytexts, good readers will be aided by signals. (p. 4346-A)These results seem to be in direct contrast to the work of Spyridakis and Standelwritten in the same year.• Spyridakis and Standel (1986) in two experiments, explored the effects ofheadings and two other signaling aids (previews and logical connectives)"individually and together to test the hypothesis that one signal type or somecombination as measured by tests designed to assess subjects' ability torecall subordinate and superordinate information, to make inferences fromit, and to apply that knowledge in a posttest" (p. 346). Experiment 1,which involved a fairly simple passage, used 118 pre-engineering studentsand Experiment 2, which used a fairly difficult passage, had 250 similarstudents. The dependent measure, that was used in both experiments, wasa multiple-choice test containing 10 questions (5 at the superoalinate leveland 5 at the subordinate level). The results, using a 3-way ANOVA, werenot significant for headings effects in either experiment. The researchershypothesized that headings, a type of signaling aid, should announcecontent before the reader encounters the actual content and therefore, help a58reader more clearly identify superordinate content. The results showed,however, that there were no significant effects for headings in eitherexperiment. Spyridakis and Standel (1986) report that, "Of the three signaltypes examined, headings may be more of a closed issue in terms ofcomprehension. They serve a function for a reader, but it simply may notrelate to helping a reader identify superordinate content" (p. 353).• In 1987, Spyridakis and Standel undertook a longer and more complexstudy to explore the effects of three signaling aids. Using 371 pre-engineering students, the researchers had students read, over the schoolterm, four technical passages that varied in reading difficulty from easy tohard. Versions of each passage were created with and without signals andvarious combinations of signals. Immediately after reading each passage,the students were given a 10 question multiple-choice test with 5 questionson the superordinate or implicit relationship level and 5 questions at thesubordinate level. Only in the very hard passage, at the superordinate levelwere there significant effects for headings. In their discussion, Spyridakisand Standel (1987) say, "It appears that the grade level had quite an effect; ifa passage is easy enough for its readers, then signals may be of little value"(p. 293). However, they conclude, "... the likelihood of demonstratingstrong and consistent results increases when one uses passages of somelength and difficulty on unfamiliar topics. Previews, headings, and logicalconnectives all appear to aid readers in their comprehension of expositoryprose" (p. 293).• Wilhite (1986b, 1988a, 1988b, 1989) conducted a series of headingsstudies that partially focused on whether headings significantly affectstudents' memory for superordinate or subordinate level information.59The first experiment was discussed in Wilhite (1986b). He used 64 collegestudents who were enrolled in psychology courses for course credit. Thirty-twostudents were randomly assigned to the headings present group and 32 studentswere assigned to the headings absent group. Two types of delayed multiple-choiceretention questions were designed and given one week later. The posttest consistedof an equal number of main idea and detail questions. The results showed that theheadings present group significantly outperformed the heading absent group butthere was no significant difference in performance of the headings present group formain ideas or detail questions on the posttest. Commenting on the results of the1986 experiment, Wilhite (1988b) says that he concluded that, "headings mayproduce a general enhancement in the availability of both high and low informationin the passage" (p. 216). He thought that, "... it was of interest to determine if thesame result could be obtained in a study employing a different prose passage. Thefactor of hierarchical importance was also included in order to determine to whatextent this tendency of headings to promote memory for both main-ideas and detailsmight depend on the reader's pre-existing knowledge about the topic" (p. 216). InWilhite (1988b, 1988a, 1989), he explores this factor. [The details of theseexperiments were written up in the section on prior knowledge so only the resultswill be discussed.] In Wilhite (1988b), he found, "The facilitative effect of theheadings for subjects with high preexisting knowledge was clearly specific to themain-idea information in the passage segments. The high preexisting knowledgesubjects in the headings-present group significantly outperformed the highpreexisting knowledge subjects in the headings-absent group on the main-idearetention test items but not on the detail retention test items" (p. 224). The secondexperiment reported in Wilhite (1989) found the same results. Wilhite (1989) said,"The findings in this experiment that the facilitative effect of headings on multiple-choice test performance was limited to subjects with relatively high levels of prior60knowledge of the topic confirm those of Wilhite (1988b) in a situation in which anypotentially distorting effect of a pretest was eliminated and in which a differentprose passage was used. The results of both experiments are consistent with thesuggestion that part of the beneficial effect of headings derive from their tendency toactivate relevant prior knowledge in the reader and that low-knowledge readers maythus have difficulty in using headings as organizational aids in the comprehensionand retention of passage information" (p. 116-117).SummaryMuch has been written on the effects that headings potentially have on clarifying thestructure of text and thereby, improving comprehension and recall. Research in this areahas explored heading effects both generally (as signaling aids and organizers that aidcomprehension) and specifically (improved comprehension through headings that representthe author's theme, show the author's sequence of ideas, and highlight the top-levelinformation in text). The research results have been far from positive. Comprehensionseems to be most affected by headings that clarify the author's theme or central idea. Theresearch results involving headings as general organizers and headings as highlighters ofsuperordinate structure were entirely non-significant, occasionally negative, or positiveonly under certain conditions. It is to the variety of conditions that affect whether headingsfunction significantly as aids that one must look at if any sense is to be made of the results.These factors will be addressed later in chapter 2.Heading Effects on RecallIntroductionIn the last section, the research studies showed that headings can function as aids tocomprehension and it is crucial for people to comprehend what they read. However, it isalso very important to retain the information in memory and be able to recall it at some later61date when the information is needed. Therefore, the focus of this section is to see, byreviewing the literature, whether the presence of headings functions to aid recall.It has been found that comprehension usually effects recall because information thatis understood is more likely to be recalled than meaningless material unless the incentivesare very high for recalling the latter. Van Dijk and Kintsch (1983) say, "... the process ofcomprehending a discourse creates conditions that are very favorable for remembering.The well-structured, multilevel, coherent textbase that is the result of the comprehensionprocess quite naturally functions as an efficient retrieval system so that just reading orlistening to a text assures a respectable level of recall" (p. 364). Yet, van Dijk and Kintsch(1983) also state, "Comprehension and recall are correlated only up to a certain point.(p. 364). Furthermore, Trabasso warns psychologists about the attitude of assuming that"comprehension is practically synonymous with memory" (cited by Santa and Hayes,1981, p. 5). Indeed, a number of heading studies use recall measures to discusscomprehension issues. Yet Baker & Stein (1981) say that although there is empiricalsupport for the notion of a relationship between comprehension and recall of passageinformation:... one should be cautious in concluding that something has not beenunderstood because it was not remembered. A reader may have goodcomprehension during reading, but may not be able to remember thematerial later. Moreover, memory tests of comprehension are plagued withthe possibility of a production or response bias. That is, the index ofcomprehension is based only on the subject's overt responses; it is possiblethat something will be comprehended at the time of the reading, andremembered at the time of testing, but excluded in the subject's response.(p. 10)Although there is a link between comprehension and recall, in this study the terms are notused synonymously. The emphasis is focused on attempting to find out what the studentsare able to understand about a passage when recalled over time.62Recall is defined by Mandler (1989) as "the conscious construction of informationretrieved from memory in response to some demand or requirement" (p. 90). Researchers,in headings studies, have tended used a variety of recall measures that can be uncued orcued to lesser or greater extent. One frequently used uncued recall measure is free recallthat involves asking the subjects to recall everything they can remember. (See chapter 3 fora discussion on the benefits of free recall.) Another uncued type of recall is gist recallwhere the student or subject is required to produce a short description of the gist or mainidea of a piece of prose. Some cued types of recall measures are essay questions (withvery little cueing), short answer questions, and doze tests. Voss, Tyler and Bisanz (1982)note that short answer questions, which give a part of an item from a passage that haspreviously been read and request the student to supply the rest of the item, are especiallyhelpful in research with children (p. 375). In addition to type of recall measures, recalleffects may also be explored over different periods of time. Heading research has beencarried out using both immediate (upon completing the reading task) and delayed recall.Delayed recall, for research purposes, can be any length of time as long as one interveningtask has occurred before the subjects are required to recall information (Baumann, 1984).One to seven day delays are common in heading research. Goble (1986) theorized that"when recall is delayed, the effects of organizers seems to be more apparent" (p. 4).Anderson & Pearson (1984) have also commented on this effect. Therefore, whenresearch is compared, differences in the type of recall and the time frame of the measuresshould be noted (cued, uncued, immediate or delayed) for each represent a different set ofconditions.Recall is only one type of remembering that is involved in output processing ofpreviously read material. A different kind of remembering is recognition memory.Mandler (1989) considers that recognition memory has its basis on familiarity and theability to recognize a link amongst information. The readers must decide if they have seenor heard the information before. This presented material activates its representation.63Sometimes, however, the reader is asked to choose among alternatives as to what seemsthe best choice. In multiple-choice tests, the information is embedded in distracter material.What is remembered in recognition memory might be quite different than what isremembered on a recall test. Because of this, it is important to specify the type ofremembering that is being asked for and to avoid comparing the different types ofremembering as if they are equivalent. (See Graesser, 1981, for a detailed discussion ofdifferent results in memory studies that use both recall and recognition measures.) Thisresearch explores the effects of the presence of headings on recall. Therefore, whenconsidering recall, all heading studies that used recognition measures will be excluded. Itis interesting to note that the heading studies, as shown in Tables 2.01 and 2.02, that userecognition measures exhibit the same mixed pattern of both significant and non-significanteffects for the presence of headings.Heading StudiesThe influence of headings on recall is not clear (Hartley, Tobin & Trueman, 1987;Krug, George & Glover, 1989). Research studies show both non-significant andsignificant effects for headings on recall. However, a meta-analysis carried out by Hartleyand Jonassen (1985) calculated an effect size for the presence of headings on recall at 0.27or "one-quarter of a standard deviation higher than the mean of the control groups" (p.242). In order to review this contradictory research on headings and recall, the differentstudies are grouped in three age categories and presented in order from earliest to the mostrecent studies. A number of research studies compare the effectiveness of headings plusother organizational aids but do not isolate the effect of the presence of headings (e. g. Lee,1965) and therefore they will not be reviewed. The studies presented here all have onecondition where the effect of the presence or absence of headings on recall is explored.64Table 2.01Heading Effects on Immediate Recognition MemoryStudy (date)^Exp. #^Type of Task^Statistical SignificanceChristensen & Stordahl (1955)Klare, Shuford & Nichols (1958)Doctorow, Wittrock & Marks (1978)Dee Lucas & Di Vesta (1980)Brooks et al. (1983)^Exp. 1Jonassen (1983) Exp. 1Exp. 2Spyridalds & Standel^Biomedical passage(1987)^Biomedical passageAlgae passageNitrate passageCorrosion passagemultiple choicemultiple choicemultiple choicematchingmultiple choicemultiple choicemultiple choicemultiple choicemultiple choicemultiple choicemultiple choicemultiple choice__++--+ (Superordinate level)- (Subordinate level)---Table 2.02Heading Effects on Delayed Recognition MemoryStudy (date) Exp. # Type of Task Statistical SignificanceChristensen & Stordahl (1955) multiple choice -Brooks et al. (1983) Exp. 1 multiple choice +Brooks et al. (1983) Exp. 2 multiple choice -Wilhite (1984) multiple choice +Wilhite (1986a) multiple choice -Wilhite (1986b) multiple choice +65Studies at the Adult Level - By far the greatest number of studies of headings effectingrecall have been carried out using subjects at the adult level, especially universitystudents. In the following studies the researchers had significant results for headingeffects on recall:• Dee-Lucas and Di Vesta (1980) carried out a study involving 133 femaleuniversity students enrolled in Education Psychology. Although the maintrust of the experiment was to explore learner-generated organization aids,there also was a 'heading only' condition. They found that, in a free recalltest, the use of headings produced significantly greater immediate recall ofsubordinate text information than two non-heading groups (topic sentencecontext and unrelated sentence context). Dee-Lucas and Di Vesta (1980)say:As predicted, of all the treatments the heading contextresulted in the greatest recall of the topic-attribute pairings.This result must be attributed to more than the emphasis ofthe heading context on the topic information per se, sinceaccording to the results of the hierarchy test, the learners inthe topic sentence conditions recalled the passage topics atleast as well as the heading learners. The readers apparentlyused the topics as organizing concepts and actively searchfor relationships between the headings and the information(attributes) in the body of the paragraphs. (p. 310)• Holley, Dansereau, Evans, Collins, Brooks, and Larson (1981) conducteda heading study using 95 students who were recruited from universitypsychology courses. There were 4 groups: control (no headings and notraining), headings only, and two groups that received headings andtraining. The results showed no significant differences between the twogroups who received headings and training and the group that receivedheadings only, so the three heading groups were collapsed and combined tocompare with the control group. The three groups that had headings66recalled 11% more information on an immediate recall test and 44% moreinformation on a delayed recall test. Holley et al. (1981) found that thepresence of headings facilitated recall in nonnarrative text especially whenrecall was delayed and therefore they suggest that headings are "more usefulas retrieval aids than as comprehension aids, particularly when studentshave limited prior knowledge of the subject matter" (p. 234).• Schwarz and Flammer (1981) had positive results for the presence of aheading (in the form of a thematic title) on free recall when they usednarrative rather than expository material. The study has been discussed inmore detail in the previous section on comprehension.All the studies listed above have indicated that the presence of headingsaffected the ability of their subjects to recall information in a positive way. Not allheading recall studies have found significant effects. The research studies listedbelow did not find evidence that headings had aided the recall of their subjects:• Robinson and Hall (1941) involved 205 university students fromeducational psychology courses to explore the effects of headings oncomprehension and speed. They used Russian and Canadian historymaterials. One dependent measure used to assess comprehension was animmediate cued recall test. Their results showed no significant effects forheadings. Robinson and Hall (1941) conclude, "The average collegestudent apparently does not take advantage of one of the most useful devicesin the study of textbook material" (p. 252).• Jonassen (1983), who was focusing on text technology, compared differenttypes of headings with passages that were blocked in a similar way thatheadings were but with space or horizontal lines as the dividing markbetween sections of text. In the first experiment, 40 undergraduate studentsfrom two reading education courses at the university were placed in three67groups: text divided into sections using horizontal markers, text dividedonly with a space, and text divided with marginal headings. The resultsshowed no main effects for any group on a probed recall test (multiplechoice) and on a topic recall test given immediately after reviewing thepassage. Jonassen thought that headings may benefit only younger, lessskilled learners. However, because the passage was highly meaningful tothe students and well instantiated (on teaching methods), Jonassen alsonoted that headings might be more helpful with less meaningful, moreambiguous or less organized prose. In Experiment 2, that involved 45undergraduate students who were taking educational psychology courses,he examined the effects of 4 conditions: continuous prose, a content markerversion (with labels telling the type or function of content), semanticmarkers (headings), and a version with questions in place of headings. Theresults were not significant for the heading group on topic recall. The onlypositive result was that headings reduced the amount of verbosity.Jonassen hypothesized that older, more developed learners prefer to usetheir own organizational strategies in comprehending a passage.• Hartley, Tobin and Trueman (1987) conducted a heading study, involving24 blind adults whose ages ranged from 17 to 80, to explore whether thepresence of headings made a difference in immediate oral recall after readinga passage in Braille. Although there was a tendency towards headingshaving an effect, the results did not show a significant effect for thepresence of headings.A few heading recall studies had mixed results from their research. Thesestudies are listed below:• Brooks, Dansereau, Spurlin and Holley (1983) explored the effects ofheadings on text processing using 238 college students from psychology68classes in two experiments. Two passages were chosen from scientificmaterial and the passages were considered to be relatively unfamiliar to thestudents. In Experiment 1, there were four groups: headings and outlinescombined, headings only, outlines only and the control group withoutheadings or outlines. The three types of dependent measures wereimmediate and delayed multiple choice tests (the results of the multiplechoice tests are listed in Tables 2.01 and 2.02), immediate and delayedessay recall (organized summary of passage), and an outline test (studentswere asked to create an outline after looking at a sample). The results ofExperiment 1 showed no significant difference in the four groups onimmediate essay recall (or any of the other measure). However, on delayedessay recall, the headings only group significantly outperformed the controlgroup. In Experiment 2, there were three groups: headings and instruction,headings only, and no headings with no instruction. The same dependentmeasures were used. Unlike the first experiment, in this experiment, theheadings only group did not outperform the control or instruction group onany measure. The researchers found these results "somewhat puzzling inlight of the findings of the first experiment, which showed a relativelystrong positive effect for embedded headings without explicit instructions at[the] time of delayed testing" (p. 300). Because this experiment omitted theimmediate tests and a questionnaire on heading use, it was thought by theresearchers that the students in the first experiment were sensitized toheadings and therefore, the primary effect of instruction was to sensitize thestudents to the headings.Krug, George, Hannon and Glover (1989) conducted an experiment to lookat the effects of outlines and headings on the readers' recall of prose. Fourconditions were explored: control (no headings and no outline), headings69only, outline only, and headings combined with an outline. In the firstexperiment (n=62 undergraduates) using artificial material and secondexperiment (n=56 undergraduates) using regular text material, Krug and hiscolleagues found that headings had a significant facilitative effect on thesubjects' free recall that followed immediately after each student hadfinished reading the essay. The combination of headings and outline wassignificantly higher than both the outline and headings only groups. A thirdexperiment (n=60 undergraduates) was carried out to find out if headings oroutlines facilitated the students' ability to reorganize paraphrased textstatements in the order of the text that they appeared in the text. Headingsdid not aid the readers' recall to the text material while outlines did.As suggested in chapter 1, the presence of headings showed mixed resultson the recall of adult subjects. However, in studies where free recall was assessed,the statistical results showed that adults consistently found headings helpful inaiding their recall.Studies at the High School Level - A number of studies have been carried out at thehigh school or the comprehensive school level exploring the effect of headings onrecall.• Hartley, Kenely, Owen and Trueman (1980) explored heading effects onrecall with 175 high school students (in their second year of acomprehensive school). A four hundred word passage was prepared withfour versions: control (no organizational aids), a passage with a title, apassage without a title but with underlined headings in the form of astatement, a passage with underlined headings in the form of a question.The results show that headings in the form of statements or questionssignificantly outperformed the title only group and the control group.Hartley et al. (1980) state that, "The headings had a marked effect - and this70occurred in prose which is not normally considered suitable for headings.(Headings generally appear in more technical writing than in EnglishLiterature.) The findings suggest the value of including headings in lightnon-fiction as well as in technical prose" (p. 306).• Hartley and Trueman (1983) conducted a study on the effects of headingson recall, search and retrieval using 1,270 participants from a fourth yearcomprehensive school (14 and 15 year olds). The researchers used a 1,000word passage that was considered slightly difficult for the age level (moresuited to 15 or 16 year old students. The results from a series ofexperiments (Experiment 1,2 and 7) showed a significant effect forheadings on immediate short answer recall questions.• Hartley and Trueman (1985) carried out 17 further experiments exploringheading effects at both the high school level (with 14 and 15 year olds) andat the elementary school level (age 11 and 12). In addition to studyingrecall, search and retrieval, Hartley and Trueman also explored types ofheading (statement or question headings) and position of headings (marginalor embedded). Three experiments explored, among other aspects, the effectof headings on recall. Both Experiment 1, with 170 fourth levelcomprehensive students, and Experiment 2, with 155 students at the sameschool level, subjects read a fairly difficult expository passage (asdetermined by the Flesch Reading Ease scale). In Experiment 12, subjectswho were 14 and 15 years old, read an easy passage. The results of allthree experiments with 14 and 15 year old students, who read either a fairlydifficult passage or an easy passage, consistently showed that headings hada significant effect on short answer recall. Because the researchers havecarried out a series of experiments using several passages, they think that71their conclusions "are much firmer than those obtained in previous 'one-offstudies" (p. 152).• Gibbs (1985), King (1985) and Stables (1985) conducted parallel studieson the effects of headings on written recall and organization of expositorytext in the grades 5 to 10. Each researcher conducted research at twospecific grade levels and then compared their results over the six grades. Atthe high school level, King explored heading effects with grade 8 studentsand Gibbs studied heading effects with grade 9 and 10. The focus of thiscombined research was absence and presence of headings and number,organization, and format of superordinate ideas recalled. The resultsshowed no significant effects for the presence of headings on the number ofsuperordinate or subordinate ideas recalled in a free recall test for grade 8,9, and 10 students when they used very easy (low readability) readingmaterial and grade level reading passages. Going to the opposite extreme,in one sample the headings present group did significantly worse than thegroup without headings. Moreover, the headings did not improve thestudents' ability to organize superordinate or subordinate levels of recall.The only partial effect found for headings was an improvement in the formatof the written recall of the students. Generally, these results on recall,organization and format were found at all grade levels in the three parallelstudies with the following exceptions. In grade 8, the higher reading abilitygroup with headings scored significantly lower on the free recall than thegroup without headings on both the low readability and grade level passage.Once again, the research with high school students showed mixed results.Free recall measures showed less of a heading effect with this age group than instudies with adults while high school students found cued recall more affected byheadings.72Elementary School - Only a few studies have been carried out at the elementary schoollevel exploring the effect of headings on recall. As these studies involved a similarage group to those in the present research, each study will be examined in moredetail than previously discussed studies with older subjects. Landry (1966) researched the effects of organizational aids using 314 grade5 students. Landry randomly assigned the students to four treatments:group 1 was the control group that read a passage with no organizationalaids, group 2 read a passage with the addition of an introductory sectionstating a problem or questions relating to the passage, group 3 read thepassage with the introductory statement or question plus a summary, andgroup 4 read the passage with all the previous aids plus headings. Thestudents were given a recall test as soon as they finished reading theselection. Seven days later, the subjects received the same test again.Landry found that none of the organizational aids (even the headings)significantly effected either immediate or delayed recall. Stables (1985), who carried out parallel studies with King (1985) andGibbs (1985), conducted research at the grade 5 and 6 level using a posttestonly with control group design with 50, per grade, of regular, non-streamedstudents from three school districts in the Lower Mainland of BritishColumbia. In this study, one of his objectives was to explore the ability ofgrade 5 and 6 students to use headings to facilitate recall at the superordinateand subordinate levels using the descriptive form of expository prose.(Some other objectives were discussed previously in the comprehensionsection.) This objective was explored using the following question(Stables, 1985, p. 2-3):In a written recall task, are more superordinate or subordinate ideasrecalled when the prose to be recalled has headings or no headings:73Within each grade level?Within each grade level by reading level?Over grade levels 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10?Stables, at the grade 5 and 6 level, found the presence of headings did notsignificantly effect the number of superordinate or subordinate ideas recalledwithin each grade on at grade or below grade passages. However, he didfind that poor readers (those with Gates-MacGinitie ReadingComprehension Test scores below the 50th percentile) found headings werea significant help in recalling subordinate ideas from the easy, below gradelevel passage (The Parrot). If the results of all grades in the joint studies arecompared, there was a significant effect for headings in the recall ofsuperordinate ideas on the Parrot passage (rated at the grade 4 level ofdifficulty). However, these results were not significant at the grade 5 and 6level.• King (1985) carried out part of her experiments using 50 grade 7 studentsrandomly selected from three regular non-streamed classes. She followed asimilar procedure to Stables and Gibbs and explored the same question (seeStables above) using one passage at the grade 7 level and one easyexpository passage. Kings' results showed no significant differences(p<.05) in free recall of superordinate or subordinate ideas with or withoutheadings on either the easy or grade level passage.• Hartley and Trueman (1985), who conducted a series of experiments with14 and 15 year olds (see reference in high school section above), replicatedtheir experiments with 11 and 12 year old students using a differentpassage. This textual material was approximately 1,000 words and wasrated as fairly easy on the Flesch Reading Ease scale. The passage that wasused for the 11 and 12 year old subjects contained more narrative parts and74fewer facts than the television passage used with the 14 and 15 year oldstudents. Six versions were prepared. Four versions contained the passagewith headings that appeared as embedded and marginal statements,embedded and marginal questions and two versions contained the passagewithout headings but different layouts. Hartley and Trueman then carriedout two experiments using different combinations (the results of some ofthese combinations will be discussed in a later section under Types ofHeadings). Experiment 10 consisted of 100 subjects who were eleven ortwelve years old while Experiment 11 involved approximately 190 studentsof the same age. As soon as the students had completed reading theirversion of the passage carefully, they wrote a short 10 question recall test.The results of both experiments showed no significant effects for theaddition of headings to the passage material. Hartley and Truemanconcluded that younger pupils were not able to gain from the presence ofheadings on an easy passage.Summary - The results of the reported research studies on the absence or presence ofheadings and their effect on recall have been summarized in Tables 2.03 and 2.04.As stated previously, the results are conflicting. Delayed recall measures have beensuggested as being more effective (Goble, 1986; Holley, Dansereau, Evans,Collins, Brooks and Larson, 1981). Unfortunately, there are not enough studiesthat have been carried out with delayed recall to draw any conclusions. One patternthat does seem to emerge, regardless of whether the recall was immediate ordelayed, is an age effect. The younger students (at the elementary level) did notseem to be able to use headings to improve their recall in any experiments whereasolder students (high school level) and adults seemed to be more likely to useheadings effectively. However, even high school and adult subjects were not ableto consistently use headings to improve recall.75cued recallfree recallfree recallessay recalltopic recalltopic recalloral recallfree recallfree recallrecall orderExp.1Exp. 1Exp. 2Exp. 1Exp. 2Exp. 3-++_++Elementary School LevelLandry (1966)Hartley & Trueman (1985)King (1985)Stables (1985)Exp.10Exp. 11Grade 7recall testcued recallcued recallfree recallfree recall__Table 2.03Heading Effects on Immediate RecallStudy (date)^Exp. # Type of Task^Statistical SignificanceAdult levelRobinson & Hall (1941)Dee-Lucas & Di Vesta (1980)Holley et al. (1981)Brooks et al. (1983)Jonassen (1983)Hartley et al. (1987)Krug et al. (1989)High School LevelHartley et al. (1980)^cued recall^4^Hartley and Trueman (1983) Exp. 1^cued recall 4^Exp. 2^cued recall^4^Exp. 7^cued recall -1-^Hartley & Trueman (1985) Exp. 1^cued recall^-F^Exp. 2^cued recall -F^Exp. 12^cued recall^-FGibbs (1985)^Grade 10 free recall -Grade 9^free recall^-King (1985)^Grade 8^free recall -76Table 2.04Heading Effects on Delayed RecallStudy (date) Exp. # Type of Task Statistical SignificanceAdult LevelHolley et al. (1981) free recall +Brooks et al. (1983) Exp.1Exp. 2essay recallessay recall+-High School LevelHartley et al. (1980) cued recall +Elementary School LevelLandry (1966) recall test -In this first section on the functions of headings, it has been shown thatheadings can and sometimes do affect comprehension and recall. However, theresults are not consistent. In the second section of chapter 2, other factors thatmight exert an effect on the usefulness of headings are explored.POSSIBLE FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE HEADING EFFECTSIntroductionIn the first section of chapter 2, the effects of the absence or presence of headingson comprehension and recall were explored. The results have been very contradictory.Yet, enough studies have been carried out on the effect of headings that one can have littleconfidence in statements that suggest that headings do not serve any function in improvingcomprehension or recall. As discussed in chapter 1, there are a number of textual factorsthat are thought to influence the effectiveness of headings. In addition, there are a number77of factors that the reader brings to the text that possibly might affect whether headings areuseful. In this section, other factors that might affect whether headings are useful or notwill be explored.Textual Factors that Might Influence Heading EffectivenessThere are a number of factors in the text that have been explored by headingresearchers as possible influences on heading effectiveness. These factors are type ofheadings, position of headings, the frequency of headings and the type of text thataccompanies the headings.Type of HeadingsResearchers have looked at several aspects about the type of headings that havebeen used. These aspects are the form, the length, and the content of the headings.Form of Headings - The aspect that has received the most attention concerns the formof the headings, probably because results have been conflicting. The researchershave explored quite extensively whether headings in the form of statements orheadings in the form of questions are most effective in improving comprehensionand recall of low-ability students.Several studies showed that headings in the form of questions were moreeffective than headings as statements. Hartley, Kenely, Owen and Trueman (1980)found that question-type subheadings were significantly more effective with low-ability students. Hartley and his colleagues thought that this study should bereplicated to see if similar effects occurred. Consequently, Hartley, Morris andTrueman (1981) further explored whether headings written as questions were moreeffective with low-ability students than headings written as statements. Their studyinvolved 21 high school remedial reading students (with reading ages of 7-10 yearsof age) and matched them on reading age and IQ. The results showed that headings78written in the form of questions were 15% higher for the same passages thanheadings in the form of statements when immediate cued recall questions wereasked. The same significant results were found a week later when the studentswere retested with the same questions. Lower-ability students benefitted fromheadings written in the form of questions.Conversely, a number of researchers have found that headings in the formof questions are not significantly more effective than headings in the form ofstatements. The first study that examined this factor was that of Christensen andStordahl in 1955. They used 2 passages (technical and philosophical) with 36versions (12 with headings as questions and 12 with headings as statements) onadult air force trainees. Their results showed no difference for headings asquestions or headings as statements. Much later, Hartley and Trueman, in 1983,carried out three experiments (7, 8, and 9) comparing headings as questions andheading as statements, and they found that there were no significant differencesbetween the two types of headings. In 1984, Hartley, Trueman and Pigramcontinued to explore the effects of headings written as statements or questions usinglow-ability students. This time three studies involving large sample sizes wereconducted. In the first experiment, approximately 190 students between the ages of11 and 12 were included. In the second experiment, 110 lower-ability pupils aged14 to 15 years old were involved, and in the third experiment, approximately 140low-ability students aged 14 to 15 were involved. Each pupil read a 1,000 wordpassage with either question headings or statement headings and when they hadfinished this, the subjects completed a factual recall test. The first and secondexperiments had a fairly easy passage with a Flesch reading ease score of 84 whilethe third experiment contained a passage that had a Flesch reading ease score of 55which is considered fairly difficult. Unlike the earlier studies, no significantdifferences were found in favour of headings written as questions or headings79written as statements with these low ability students. They account for thisdifference by saying that the earlier studies had small sample size (10 or less in eachgroup) and short text (approximately 350 words) and different ratings for low-ability. In the third study, Hartley et al. (1983), used a longer passage but again,they used a small sample size. Hartley, Trueman and Pigram (1984) say, "Oneparticular problem with all of our studies so far has been that our definition of low-ability has been both inconsistent and somewhat crude (largely because low-abilityhas been a side issue). So far we have usually accepted the schools' designation oflow-ability (and this can vary - and has indeed varied - in different schools)" (p. 4).In this study, large sample sizes were used and each pupil completed a doze-typereading test after they finished answering questions on the 1,000 word passage. Intheir conclusion, Hartley, Trueman and Pigram (1984) say "In these three studies,with larger sample sizes and with better measures of ability we have failed to findany significant difference between the recall of low-ability pupils reading text withheadings in the form of questions and low-ability pupils reading the text withheadings in the form of statements" (p. 6). However, they note that in five of sixcomparisons the group with headings in the form of questions did slightly better butnot significantly than the group with headings in the form of statements.Finally, Hartley and Trueman (1985) carried out a series of experimentsconcerning types of headings. The results of experiments are summarized byHartley and Trueman in the following way:Headings as questions were directly compared with headings asstatements in Experiments 7, 8, 9, 11, 15, 16 and 17, and the lastthree of these used low-ability participants. None of theseexperiments, however, produced significant differences ... .Experiments 15, 16 and 17 which focused on the recall of low-ability participants failed to replicate earlier findings whichsuggested that low-ability pupils profited more from headings in theform of questions than headings in the form of statements. A meta-analysis of the results of all the studies considered in this article alsoindicated that there was little to choose between the effectiveness of80headings written in the form of questions and headings written in theform of statements. The average effect-size was 0.14. (p. 151-152)Heading Length and Nature - Another aspect of heading type concerns the nature ofheadings combined with the length. Doctorow, Wittrock and Marks (1978)conducted an experiment that involved 488 students who were 10 to 12 years oldand in sixth grade. One treatment group received one word headings in the form ofthe noun that was used most frequently in the paragraph that followed. Anothertreatment group received two word headings. These headings included the nounused in the first treatment group and a descriptive word that represented the themeof the paragraph. These one and two word headings were also used in combinationwith generative processing treatments. The results showed that two word headingswere more effective than the one word headings when in separate treatment groupsand when combined with other features. They did not question whether using atheme centered word was more effective than picking a noun subject word.Spyridakis and Standel (1986) compared the effects of previews withheadings and logical connectives. They found that the previews aided literal andinferential comprehension while headings and logical connectives did not. Theysay, "One could speculate that the real difference in a reader's perception of thesetwo signals is that the previews are actually headings phrased in sentence form,i.e., accompanied by a subject and a verb. It may be that the addition of a subjectand a verb (the sentence form itself) logs into the reader's memory morepermanently than does a phrasal heading. Indeed, much readability researchdiscusses the merits of clauses over phrases" (p. 353). It is notable that Spyridalcisand Standel found that previews improved the comprehension of technicalexpository prose in their subjects whereas headings and logical connectives did not.As headings and previews both act as signaling agents that preannounce content,they were surprised to find that headings were not effective.81Little has been researched about the length of the heading. It may be that thecontent is more important than the actual length of the heading in having an effecton comprehension and recall.Heading Content - Eggen, Kauchak and Kirk (1978) found the use of hierarchicalheadings provided to grade 4, 5, and 6 students, when reading a thousand wordpassage in the area of mathematics, helped the hierarchical heading group tosignificantly outperform the control group that did not have hierarchical headings oncomprehension and production subtests. Hartley and Jonassen (1985) have"suggested that hierarchically-structured headings may aid recall if the text structureis more complex" (p. 246).Numerous studies have examined the influence of headings oncomprehension (see the previous section on Headings as a Comprehension Aid).Hartley and Jonassen (1985) say that headings can be misleading in nature whenthey do not reflect the text structure. They say, "Swans, Flower, and Hayes(1980) showed that inappropriate headings in bureaucratic documents preventedreaders from being able to predict information included in any section, therebyhindering comprehension of the document" (p. 244). Moreover, Duin, Roen andGraves (1988) found that publisher's choice of headings can influence readers' laterattitudes and this can be unfortunate if the publisher's biasing headings do notsupport the factual material presented in the text material. However, it was alsoseen that the content of headings can provide a perspective or a theme that readersfind helpful (Bransford & Johnson, 1972; Schwarz & Flammer, 1981).Position of HeadingsA number of researchers have explored whether position of headings influencestheir effectiveness. In 1983, Hartley and Trueman carried out six experiments comparingheadings that were embedded in the text and headings that were placed in the margin.82None of these experiments showed any significant differences between embedded headingsand headings in the margin on recall, search and retrieval. In 1985, Hartley and Truemancarried out six experiments to explore heading position using over one hundred 14 and 15year old high school students in each experiment. The results were not significant for anyexperiments so Hartley and Trueman ceased exploring this variable with this age group.The researchers then replicated their experiments with 11 and 12 year olds using a differentpassage that was more appropriate for younger students. Once again, headings that wereplaced in the margin were no more effective than headings that were embedded. Theseresults tend to suggest that either position for headings is equally effective for elementaryand high school readers. No experiments were found at the adult level and it may beunlikely that adults would find one heading position more effective than another if younger,less experienced readers were found to be equally adept at using headings in eitherposition.Frequency of HeadingsKlare, Shuford and Nichols (1958) examined the question of heading frequencywith 1,175 adult airmen at a training base. There were three arrangements of format. Onegroup had a high level of headings (major headings plus headings for every paragraph), asecond group received an ordinary amount of headings (2 major side heads, 1 general run-in heading, and 5 run-in headings for groups of related paragraphs) and the subjects in thethird treatment group had a low level of headings (no headings but had 17 paragraphdivisions) when reading a 1,206 word technical, expository passage. There was no maineffects for heading frequency but there was a significant interaction effect: The highaptitude group receiving a high level of headings was able to outperform all ability levelsreceiving other versions (ordinary and low levels of headings) on an immediate multiple-choice comprehension test. The researchers attempt to account for this by saying that the83highly technical and complex nature of the text material might have caused only the moreable students to use the headings to improve comprehension.Type of TextTechnical Versus Semi-Literary - In 1955, Christensen and Stordahl used 2 differenttypes of passages (technical and philosophical) with 36 versions on adult air forcetrainees. The technical passage presented elementary principles of aerodynamicsand was 2,600 words in length while the other passage was 3,800 words in lengthand discussed the ideology of international communism. No significant effectswere found on the two immediate and the two delayed comprehension tests on anyof the versions using either type of text at the .05 alpha level of significance.The next study produced different results. Klare, Shuford and Nichols(1958), as a result of their research (see Klare et al. in the previous section onFrequency of Headings) make the following comments on their findings of aninteraction of high ability with high levels of headings when using highly technicaltext:It seems possible to the writers that the highly technical, andtherefore complex, nature of the material used here may at leastpartially account for this; the subject-matter was clearly moretechnical than that used in the previous studies. This notion gainscredence from a consideration of the different types of materialreaders may encounter. Fiction, the least technical type, is leastlikely to have headings; the same is true for light non-fiction. As thematerial becomes more complex, and especially as it reaches therather technical level of the college textbook, headings become morecommon. In other words, the results of this study seem to be ingeneral agreement with the approach that writers have come to adoptover the years on empirical grounds. (p. 44-45)Ambiguous Text - Bransford and Johnson (1972 ) conclusively showed that anunambiguous title (one type of heading) could significantly affect comprehensionresults when the subjects were asked to read rather ambiguous prose.84Difficulty of Prose - Jones (1986) suggests some aspects of texts that make them easyor difficult. He says texts can range in difficulty from "very easy (simple, short,explicit, familiar, concrete) to difficult (complex, long, implicit, unfamiliar, andabstract) ..." (p. 9).Hartley and Trueman (1985) showed that 14 and 15 year old students whoread text with headings on a fairly difficult semi-technical passage and a fairly easysemi-literary passage (both as judged by the Flesch Reading Ease Scale) foundheadings aided search, retrieval and recall over a series of experiments. It has beennoted that the harder passage was on a topic (television) that the students probablyhad a high degree of experience about whereas the easier text might have been lessfamiliar (Louis Braille). However, this aspect was not discussed by theresearchers.Baumann (1986a) found that if inconsiderate text was made considerate,then grade 5 students' main idea comprehension improved. Content area prose wasmade more considerate by rewriting the textbook material to make the headings cuethe main ideas, making the main ideas explicit and having them appear at thebeginning of the text. All grade 5 students that received the considerate textversions were able to recall and write significantly more main ideas for theparagraphs. Moreover, some of the children were able to compose significantlymore passage ideas. This tends to indicate students are more able to use headingsto aid comprehension and recall of main ideas when the text material is consideraterather than inconsiderate.Spyridalds and Standel (1987) found that the three signaling aids (headings,previews and logical connectives) that they were exploring were most effective inimproving comprehension on material that was neither too easy or too difficult.They say, "It appears to us that the likelihood of demonstrating strong and85consistent results increases when one used passages of some length and difficultyon unfamiliar topics" (p. 293).A number of studies presented their subjects with passages reported to be atgrade level and below grade level (Coulombe, 1986; Gibbs, 1985; Goble, 1986;King, 1985; Stables, 1985). Gibbs (1985), King (1985) and Stables (1985), whenthey compared the overall means from grade 5 to 10, found that headings seemed topositively affect the amount of superordinate ideas recalled from the easy, belowgrade passage (grade 4 level). They did not fmd this effect for the at-grade levelpassage (Stables, 1985, p. 87)Kintsch and Vipond (1979) discuss the problems of reducing readability ofpassages to a single score. They say, "readability is not somehow an inherentproperty of texts but is the result of the interaction between a particular text (with itstext characteristics) and particular readers (with their information-processingcharacteristics)" (p. 363). Kintsch and Vipond suggest that there are numerousfactors that make a text hard or easy for people to read. Graesser (1981) alsodiscusses ease or difficulty of a passage in terms of the ratio of inferred informationto explicitly stated, and based on the amount of structure a passage has.Relating heading effects to difficulty of text material is obviously not aneasy matter and so far, no heading studies have examined this factor as a majorfocus of their research.Factors of the Reader that Influence Heading EffectivenessHeadings have been shown to positively effect the readers' comprehension andrecall on some occasions and not on others. In the last section, some text factors wereshown to influence the effectiveness of headings. In this section, the focus is on factorsthat the reader brings to the task that affect whether s/he will be able to use headings to aidcomprehension and recall. Some factors, such as interest in the reading material, attention86to the task and the reader's mental state, are very important to all reading comprehensionand recall but these factors have not been specifically isolated by heading researchers asfactors that might directly affect the usefulness of headings. Researchers have chosen toexplore the following factors in conjunction with the effectiveness of headings: age, sex,reading ability, background knowledge, preference about headings and the amount ofawareness the reader has about how to use headings.AgeHeading research has been carried out on three main age groups. The mostextensive number of studies have been carried out using adults who were either universitystudents or students in some form of training program. A fair number of heading studieshave used high school students, especially at the 14 and 15 year old level. A small numberof studies have used upper elementary students. If one examines Table 2.03, the researchto date seems to show mixed results for heading effects on recall in the high school andadult samples used in the research studies but no significant effects for headings at theelementary level on either immediate or delayed recall. Therefore, the factor of age mightinfluence heading effectiveness.A number of studies have compared two age groups or have carried out parallelstudies that compared the results of a series of age groups. Hartley and Trueman (1985)compared the results of 11 to 12 year olds and 14 to 15 year olds using a fairly easy (84 onFlesch Ease Scale) passage (approximately 1,000 words) on recall, search and retrieval.They found that the 14 to 15 year old students were able to use headings to significantlyimprove recall, search and retrieval while the 11 to 12 year olds were only able to useheadings to significantly improve search and retrieval but not recall. The 14 to 15 year oldstudents were also able to use headings to improve recall when reading a more difficultpassage. Hartley and Trueman suggest that age and experience was a factor in the differingresults.87Interestingly, Hartley and Jonassen (1985) summarize their overview of headingresearch by saying, "It is possible that headings will be of particular benefit to younger,less-capable, and less-developed learners. Learners who are less-capable of organizingand structuring materials may gain more from headings which provide the necessarystructural cues" (p. 249). Maybe Hartley and Jonassen needed to specify what they meantby younger. It should be noted that Hartley, Kenely, Owen and Trueman (1980) foundthat 12 to 13 year old students in the first year of a British comprehensive school were ableto use headings to significantly improve both immediate and long term (14 days) recall.In Canada, Stables (1985) using grade 5 and 6 pupils, King (1985) using grade 7and 8 pupils, and Gibbs (1985) using grade 9 and 10 subjects, in parallel studies,examined heading effects on levels of recall and organization. Their overall results showedno effects for headings on subordinate or superordinate recall. Stables concludes, "... itappeared that students in this study did not have the higher level skills to make use ofheadings in the writing of their passage recall" (p. 103). However, the three researchersnoticed a developmental trend by age or grade level. Older students tended to recall moresuperordinate and subordinate ideas on the easy reading passage (approximately grade 4level) than the younger students. The three researchers found that certain grade levels fitinto one of two categories. The mean scores of the grade 5 and 6 students made up thelower group and the mean scores of the students in grade 8,9 and 10 made up the highergroup. The grade 7 students varied and, as individuals, fitted in either the lower or highergroup. Stables, King and Gibbs speculate that Piaget's theories of the preadolescent phaseat 11 to 12 years of age and the adolescent stage at 14 to 15 years and older stage mightexplain their fmdings. When the number of ideas recalled at the superordinate andsubordinate level using at-grade level passages were compared, there were no significantdifferences.88SexA number of studies statistically analyzed data concerning whether boys or girlsfound headings more effective. This was not found to be a significant factor in headingeffectiveness. Hartley and Trueman (1985) conclude, "... the differences between thesexes have not shown themselves to be important" (p. 133).Reading AbilityIt has been found that reading ability affects the comprehension performance ofsubjects (Baumann, 1984) and generally affects the subject's recall performance (higherreading ability students outperform middle reading ability students who outperform lowerreading ability students). Therefore, research subjects in many of the studies have beenfirst divided into two (e. g., below the 50th percentile and above the 50th percentile) orthree reading ability groups (high, middle and low reading groups) and then randomlyassigned to treatments (creating an equal number of high, middle and low reading abilitystudents in each type of treatment) so that the results are somewhat controlled for readingability. By setting up their studies in this controlled fashion, researchers are then able toexamine their results to see if one ability group benefits more from headings than any othergroups.Hartley and Trueman (1985) examined the effects of headings and ability in theirfirst fourteen experiments. They say:In all cases groups defmed as "high-ability" did significantly better thangroups defined as "low-ability", and in all cases except one there were nosignificant interactions between the presence/absence of headings andability. Experiment 12, which provided the exceptional case, involved theolder pupils reading the easier text. In this case it could be argued that thehigh-ability groups had no room for improvement on their test scores (withor without headings) but no room for improvement on their test scores (withor without headings) but that the headings clearly assisted the less-ablereaders. (p. 151)89Coulombe (1986) found, in addition to a general ability effect in recall, that theabove-grade readers also organized their free recalls better than the average readers whoorganized their free recalls better than the below-grade readers.Doctorow, Wittrock and Marks (1978) in their research on generative processingwith grade 6 students, found that low-ability children, as determined by a readingplacement test, used fewer paragraph headings to generate elaborative sentences than didthe high-ability children in the two groups that generated an elaborative sentence and hadone or two word headings on the passages that they read. The researchers found that"paragraph headings added to the generative instructions increased comprehension more forthe high-ability readers than for low-ability readers" (p. 118).Stables (1985) in his post hoc analysis of interrelationships of research variables,using data from his study and the two parallel studies (Gibbs, 1985; King, 1985), foundthat, "Reading ability did not have a high correlation with any of the measures but therewas a moderate positive correlation between reading ability level and the number ofsubordinate ideas recalled from the grade level passages" (p. 102).Researchers have also explored whether reading ability factors interact with certaintext factors. One such question involved headings as statements and headings asquestions. The work of Hartley, Kenely, Owen and Trueman (1980) and Hartley, Morrisand Trueman (1981) showed that low-ability groups benefited by having headings writtenin the form of questions rather than statements. Hartley and Trueman (1983) carried outmore experiments on this question using a longer passage but a small sample size. Theirresults showed a trend in the same direction as the first two studies but their results werenot significant. However, subsequent studies by Hartley and his colleagues (Hartley,Trueman & Pigram, 1984; Hartley & Trueman, 1985) using longer passages and a largersample size did not find this effect significant.It can been seen that reading ability has a very large effect on comprehension, recalland the ability to organize recall. Once reading ability is controlled for (by placing an equal90numbers of high, middle and low reading ability students in each type of treatment) thenheadings and ability group interactions are more isolated.Prior KnowledgeLike reading ability, the amount a person knows about a subject can greatly effecthis comprehension and recall. Mandl and Ballstaedt (1986) say, "Increase in learning afterreading the material is related to prior knowledge: A person who is well informed about thesubject matter also can integrate new knowledge more effectively" (p. 869). Stables (1985)found that grade 7 students on their grade level passage "scored higher than any other gradeand significantly higher than grade 6 and 8 students in recalling superordinate ideas" (p.95). He tentatively attributes this result to the connection of the content of this passage onHaida Indians to part of the curriculum for grade 7 students when they study NorthAmerican Indians.There is some evidence that headings may be more helpful when the reader does nothave extensive prior knowledge and less helpful when the reader has less need for headingswhen he has extensive knowledge of a topic. Regarding concept familiarity, Brooks,Dansereau, Spurlin and Holley (1983) found that headings used on fairly unfamiliar subjectmatter (less than 20% familiar) improved delayed test performance in Experiment 1. In thereverse situation, Jonassen (1983) did not find that headings were effective as semanticmarkers in facilitating probed and free recall. These students (Educational Psychologystudents at university) were reading material at their general reading level that was veryinteresting, on a topic that was very familiar and comprehensible to them. So, there maybe a point where information in the text is so familiar that headings are not needed to aidcomprehension and recall.The results of two Wilhite studies represent a different point of view. Wilhite(1987, 1988b) found, when using 116 college students who read a 1,760 word passagefrom a psychology text, that only the high pre-existing knowledge subjects were able to use91headings to significantly improve main-idea retention questions whereas headings were noteffective in improving main-idea retention of the low pre-existing knowledge group.Similar results were obtained by Wilhite (1989) using 94 college students who read a 4,840word passage on organization in memory. The high pre-existing knowledge group wereselected from students enrolled in a college course on human memory and the low pre-existing knowledge subjects consisted of subjects who had never taken a course onmemory. Once again, headings facilitated the answering of a main-idea retention test byonly the high pre-existing knowledge group. Wilhite (1988b) says, "... the results suggestthat headings facilitate recognition memory by activating schemas and that such anorganizational effect of headings is more likely to benefit main-idea information than detailinformation" (p. 215).It would seem that prior knowledge is an important factor to consider whenexamining heading research.PreferenceKlare, Shuford and Nichols (1958) examined the question of preference forheadings using adult airmen at a training base (see this research discussed earlier in thesection entitled Frequency of Headings). Using split versions, it was found that thesubjects significantly preferred high level of headings and those having an ordinary amountof headings when reading a long technical passage to low levels of headings (no headingsbut had 17 paragraph divisions). The high level of headings and the ordinary level ofheadings were not significantly different although there was a trend in favour of the highlevel of headings. Klare et al. (1958) suggest that this study shows "a definite increase inreader acceptability (pleasantness) for more highly organized material as compared to lesshighly organized material" (p. 44). This feature is potentially important for voluntaryreading.92Charrow and Redish (1980) carried out a study of headings on warrantyinformation. The headings did not improve retrieval time or accuracy but 90% of thesubjects reported that they preferred warranty information with headings over theinformation without headings.Hartley, Tobin and Trueman (1987), when they examined the effects of headings inBraille text with 24 blind subjects, found that although headings had not significantlyaffected recall, the subjects perceived headings to be useful and this fmding wassignificant.Awareness of Heading FunctionsThis factor is especially critical to assess when carrying out heading researchprojects with elementary school children and will be discussed in more detail in the nextsection.SummaryA number of reader factors and a number of textual factors have been discussed interms of their influence on the effect of headings. Although some factors have shown littleeffect (e.g., the position of headings), other factors seem to have a large effect. Therefore,it is not surprising that heading research results for the presence or absence of headings areso contradictory. When researchers carry out their studies, they need to be more specificabout what set of conditions they are really dealing with and decide whether they wish tocontrol for these conditions or clearly identify the factors that might be operating in theirresearch and report on their findings about the effects of these various factors.93READER AWARENESS AND ABILITY TO USE HEADINGSEFFECTIVELYIntroductionNo studies to date have explored the actual relationship of heading awareness toeffective use of headings as an aid to recall. It has been assumed by some educators that,over time and with experience on expository prose, the reader will intuitively come tounderstand the function of headings and will naturally use headings to aid comprehensionand recall (as discussed in Hartley & Jonassen, 1985). Hartley & Jonassen (1985) say,"One might expect at first that children would be unaware of the significance of headings,but that they would gradually become more aware of their significance ..." (p. 244). Prooffor this view is offered in the results of heading research that have had a positive effect forthe mere presence of headings (see comprehension and recall studies described in the firstsection of this chapter) even though there have been no controls on whether the subjectshave had any previous instruction in heading usage. Other researchers suggest that theirresults might have been different if instruction and practice had been provided (Christensen& Stordahl, 1955; Gibbs, 1985; King, 1985; Robinson & Hall, 1941). Educators, aswell, have recommended that students be taught how to use headings effectively (e.g.,Catterson, 1990; Niles, 1965; Robinson, 1961, 1970) which suggests that having headingspresent may not be enough if the reader is not aware of various heading functions.Although there have not been any studies exploring what heading awareness subjectsnaturally acquire, there have been a number of research studies that examined thecomprehension and recall of those students who have received direct instruction inheadings use and those subjects who have not been exposed to direct instruction. Thesestudies are discussed below.Because this research evolved from the general educational problem of elementarystudents having trouble comprehending and recalling expository prose (see Rationale in94chapter 1), any ways in which teachers can instruct elementary students and therebyimprove their ability to understand and remember what they read, are of interest.Elementary school children have had little experience reading non-narrative material. Yet,from grade 4 onward, students are expected to learn from their textbooks. Therefore, thissection of the literature review will discuss both the problems and some of the possiblesolutions to the amount of awareness the students, especially those at elementary school,bring to reading tasks in content area subjects.Problems with Young Students' Awareness of Heading FunctionsCoulombe (1986) has suggested a number of reasons why children might lacksensitivity to text structure and to headings. Elementary students have had limited exposureto expository material so they have had less experience with the conventions of this type ofprose (Baumann, 1984). Moreover, it has been noted that there are developmental trendsrelated to age and cognitive development that might make it harder for younger children touse headings effectively. Lastly, children might need direct instruction to make effectiveuse of headings. These aspects are explored below.Developmental ReadinessA number of researchers have found that there are definite signs of developmentalpatterns in children's ability to use headings effectively when they carried out researchusing subjects from different grade levels.Hartley and Trueman (1985), in their series of experiments, found that the 11 and12 year old students were not able to use headings to improve recall while 14 and 15 yearold students were. They suggested that this might be a consequence of age and experienceand "that there might be a developmental trend in the ability of children to use headings toaid recall" (p. 140).95Stables (1985) noticed a developmental effect when he compared his results ofgrade 5 and 6 students with those of older children in the parallel studies. The grade 5 and6 students generally recalled fewer superordinate and subordinate ideas when reading theeasy passage at the grade 4 level than the students in grade 8, 9, and 10. Stables suggestedthat there might be a change in reasoning strategies from concrete to more abstract thinkingaround 11 to 12 years of age. Therefore he recommends that study skills be taught at thegrade 6/7 level.Kobasigawa, Lacasse and MacDonald (1988) found that "both younger and olderstudents demonstrated the evidence of efficient use of the headings as locational aids whenexplicitly instructed on how to use them, spontaneous use of the headings as a researchstrategy was observed in approximately one half of the grade 4 and grade 6 students and amajority of grade 8 students" (p. 50).These results tend to indicate that there is a developmental pattern operating inrespect to headings in text. It seems likely that as children mature they become better ableto use organizational aids in expository prose. However, Goble (1986) suggested that thefailure of fifth and sixth grade students to use headings effectively may not be entirelydevelopmental as suggested by some of the researchers. Goble hypothesizes that it "mayrepresent a lack of training and instruction rather than a lack of cognitive maturity orreadiness" (p. 6).Lack of Maturity Versus Lack of Experience and KnowledgeOne way to solve the question of whether children are developmentally unready toutilize headings at the elementary level of school is to expose elementary school children toheading instruction and see if they respond by using headings more effectively. If they do,then it is more likely that the children do not have enough experience with headings andexpository prose or do not know how to use headings effectively than a lack of cognitivereadiness for the task. Direct instruction of headings as organizational aids at the96elementary level has been suggested by a number of researchers (Coulombe, 1986; Goble,1986; Snavely, 1961; Stables, 1985). However, the question of whether headings wouldbe used more effectively if the subjects had received instruction is not confined just to theelementary level.Research Studies on Direct Instruction of HeadingsOnly a few heading studies have explored heading effects after a period ofinstruction on the use of headings had been carried out. These will be presented inchronological order in two age groupings: High School/Adult Level and the ElementarySchool Level.High School/Adult LevelHolley, Dansereau, Evans, Collins, Brook and Larson (1981), in one facet of theirexperiment, compared training in the use of headings with no training using 95 universitystudents recruited from a regular psychology course when they were asked to read twolong passages from geology and biology text material. There were 4 treatment groups:control with no headings and no instruction, headings only, input training with headings,and output training with headings. The dependent measures were immediate and delayedrecall. The input training group read strategy instructions that encouraged the students toattend to the embedded headings during input processing and then tried the strategies out ona practice passage. The output processing group read the practice passage and then usedthe topic outline to recall information and finally memorized the outline. The groups thatdid not receive instructions used their usual study methods to read and study the practicepassage. Using multivariate procedures, Holley and his colleagues found that there wereno significant differences between input training and output training. These two groupswere then collapsed and combined to compare training with no training. The two groupswho received training were not able to recall significantly better than the group that had97headings and no training. The researchers offer several possible reasons for this. Theythought the new procedure might conflict with the students' regular strategies for readingnonnarrative material. Moreover, the training, which was thought to be small and of shortduration, might not have been extensive enough to be effective.Brooks, Dansereau, Spurlin and Holley (1983) in their second experimentinvolving 106 university psychology students, compared headings and instruction versusheadings only, and no headings and no instruction. In this experiment the researcherscombined input instruction with output instruction from the Holley et al. (1981)experiment. The researchers reasoned that the "separation of processing may have allowedthe 'input' group to store the information effectively but did not give them adequateprocedures for retrieving information effectively. The opposite scenario may have occurredwith the 'output' group. If this were the case, instruction participants on both input andoutput uses of headings should lead to improved performance" (p. 298). The headingsplus instruction group outperformed that control group that had no instruction and noheadings on the essay and the outline tests. The same group also did better than theheadings only group but the results were not significant. Brooks et al. (1983) suggest thatthese results show that instruction in the use of headings is beneficial.Elementary School LevelTaylor (1982) carried out 2 experiments in which 11 and 12 year old students weretaught how to use a summarization strategy involving headings. The results for thistraining were positive for the first experiment but she was not able to replicate this result inthe second experiment. Taylor found that the students in the second experiment hadshowed less mastery of the study strategy than the students in the first experiment and thisaffected how well the subjects remembered text. Taylor says, "Seven practice sessionsoccurring over a 7-week period may have been insufficient for the students in this group tolearn how to generate the summaries independently" (p. 338). Taylor suggests "that98students must be able to perform the study strategy reasonably well before it will markedlyimprove recall" (p. 323).Coulombe (1986) carried out a direct instruction experiment using 141 grade 4students from 6 paired classes. The intact classes were matched on the basis of estimatedreading ability and socio-economic status and then were randomly assigned to the controlor experimental groups. The experimental group (containing low, average, and aboveaverage reading ability students) were given 9 (half hour to one hour lessons) by theexperimenter on the organization of information /classification prose and on the use ofheadings as recall aids using easy-to-read material rated at the 3.1-3.9 Fry readability level.The control group (also with low, average and above average reading ability) used the samereading materials and had the same length of lessons but were given regular question andanswer lessons by their classroom teachers. Both groups received the same pretest and aposttest. The results showed that the experimental training procedures significantlyenhanced the students' organization of written recall but it did not facilitate an increase inthe number of ideas recalled.Coulombe attempted to interpret the failure of the experimental group to recall moreinformation in a number of possible ways. First, she suggested that the students may haveconcentrated on remembering headings at the expense of recalling the associated details.Coulombe noted that the training procedures caused the experimental group to useconsiderably more headings in their recall protocols but quantity of headings was notrewarded in her scoring procedure. Secondly, Coulombe wondered if the multiplicity ofthe training tasks were beyond the capabilities of grade 4 students to carry outindependently of the instructor. During the training sessions, under the guidance of theresearcher, the students had successfully recalled "impressive" amounts of information.This would suggest that grade four students need considerable time to integrate instructionon the use of headings or they will not be able to use headings to increase recall. Analternative explanation is that grade 4 students are not developmentally or cognitively99mature enough to benefit from heading instruction. Stables (1985) has suggested thatstudy skills could be taught more effectively at the grade 6 or 7 level. When the results ofthe ability groups were examined average and high ability groups seemed better able to useorganization instruction than low ability students. However, more research at the grade 4level involving heading instruction is necessary to clarify the issue.Goble (1986) carried out a parallel study to the Coulombe (1985) research using168 grade 5 children from three school districts in the lower mainland area of BritishColumbia. The classes were matched, once again, on estimated reading ability (aboveaverage, average and low) and socio-economic status and then randomly assigned totreatment groups. The experimental group received 10 sessions of instruction on headinguse and text organization (9 sessions were taught by the experimenter) similar to thelessons taught to the grade 4 experimental groups in Coulombe's study. The control groupread the same passages as the experimental group but this was followed up by questionsand discussion. All of control classes were taught by the regular classroom teachersalthough the material was prepared by the researcher for the teachers so the control groupswould receive identical instruction. The posttest was analyzed by using an analysis ofcovariance procedure and an alpha level was set for the .05 level. The results showed thatthe experimental group significantly outperformed the control group on both the amount ofrecall (p<.001) and the organization of ideas (p<.001) on the delayed free recall posttest.Goble concludes that sensitizing grade 5 children to headings and the structure of text canlead to higher recall scores. Moreover, the reading ability groups were equally affected bythe experimental treatments. Goble suggests, "Perhaps findings in earlier studies, showingstudents at this level to be unable to use headings, resulted from a lack of training" (p. 72).Both the Coulombe study and the Goble study used the same pretest, posttest andteaching passages although a few variations in instruction occurred.100Summary of Direct Instruction Heading ResearchThe few studies described above tend to suggest that instruction in the use ofheadings is beneficial in improving recall for most age groups of students if the trainingtime is appropriate for the age of student. The grade 4 students were unable to improve theamount recalled after instruction but there is some suggestion that longer time would havebeen necessary for the grade 4 students to absorb and apply all that had been learned in thepractice lesson. The studies with adults that produced non-significant results forinstruction were probably the result of too short a training period (one lesson and onepractice session) as suggested by Holley et al. (1981) than indicating that the use headingcan be just as easily learned intuitively.Type of Direct InstructionThere are three types of direct instruction that can help the reader to be aware ofheadings. These are on-going teacher guidance, direct skill or knowledge instruction andstrategy instruction. Some of the advantages and disadvantages of each will be considered.On-Going Teacher GuidanceAlthough there is little information that instructs teachers how to teach students touse headings effectively, teacher guides for content area textbooks, of late, have sometimessuggested that teachers draw the students' attention to the headings before they read the textinformation. Both authorized grade 5 social studies textbooks in British Columbia ask theteachers to direct student awareness to the headings when they begin a chapter. Thisteacher guidance is intended to be helpful to the students in understanding the selectedmaterial for that session. The advantages of this way of instructing students are the shortamount of time that needs to be devoted to the process and the immediate effects.However, the benefits of this kind of teacher direction is not likely to have any influencewhen students read expository prose on their own. Moreover, even with attention focused101on headings, the students may not understand the functions of headings. McKeachie(1988) says, "In general, educational activities are teacher-directed and students learn toconform to the teacher's directions without any conscious thought about why the teacherdirects them to carry out certain activities" (p. 5).Direct Skill or Knowledge InstructionDirect instruction of heading functions is designed to have the reader develop anawareness of heading functions as organizational, signalling and accessing aids and learn touse headings to improve comprehension, recall, search and retrieval when needed. Theadvantages of direct skill or knowledge instruction, if the information is carefully andthoroughly taught, are a real understanding of heading functions and an ability toautomatically use this knowledge when approaching headings. However, teaching thisknowledge can take awhile to be taught. It appears that it might be better to teach differentaspects over several years when children are cognitively ready. Although there are distinctadvantages to having a deep understanding of some of the concepts involved in thepresence of headings, there seems to be little evidence in teacher guide books that studentsreceive direct instruction of headings as organizational and signally aids in text. Only theaccessing functions of headings seem to be taught to elementary students and this is usuallyby the librarian.Rosenshine (1986) and Winograd and Hare (1988) consider that effective directinstruction involves the following procedures (based on Rosenshine's model): reviewprevious work; introduce the new lesson in a series of sequenced and manageable steps;supervise student practice; provide feedback and corrections; set up independent studentpractice; and organize periodic reviews. Rosenshine (1986) says that direct, systematicteaching is particularly applicable to explicit reading procedures and less applicable forareas in which concepts are fuzzy or entangled such as teaching composition or readingcomprehension. Resnick (1984) adds:102If knowledge is constructed rather than recorded, it does not make sense tothink of instruction as directly conveying knowledge or skill. Rather, wemust think of instruction as setting in motion learner's natural processes ofknowledge construction and providing external information that is likely tobe used productively. (p. 431)Thus, Resnick (1984) suggests that we need a broadened definition of direct instructionthat is:in keeping with the constructive character of learning. Direct instruction isany deliberate attempt to intervene in learning so that the outcome of thelearner's processes will be a particular form of knowledge or skill.Psychologists or educators interested in direct instruction should look forforms of explanation or demonstration, and forms of practice, that set inmotion the learning processes which lead to expert performance. Theyshould not seek to engage novice learners in performances of experts. (p.443)The studies of Coulombe (1986) and Goble (1986) used direct skill and knowledgeinstruction plus generative processing tasks to train students to understand how headingsfunction in expository prose. Their instruction included word sorting and categorizingactivities, and a variety of main idea and detail activities. Categorization and mainidea/detail understanding are two related concepts that are helpful for the understanding ofheadings and text organization in expository prose. Although both concepts are veryimportant for readers of content area text material, they are also difficult for young peopleto understand.Finding the Main Idea - In expository prose authors organize their ideas under a seriesof headings and subheadings (Taylor, 1992). Headings often represent part of themain idea for a series of paragraphs in a passage. Learning how to find the centralthought or gist or main idea of a passage is considered important to teach becausechildren at the elementary level find this skill difficult. Two studies carried out byJames F. Baumann confirm this.103Baumann (1981a), using 83 grade 3 students and 89 grade 6 students, hadthe children read two passages in two sittings from their regular classroom socialstudies text material. Then he assessed their ability to get the gist or main idea ofthe passage. The results indicated that the children were not able to find the gist ofthe passage or its main ideas as gauged by a cued written recall after the firstpassage was read and by three measures after the second passage was read. Thesemeasures were a gist statement recognition test, a multiple choice test and a mainidea/detail recognition test. Baumann concludes,... elementary students who read expository (textbook) prose tendLisa to comprehend either the gist of an entire passage or its mainideas with great skill. This can be stated with a reasonable level ofconfidence because the level of ecological validity for thisexperiment was high. ... Thus, it would be unwise for elementaryor middle school content teachers to assume that their students willbe inherently skillful at main idea comprehension. (p. 9)Baumann recommends that educators continue to teach students how tocomprehend main ideas, especially with content area material. Taylor (1992)agrees.In 1984, Baumann experimented to see if direct instruction in finding orconstructing the main idea would be effective in improving awareness of main ideasand whether general recall would be improved if he compared a group receivingdirect instruction to a group receiving basal instruction in main ideas and a controlgroup receiving alternate vocabulary instruction. Baumann's experiment involved66 grade 6 children that were blocked on achievement and randomly assigned totreatment groups. The instruction period consisted of eight 30 minute sessions.Baumann found significant effects for the group that received the strategy of directmain idea instruction in improving their ability to recognize implicit and explicitmain ideas but no significant differences in general recall. Baumann (1984) says,104"the power of the treatment effects favoring the Strategy group indicates stronglythat main idea skills can be taught effectively when instruction is direct andsystematic, which is consistent with prior successful direct instructioncomprehension studies ..." (p. 103). A detailed explanation of Baumann's strategyfor direct skill instruction of main ideas can be found in Baumann (1986c).Actively teaching main idea comprehension skills has been recommended byAulls, Winograd & Bridge, and Hare & Bingham, in Baumann, 1986b, and byBaumann, 1984, 1986c. Carver (1987), however, disagrees. Instead, he suggeststhat teachers should spend their time "getting students to read more" (p. 125).Categorizing - The ability to categorize and understand levels of information is relatedto main ideas and details in text.George Lakoff (1987) in his volume on Women. Fire, and Dangerous Things: What Categories Reveal About the Mind suggests that children begin at avery early age to classify or categorize the world they see around them. However,the classifying that takes place by young people is usually at the basic level (e.g.,dog or chair) and not at a superordinate level (animal or furniture) or subordinatelevel (retriever or rocking chair). As children grow, they become more aware offiner divisions and hence their knowledge at a subordinate level increases. Lakoffsays that the work of Rosch and her associates (Rosch, Mervis, Gray, Johnson, &Boyes-Braem, 1976) have shown that superordinate categorization abilities developlater. As headings tend to reflect information at the superordinate level, it can bemore difficult for children to understand their organizing capacity. To be able touse headings effectively, the reader should be aware of hierarchically levels and beable to group information at a number of levels. Therefore, particular assistancemay be necessary to help the reader understand the overriding superordinate level ofinformation on their topic.105Contee and Gerhard (1986) think that the categorizing process is "the basefor understanding the structure of ideas in most textbooks. The ideas are organizedin a hierarchy of related categories moving down from the title, through chapterheadings, main headings, subheadings to paragraphs. Comprehension of textbookmaterial is not possible without understanding the relationships between thedifferent levels of ideas" (p. 3).A number of educators have recommended that categorization and main ideaunderstanding be taught by direct instruction. Aulls (1978) developed ways toteach categorization, topic, main idea as well as outlining skills. Contee andGerhard (1986) developed a thinking skills program involving headings andcategorization. Santa (1988) devised a very simple but effective way to helpstudents understand main ideas and levels in a hierarchy using the game of PowerThinking, and categorization activities relating category labels to power levels.Although direct skill or knowledge instruction is time consuming,thoroughly learning major concepts needed to successfully learn from readingmaterials (such as categorizing and the understanding of main ideas and details) canbe worthwhile. Jones (1986) offers a word of caution though. He says that oneshould be "careful to avoid fragmentation of instruction, teaching isolated skills asends in themselves, and excessive testing" (p. 8). Tierney and Cunningham (1984)add:However the brain functions, the experience of reading has all thecomponents of art and experience. To date our comprehensioninstruction has tended to emphasize the systematic, sequential, andpiecemeal at the expense of the aesthetic, experiential, vicarious, andthe wonder of reading. (p. 634)106Strategic InstructionIn addition to the direct teaching of skills, numerous educators are now suggestingthat students should be taught to be strategic readers (Brown, Campione & Day, 1981;Jones, Palincsar, Ogle & Carr, 1987; Monahan, 1990; Paris, Lipson, Wixson, 1983;Symons, Snyder, Cariglia-Bull & Pressley, 1989; Winograd & Hare, 1988). This reflectsthe new way that cognitive psychologists think of the learner. Reynolds, Wade, Trathen,and LaPan (1989) say "the reader was seen as passive and without any real input into thelearning process. More recently, cognitive psychologists ... have proposed that readers arereally active, strategic participants in the learning situation. This recent approach hasencouraged prose learning researchers to investigate the types of strategies that learnersemploy in different contexts, particularly as they attempt to learn and recall informationfrom long, expository texts" (p. 161). Flood and Lapp (1990) say that the educator needsto "acknowledge the student's role as the meaning-maker in the reading act" (p. 492).They think that contemporary comprehension instruction should be based onconstructivism principles. Flood and Lapp (1990) explain:Constructivism calls for an understanding and implementation of the notionthat the student takes ownership for learning and the teacher providesappropriate direction and support. It requires a form of collaborationbetween teachers and students in which teachers and students work togetherto ensure that students internalize rules and strategies for making meaning.(p. 492)In spite of this new wave of thinking, McKeachie (1988) notes that, "Studentsseldom get directed training and practice in developing study strategies. Rather, theystumble upon effective strategies only when, by chance, they vary their approach and fmdthat one method works better than others" (p. 5). Instead, Pressley, Forrest-Pressley andElliot-Faust (1988) suggest that effective strategic instruction should not only introduce thelearner to useful strategies but should show the student how, when, and where thestrategies can be used.107Definitions for strategies differ in the literature but Kail and Bisanz (1982) sayseveral prototypic features of strategies have emerged. These are as follows:First, a strategy is a sequence of activities rather than a unitary event.Consequently, a strategy may be characterized both by its componentprocesses and by the organization of these processes into a coherent whole.Second, strategies are considered to be more modifiable and flexible than'reflexive' in nature. ... Certain components of a strategy may be automatic,but the overall procedure is presumed to be flexible and, at least in principle,can be modified to become more adaptive. (p. 230)Resnick (1984) says some processes in skilled reading occur automatically and are notusually conscious. Other processes are open to manipulation by the reader. Theseprocesses are often called "strategies". Resnick notes that:Strategies have a heuristic and flexible character. The adoption of a strategyis influenced both by variations in the reader's purpose and by the featuresof a text. Strategies also allow the possibility of conscious control and arepotential objectives for instruction - a set of procedures that can be taught tolearners as a way of improving general reading performance. (p. 435)Duffy and Roehler (1989) agree saying, "Unlike routine procedures associated with skills,strategies are flexible plans that readers adapt to the comprehension demands of the text"(p. 133). Yet they claim that there are subtle differences between skills and strategies.Duffy and Roehler (1989) say, "... while skills are uniformly applied in all situations,strategies may be applied procedurally in highly familiar text situations but are more oftenreflectively adapted to fit situations" (p. 141). Van Dijk and Kintsch (1983) add that it isnot merely important to reach a goal, but one should also consider reaching it with optimalefficiency.It has been noticed that successful readers use strategies to help them cope withtextual material. Jones (1986) says that, "the effective learner uses a repertoire of specificthinking and study strategies to interact with the instructional materials before, during, andimmediately after reading ... Novices and poor readers apparently do not develop this108repertoire of strategies spontaneously ..." (p. 7). This flexibility is one of the keys tostrategic thinking. In order to be flexible, it helps if the reader is metacognitively aware.Tierney and Cunningham (1984) say, "Metacognition research findings suggest thatsuccessful readers are more aware of the strategies they use during reading than lesssuccessful readers. On the basis of this finding an argument can be made for heighteningthe reader's awareness of task demands" (p. 632). Strategy instruction attempts to helpless successful readers become aware of more effective ways to learn and assists studentsin eventually being able to carry out these strategies independently. Jones, Palincsar, Ogleand Carr (1987) say:The goal of strategy instruction is to foster independence on the part of thelearner.To achieve this goal, it is important that students acquire severaldimensions of information about the strategies they use. Clearly, studentsneed to know what the strategy is (declarative information), how to apply it(procedural knowledge), as well as when and where to use the strategy(conditional knowledge). (p. 41)The advantages of strategic instruction are that tasks can be monitored by the readerand used or not used at the reader's discretion. Information that is learned strategicallyallows the reader to apply the same instructions as those given in on-going teacherguidance, but it is totally independent of the teacher once the strategies are understood,learned, appreciated, and applied.Although there are many advantages to teaching strategies, especially if the teachingis well done, not all teaching of reading tasks should employ strategic instruction. It is nota quick process teaching cognitive, metacognitive and motivational aspects of strategies andproviding sufficient practice. Moreover, in order to deliberately use strategies, the learnermust understand them (Pressley, Forrest-Pressley & Elliot-Faust, 1988). There seems tobe a developmental aspect to metacognition. Usually, as children grow older they are moreable to learn metacognitive strategies. Pressley, Forrest-Pressley and Elliot-Faust, (1988)109also caution teacher from using too many strategies in an isolated fashion. Theyrecommend using multiple strategies in a coordinated way. Pressley et al. (1988) say,"Many real-world educational tasks require several types of processing. For, instance,prose comprehension often includes modifying how readers preview an article, read it, andreview it. ... Reflecting this need, many contemporary interventions include multiplestrategies" (p. 103). Lastly, Paris, Wasik, and Van der Westhuizen (1988), in their reviewof metacognition research, warn that there is "a dangerous imbalance in which theenthusiasm and prescriptions far outstrip the empirical database" (p. 163). All aspects ofstrategy instruction, including the metacognitive components, need to be based on a sounddatabase.SummaryIn this section, a number of types of direct instruction have been discussed. Thereare advantages and disadvantages to each type of instruction. In a classroom, all threetypes of instruction would be used. In the case of headings, a teacher would ideally useboth direct skill instruction plus strategy instruction to help the reader become aware of thefunctions of headings and use this knowledge to aid their comprehension and recall oftextual material. Pressley, Forrest-Pressley & Elliot-Faust, 1988, cite an experiment byGraves, 1987, that showed that the combination of direct instruction and self-monitoringtraining produced more main ideas than direct instruction or self-monitoring training. Inthis research, a series of heading strategies has been chosen. It is hoped that this willcompliment the work of Goble (1986) who showed that direct instruction was effective inimproving the free recall of grade 5 students in her sample. In the next section, somereading comprehension strategies that focus on headings are discussed.110Heading Strategies for Improving Comprehension and RecallThere are a number of activities that are presently being carried out under teacherguidance using headings that are designed to improve comprehension. These activitieshave potential for being taught as strategies instead. If this is the case, the benefits thatonly are directed to the immediate reading situation in the teacher guided experience, caninstead be carried out over to many reading situations by the student who has successfullylearned to use heading strategies. Some suggested strategies using headings that can becarried out before and after reading are:Prereading Strategies• Before reading a passage, skim the passage for headings and subheadings and readthese first.If a student reads a heading and then the text, the student can use theheading to aid his comprehension of the section that follows immediately after. If areader reads all the headings first, they form an outline of topics to be discussed andprovide an overview for the whole text to be read.Krug, George, Hannon and Glover (1989) found that reading an outlinebefore reading the text, then reading the text with embedded headings (drawndirectly from the outline) significantly improved the free recall of 118 undergraduatecollege students in two experiments over the headings and no outline group or anoutline but no headings group. Both the outline only group and heading only grouprecalled significantly more than the control group that received no outline and noheadings with the reading passage. If the student uses the strategy of reading allheadings and subheadings before beginning their normal reading of a passage, thiswill act as an outline and the reader has the benefit of both an outline before theyread and headings as they read. Krug et al. (1989) thought that outlines (headingsin outline form) could assist students in seeing the text's organization (Experiment 3111involved reordering statements from text and only outlines or outlines and headingscombined aided the students in this task). These experiments tend to show thatreading the headings in a passage before reading the full text is a useful strategy.• Use headings to link with prior knowledge.A typical guided reading practice is to have the students look at a headingand tell the teacher what they know about the topic (Flood & Lapp, 1990; Santa,1988). Although the teacher is not there to fill in information if the students havelittle background information, just stopping and fmding what one knows about atopic could help students access what information that they already have.• Use the headings to predict what the passage might be about.This strategy is suggested as part of Santa's (1988) Pre-Reading Guide;from Ogle's (1986) K-W-L method for active reading of expository text; by Jones(1986) in cognitive instruction; and by Contee & Gerhard (1986) as part of theirthinking skills program.• Notice how the text is organized by looking at the size and type of print used for thetitle, the headings and the subheadings.This presupposes that the student understands something about differentlevels of information and the way text is organized [see categorization under directinstruction].• Use headings to set a purpose for reading.In this strategy, the student turns headings that are statements into questionsto set a purpose for reading. Teaching students to turn a title or heading into aquestion can lead to the student finding the answer explained somewhere in the text.This links and strengthens the impact from both the heading and the text. Thisheading strategy is adapted from typical reading and study strategies (Flood &Lapp, 1990; Taylor, 1992).112Postreading Strategies• When the reading is finished, the readers can attempt to answer the questions thatthey made up based on the headings?This will serve the purpose of reviewing information in the chapter andhelping the students to think that they made up the questions for some reason.• The reader can check his or her predictions and see how closely they compare to theauthors ideas.The reader should note the differences but not think that it is essential toknow ahead of time what the author might say.• If the text information must be recalled in great detail, reread the headings and try torecall the main ideas that were discussed under each heading.If detailed information is linked to headings and the reader remembers theheadings, there is a much better chance that he or she will recall more informationfrom the text.The strategies discussed above are all ways to help readers interact with the readingmaterial in an active fashion. Because these are strategies and not automatic procedures,the reader can make decisions about which strategies to use in different situations. Some ofthe choices revolve around the following questions: How hard is the text to understand?How well do I have to understand and recall this material? What is my purpose for readingthis material? What strategies seem to work best for me? The student not only needs to betaught the strategies, but then needs to be shown when and how to use them in anindependent fashion. If the time is taken to teach the reading strategies thoroughly and thestudent is given practice choosing and using these strategies in meaningful (to the student)situations, it is possible for these strategies to remain a permanent part of the student'sreading repertoire when reading informational material.113SUMMARY OF THE CHAPTERIn the review of the literature, numerous studies related to heading research havebeen presented. The first major theme that was explored was the functions that headingsplay in comprehension and recall. The literature suggests that headings are sometimeseffective in aiding comprehension by providing a link to prior knowledge, and clarifyingthe theme, order and hierarchical levels in text structure. Moreover, headings sometimesaid retrieval from memory as in the case of different types of recall.However, the research does not consistently show that headings perform thesevarious functions. If the broad picture is focused on and all these studies are considered,then various patterns begin to emerge. There are a number of factors in text and readerfactors that seem to have an impact on how effective headings are at aiding comprehensionand recall. Heading studies that are concerned with these factors were discussed as part ofthe second major theme.The last theme involved the exploration of one reader factor: the reader's awarenessof headings and ability to use them effectively. At the elementary school level, the presenceof headings alone in expository text has not been shown to significantly affect the pupils'comprehension and recall. Several possible explanations have been offered. The studentsmay not be cognitively mature enough to use headings effectively, or they may not have theexperience to use headings effectively yet. If the latter is the case, instruction in the use ofheadings might be feasible. The Goble (1986) study suggests grade 5 students benefittedfrom direct instruction in the use of headings. Therefore, this present study attempts toexplore whether grade 5 students would be helped by using heading strategies on thequantity and type of delayed written recall when the students are using a regular classroomsocial studies textbook passage. Chapter 3 presents a detailed discussion of the plannedmethodology for this research.114CHAPTER THREEMethodologyINTRODUCTIONPlan of the ChapterThe third chapter presents the planned methodology of the research project. Thischapter contains information on the choice of design, sampling technique, andcharacteristics of the population. The chapter also discusses the materials and instrumentsto be used in the pretest, treatments and posttests as well as the experimental procedure.The chapter concludes with information on data analysis and delimitations of the study.Restatement of the ThesisThis study was designed to investigate the effects of three conditions:a) absence of headings,b) presence of headings, andc) presence of headings and heading strategy instructionson the quantity and type of delayed written free recall and main idea recall/formulation ofgrade five students when they read an expository passage selected from a British Columbiaauthorized social studies textbook.DESIGN OF EXPERIMENTThe design chosen for this study was an Experimental Pretest-Posttest ControlGroup Design (Wiersma, 1986, p. 110-111) and this design is diagrammed in Table 3.01.115Table 3.01Diagram of the Experimental Pretest-Posttest Control Group DesignR^01^---^02^R = random assignment to treatmentsR^03^X1^04^Os (odd numbered) = pretestsR^05^X2^06^Os (even numbered) = posttestsX = experimental treatments--- = control group treatmentA stratification variation was added to improve the reliability and validity of theresults. The students were to be stratified into three equal sized groups based on rankordered scores from a standardized reading test. The three groups (higher, middle, andlower reading ability) would then be randomly assigned to one of three treatment groups (acontrol and two experimental groups). [Random assignment was later changed tosystematic counterbalanced assignment.] It was thought to be important to ensure anapproximately even number of students with higher, middle and lower reading abilitiesbecause it is hypothesized that reacling ability has a strong relationship to the treatments andthe dependent variables.The independent variables in this study were reading ability (higher, middle, andlower) and treatments (Treatment #1 or control group - no headings present and no headingstrategy instructions; Treatment #2 or experimental group 1 - headings present but noheading strategy instructions; Treatment #3 or experimental group 2 - headings present andheading strategy instructions). The main dependent variables in this study were thequantity of main ideas or superordinate ideas, subordinate ideas and sub-subordinate ideason the first posttest in written free recall, and accuracy of main idea recall/formulation on asecond posttest. Both of these posttests were to be administered after a one day delay.116n = 20 n = 20 n = 20n = 20 n = 20 n = 201^n = 20 n = 20 , n = 20606060AT2(Treatments)T3AB6060^a,b,c,d,e,f60N= 180Table 3.02Factorial Design with Emphasis on Distribution of Subjects in Cells(Reading comprehension ability) dependenthigher (H) middle (M) lower (L)^variablesN = number of subjects in study^n = number of subjects in cellA and B - Independent variables AB - Interaction of variablesT1 = Treatment 1 - no headings, no heading strategy instructionsT2 = Treatment 2- headings but no heading strategy instructionsT3 = Treatment 3 - headings and heading strategy instructionsa = quantity of superordinate ideas in delayed free recallb = quantity of subordinate ideas in delayed free recallc = quantity of sub-subordinate ideas in delayed free recalld = quantity of ideas recalled from the delayed free recall (a, b, c)e = accuracy of main idea recall/formulation after a one day delayf= total from a, b, c, and eAdditional dependent variables were the total quantity recalled on the free recall test, and thetotals on the free and main idea recall tests. Because of the number of variables involved inthis study, a 3 x 3 factorial design was chosen to explore main effects and interaction effectof the independent variables. This factorial design is shown in Table 3.02.117The experimental pretest-posttest control group design has a number of strengths.According to Borg and Gall (1989), this design controls for eight threats to internal validityand is open to only one threat to external validity (p. 674). However, this study does notseem to be strongly affected by any of the internal threats to validity originally identified byCampbell and Stanley and added to by Borg and Gall (Borg & Gall, 1989, p. 644-649 andp. 674) nor is it affected by the one threat to external validity to which this design issometimes susceptible wherein the pretest affects the results of the treatments. The studyinvolves students representative of three school districts which improves its populationvalidity. In addition, ecological validity is particularly strong because this research usesreading materials that are selected from an authorized textbook used in many grade 5 socialstudies classes in the province and involves the students in treatment and posttestconditions that are normal activities in the classroom.POPULATION AND SELECTION OF SUBJECTSSample SizeIn a study using a 3 x 3 factorial design, there are nine cells to be filled. Each cellcontains a different combination of independent variable levels and it is important to haveenough subjects in each cell to adequately carry out the experiment while keeping thenumber of subjects manageable. Borg and Gall (1989) have suggested that in"experimental research, it is desirable to have a minimum of 15 cases in each group to becompared" (p. 233). In this study, it was thought that a larger sample size would behelpful because a small effect size is anticipated. "If small samples were used, the largerstandard errors of the sample statistics could obscure small but important differences"(Borg & Gall, 1989, p. 234). Therefore, it was decided that there would be 20 subjects ineach cell making a total of 180 subjects needed for the experiment.118Research PopulationThe target population for this study was fifth grade students who were enrolled innon-streamed classrooms, could read at or above the grade 4 reading level as determined bythe norms presented in the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Test, Canadian Edition, Level D,Form 1, and were using the British Columbia authorized text, Canada: Building Our Nationin their social studies classes.Selection of School DistrictsA number of conditions needed to be met in order to carry out this study usingclassroom text materials and a regular standardized reading test:1. The school districts had to be within reasonable proximity to theresearcher's two residences (Burnaby and Courtenay).2. The school district had to have some social studies classes that were usingthe alternate authorized text called, Canada: Building Our Nation.3. The school district could not have a district-wide policy where all GradeFive students would be given the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Test, CanadianEdition, Level D, Form 1.4. The students had to be part of a non-streamed grade five social studiesclassroom.As a result, five school boards were contacted and four school districts met theconditions. The names of the four districts were put on identical sized name cards, thecards were mixed and three names were drawn randomly. These districts were Courtenay,Delta, and Coquitlam. The name that was not chosen in the random draw, the NewWestminster school district, was eliminated. Comparative information about the threeschool districts from the British Columbia Regional Index. 1989, is listed in Table 3.03.119Table 3.03A Comparison of School Districts on Enrollment and General EconomySchool DistrictPublic SchoolEnrollment#43, Coquitlam 1987-88 21,675#71, Courtenay 1987-88 7,175#37, Delta 1987-88 17,463General Economyprimarily a residential suburb, withsome manufacturing. staffing and services for the CanadianForces air base, forestry, agriculture,fishing and tourism. major residential suburb with peopleemployed elsewhere, somemanufacturing, farming, tourism, andfishing.Population validity was thought to have been improved by the inclusion of studentsfrom three school districts in two different areas of the province rather than one schooldistrict in one location. These school districts contain some rural and urban schools, and alarge number of suburban schools.Classroom SelectionEach school district was canvassed to find the names of the schools and classroomsthat met the criteria listed above. Once the list of possible non-streamed grade five classeswas established for each district, a decision would be made whether to use a randomsampling of classrooms (the intermediate unit in a type of multi-stage sampling, whileeventually the primary unit of sampling would be the individual student) or whether it waspreferable to use the most representative classrooms in schools that were suggested bydistrict supervisors. An example of the latter might be a case where some schools had avery large number of recent immigrants who did not speak English and the districtsupervisor did not think these schools would be representative of the whole district.120Once a number of classes have been chosen from each district, the teachers wouldbe asked for permission to use their classes in this study. If any teachers refused, otherclassrooms would be selected using a table of random numbers or classes that were deemedto be the next most representative. This would continue until at least seven classrooms hadbeen found to take part in the main study and one class for the pilot study. Since theresearcher did not know in advance the current size of each class and how many studentswould need to be eliminated (because they are unable to read with understanding or they areoutliers, or their parents would not let them take part), it was deemed advisable to includethe eighth class. This would provide a pool of students who could be held in reserve, to beused as spares in case of attrition in the initial sample. Attrition was expected to be smallbecause of the short length of this study.Selecting and Classifying Subjects into Reading Ability LevelsOnce the appropriate number of classes have been obtained, the actual samplewould be selected. To do this, the potential students from each of the selected classroomswould be given a standardized reading test called the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Test,Canadian Edition, Level D, Form 1. All scores (a total of both vocabulary andcomprehension scores) would be scanned and the pupils who had a score that fell belowthe grade 4.0 level would be eliminated. [In this experiment, it was essential that thestudents were able to comprehend most of the material that they would be asked to read. Ifchildren score at less than the grade 4.0 level, there was a good chance that they werehaving trouble decoding the text or did not have sufficient English to understand what theyread. In either case, this could provide spurious results. Baumann (1981 b) also suggestsexcluding less capable readers in order to prevent confounding word identification abilitywith comprehension ability" (p. 50)1 Next, all students who were able to perform at thegrade 4.0 level or above on the standardized reading test would be pooled, arranged inalphabetical order and assigned a research number. Then, using a table of random121numbers, 180 students would be selected to be subjects in the study. The remainingstudents would be randomly ordered using a table of random numbers and placed on awaiting list to be used only in the event of attrition of sample subjects or removal ofoutliers. The 180 students in the sample would be rank ordered on the basis of theirstandardized reading test scores and the list would be divided into three groups: the topthird of the rank ordered scores would represent the higher group; the next third would bedesignated the middle group; and the bottom third would represent the lower group. Aplan was devised for handling the wait-listed students so that they were available for eachreading ability group in a randomly selected order.Classification of Subjects into Treatment GroupsSubjects from each reading ability group or stratum would be randomly assigned toone of three treatment groups using a table of random numbers until each cell was filledwith the 20 required subjects. The rest of the students on the waiting list would also berandomly assigned to treatment groups. Then, if any subjects dropped out of the study, thefirst randomly assigned wait-listed student from the same reading ability group and thesame treatment would be used as a replacement. Only the extra students who were used asreplacements would have their posttest results marked and included in the study.Effect of Classroom Conditions on the Research DesignIt was planned that the experiment would take place in the eight separate classroomsunder the direction of the same researcher. Because the treatments would be presented in awritten format, all three treatments could take place at the same time in the sameclassrooms. This feature had some distinct advantages. It would allow the researcher topool the students from all eight classes before placing the subjects in reading ability groupsand randomly assigning them by strata to the treatment groups. Therefore, it moderated theeffects of uneven reading abilities in each class and allowed different combinations of the122treatment to take place. In addition, the simultaneous treatments allowed for variation in theclassroom and therefore the unit of measurement could be the individual student instead ofthe class. Both these features strengthened the research design greatly. Lastly, no groupwould receive special attention. Hence there was not likely to be a John Henry effect andeach group would be equally affected by any Hawthorne effect.TESTING INSTRUMENTSIn this study, the testing instruments included both standardized andnonstandardized test materials. The standardized test materials were used as a pretest, ameasure to compare groups using analysis of covariance, if necessary, and as a measure toaid in the selection of different reading ability groups. The nonstandardized materials wereused in the treatments and in the posttests.Standardized Test MaterialPretest material should correlate highly with posttest material. Ability to read andcomprehend is thought to have a large correlation with reading a passage, andunderstanding and recalling the passage.Test SelectionThe Gates-MacGinitie Reading Tests, Canadian Edition, Level D (Grades 4-6),Form 1, includes both vocabulary and comprehension subtests. The comprehensionsubtest was selected to be used to rank order the students and then divide them into threegroups consisting of a higher, middle and lower level of reading comprehension ability.These groups would then be randomly assigned to treatment groups. The total scores fromthe two subtests, vocabulary and comprehension, were chosen to act as a second set ofpretest scores in judging how similar the three treatment groups were in general reading123ability if the stratifying of students on reading comprehension ability and randomassignment to treatment groups did not sufficiently equalize the different treatment groups.The Canadian Edition of the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Tests was selected for anumber of reasons:1. It is one of the more recent group survey tests that focuses specifically onreading assessment.2. It uses Canadian and international content and has been normed usingCanadian students. The test was designed to provide a general standardizedassessment of an individual student's reading achievement as comparedwith a representative group of students throughout Canada. It provides anumber of derived scores (percentile rank, T-scores or Stanines) that enableus to compare the control and treatment groups plus make comparisons withother research studies that have used this test.3. All versions of the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Tests have received goodreviews when used for the purpose of comparing children on the same leveland form. The Gates-MacGinitie Reading Tests, Canadian Edition, arebased on an American version called The Gates-MacGinitie Reading Tests,Second Edition, 1978. Both versions of this test have received generallygood reviews in the Buros Institute's Ninth Mental MeasurementsYearbook,  Volume I, (Mitchell, 1985) even though Borg and Gall (1989)note that these reviews are generally critical in nature (p. 294). Thefollowing quotes represent summaries made by the reviewers of theCanadian version of these tests:The Gates-MacGinitie Reading Tests, Canadian Edition,appear to be worthwhile tests of reading progress ...(Dreher, 1985, p. 597).The Canadian Edition of the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Testshas similar strengths and weaknesses as the U.S. Edition.124The use of more appropriate content and the development ofCanadian norms provide a much improved battery ofreading achievement tests for use in Canadian schools overthe U.S. Edition. These characteristics outweigh anydisadvantages in paper quality and slightly lower reliabilityevident in the Canadian Edition. (Pflaum, 1985, p. 599)In reference to the American version, The Gates-MacGinitie Reading Test,2nd edition, 1978, one reviewer, Robert Calfee, 1985, said:... this battery is a prototype of the contemporarystandardized reading test. ... All things considered, theGates-MacGinitie is quite adequate for a wide array of uses—program evaluation, special education, grade placement, andresearch, among other things (Calfee, 1985, p. 593).The Gates-MacGinitie has a long history, going back to theGates Reading Tests of 1926. The present edition, as notedat the beginning of the review, reflects the features bothpositive and negative of contemporary standardized tests ofreading. When used for the purposes for which it wasdesigned, this battery should prove quite serviceable; it can'tdo everything, but it isn't designed for that. Nonetheless,the Gates tests are quite an achievement ... . (Calfee, 1985,p. 595)The second American test reviewer had this to say:This edition of the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Tests is amarked improvement over the first edition. The authorshave given attention to past criticism and in most instanceshave made recommended changes. The teacher's manual ismore comprehensive and better written than the manual forthe first edition. As a measure of students' reading abilityfor evaluation purposes the Gates-MacGinitie wouldfunction well. (Rupley, 1985, p. 596)Main suggested weaknesses suggested by a Buros reviewer (Dreher, 1985,p. 597) were:• No Technical Manual for the Canadian Edition is available so someinformation has to be gathered from the American edition.125• Reliability information exists only for the subtest scores and not forthe total score.A more serious source of criticism for the second version of the AmericanVersion of the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Tests is an article by Britton andLumpkin (1982). In the article, the authors raise serious concerns aboutreadability levels in the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Tests. However, eventhese researchers suggest "that this instrument can best be utilized formaking comparisons between groups using the same forms and levels of thetests and in the same sequence" (p.208-209). As this is the exact purposeneeded for this research, once again the choice of the Gates-MacGinitieReading Tests seemed acceptable.In 1989, the third edition of the American Gates-MacGinitie ReadingTests was published. Most of the improvements that have taken place are atthe prereading and beginning reading stage although poetry has been addedto the fiction and nonfiction that appeared on previous editions. Reliabilityremains quite high and content validity is addressed although Cooter (1989)thinks that the matter of construct validity has not been addressed. This testis reviewed by Robert Cooter and Suzanne Curry in the Assessment sectionof The Reading Teacher, December, 1989. Once again, the reviews aregenerally favorable. Both recommend that this test be used mainly as "anoverall screening measure of reading achievement" (Cooter, 1989, p. 257)or a measure of "general reading achievement and progress" (Curry, inCooter, 1989, p. 258).The generally positive nature of all the reviews on the three editionsof the Gate s-MacGinitie Reading Tests, for the purpose of comparinggroups, greatly increases the confidence of the researcher in choosing thistest. Although the third edition of the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Tests is126much more recent, it is normed in the United States. Therefore, the lesscurrent but more appropriate Canadian version is still the test of choice forthis study. (The new Canadian version of the Gates-MacGinitie ReadingTest has just recently been published. However, the older version of thetest was purchased and used before the researcher was aware of the newversion.)4. This test has several administrative advantages. The testing time is short forboth items: vocabulary - 20 minutes; comprehension - 35 minutes. This ismost important when a researcher must get permission to carry out a studyduring class time. The test seems very well laid out and the teacher'smanual contains clear detailed instructions. (The hand scoring bookletversion was chosen because it was thought that the answer booklet wouldbe easier for the students to use than the separate answer sheets.)5. The comprehension subtests of the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Tests,Canadian Edition, have been successfully used as a covariate in thefollowing heading studies: Stables, 1985; Gibbs, 1985; King, 1985;Coulombe, 1986; and Goble, 1896.Specific Test InformationStandardization - The norming for the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Tests, CanadianEdition, was carried out in 1978-1979. A total of 46,000 Canadian students wereused to develop norms for all levels of this test and between 3,000 to 4,500students were sampled from each grade level. Students came from all 10 provincesand the Yukon. (Only schools in which the majority of instruction was given inEnglish were selected.) Using population and school enrollment figures publishedby Statistics Canada, a sample was drawn from each province that proportionallyrepresented the total school enrollment. Due to considerable differences in types of127school systems across Canada, each province's population was stratified accordingto city size and population of rural areas. A randomly selected sample was thenselected from appropriate proportions of students in each defmed stratum. Next,the Canadian score distributions for each grade were compared with equivalentscore distributions from the 1977-78 U. S. standardization (MacGinitie et al.,1980, P. 57). Dreher (1985) states that the sample appears to have been carefullyselected to be representative of Canadian students (p. 597).Reliability - Kuder-Richardson Formula 20 reliability coefficients for the CanadianEdition, Level D, Form 1 range from .87 to .90 for vocabulary and .87 to .89 forthe comprehension section of the test. At the grade 5 level of the test level D, Form1, the reliability coefficient is .90 for vocabulary and .89 for comprehension.Validity Content validity - In developing the Canadian version of the Gates-MacGinitieReading Tests, a number of steps were taken to make these tests valid formost Canadian reading programs:• Items for each test were reviewed by a group of Canadian educatorsand were accepted, discarded or modified on the basis of theirrecommendations. Test items reflect an international character andinclude authors from Canada and other countries. Topics wereexpected to be within the experience of the many diverse groups inthe country. Consultants from minority groups examined andeliminated any items that were considered biased or might beoffensive. The use of the indefinite pronoun "he" was avoided asmuch as possible and edited out of passages that were used. Bothmale and female characters from a variety of ethnic backgrounds arerepresented in the comprehension passages (MacGinitie, 1980, p. vin the Teacher's Manual).128• Vocabulary was developed using 16 common reading series andfrom recognized lists of word frequency. Vocabulary was alsochosen for its usefulness.• Content of comprehension passages was selected to include aspecified amount of narrative and content area subject matter fromthe fields of the humanities, the natural sciences and the socialsciences. The passages at this level were comprised ofapproximately 40% narrative-descriptive material and 60%expository content area material (Social Sciences, 27.5%; NaturalSciences, 27.5%; The Arts, 5%). (Mixed text type is very commonin both grade five B.C. authorized textbooks and therefore, acomprehension test that reflects both narrative and expository texttype is appropriate for this grade. The larger percentage ofexpository text is especially useful for this study which has its focuson expository text material.)• Passages for the older students were written to represent a widevariety of materials that the students might encounter. All material iswritten in standard written English.• Approximately twice the number of items needed for the final testswere developed. From this pool, the most appropriate and the mostuseful items were chosen.• Canadian spelling was used throughout the tests.• Type styles that represent styles in most Canadian readers wereused (MacGinitie, 1980, p. iv, Teacher's Manual).Construct validity - None of the standardized group tests surveyed by thisresearcher tested reading in a broad spectrum way. Vocabulary is taken outof context and only short passages are used in comprehension sections.129Rowe and Rayford (1987) discuss the problems with tests that are"composed of a series of brief, unrelated texts that proceed linearly, withlittle regard for the order of content. In order to comprehend the series ofpassages presented on reading tests, students must activate a differentnetwork of background knowledge as they encounter each new text. Thisvariation in content creates conditions that are quite different from most'real-world' reading tasks" (p. 162). Finally, reading ability is assessedusing only a multiple choice question format.Test Content - There are forty-five vocabulary items in Level D, Form 1. Vocabularyquestions at this level are primarily a test of word knowledge rather than a decodingskill test.The comprehension section has 43 items consisting of small passagesfollowed by a few questions. (This format allows us to see how the three groupsperform on a comprehension task that does not involve the headings treatment.)The test consists of both literal (55%) and inferential types (45%) of questions(MacGinitie, 1980, p. 59-60, Teacher's Manual).This test yields a comprehension and vocabulary score and then a total ofthe two scores. Adequate time is allowed for most students to complete both thesubsections as this is meant to be a power test and not a speed test.Nonstandardized MaterialsMaterials for the three treatments consisted of a prereading component and acontent-area expository passage. The posttests included a delayed free recall of thispassage and a main idea recall or formulation.Prereading ComponentTwo versions of the prereading component were created. Version A contained theheadings and subheadings from the selected main passage. In addition, instructions were130given on heading use. See Appendix A.01 for the exact contents of this component.Version B was a time filler for the two groups who were not to receive any headingstrategy instruction. It consisted of a crossword puzzle, #5, adapted from Thorton, C.,1985, (#5 and #10 from the same source were used in the pilot study) that had the keywords from the headings of the main expository passage embedded in an alphabetical list ofanswers to the crossword puzzle. This way both groups had a repeated chance to benefitfrom being exposed to the vocabulary used in the headings. However, the key words werenot placed close to each other so that they could not be grouped in a meaningful manner, asif they were headings. See Appendix A.01 for the exact contents of the version A and Bprereading components.Main Expository PassageAll three groups read the same body of the passage. However, there weredifferences between the presence or absence of headings in the passages presented. Thecontrol group read version C - the passage with all text headings removed. The twoexperimental groups read version D with the chapter and section headings present. (SeeAppendix A.02.) The following section describes how the passage material was selected:General Criteria for Selecting the Passage for the Study• The selected passage had to be relevant to the current curriculum in schools.Instead of contrived passages that had often been used in previous heading studies,the intention in this study was to use real classroom materials. (Contrived passagesallow one much more control over the number and the type of headings used in anypassage plus they allow one to eliminate effects from other processing aids.However, results from contrived material fail to show how students are affected byheadings when they actually read normal classroom textbooks with a variety ofprocessing aids and fewer headings and subheadings.) By choosing a textbook thatwas currently being used by grade 5 students, this condition was satisfied.131• The reading material had to be used by a relatively large number of people.Therefore, a prescribed or authorized textbook for a province seemed appropriate.• The passage had to consist of expository prose as this type of discourse was thefocus of the study. Therefore, only expository prose passages were considered.• There had to be at least two levels of headings. Most of the prescribed orauthorized text material in three grade five content area subjects (Mathematics,Science and Social Studies) contained two or three levels of headings. The use ofheadings in text seems to be a common feature of fifth grade text material.• The passage must not have been read by the subjects before.• The passage was to represent reading material from a content-area subject. SocialStudies was chosen because reading material in this subject often is of theinformation-classification type (Catterson, 1990, p. 557) which was used in theGoble and Coulombe studies (1986). The selection of material with a similar typeof discourse was thought to be more useful for comparison purposes.Selecting the Textbook to be Used in the Study - To insure the material was current andbeing used by a large number of Canadian children, five texts were chosen aspossible selections from two provinces' prescribed and approved school lists(Circular 14, Ontario and B.C.'s Catalogue of Learning Resources: Primary toGraduation 1991-1992). The advantages of out-of-province authorized materialwere the range of texts that could be selected and the limited chance that any of theBritish Columbia pupils had used these texts. Therefore, all children in the selecteddistricts would be able to be included in the study. The disadvantage to usingOntario authorized material is that this is not the real classroom material of BritishColumbia children. Using real, currently used, British Columbia materialsenhances the ecological validity of the study (Baumann, 1981a). In consultationwith the designated thesis chairperson, it was decided to narrow the choice of132subjects and select British Columbia text material in order to be applicable to theBritish Columbia school population.The province of British Columbia currently has two authorized grade 5social studies textbooks - Canada: Building Our Nation and Exploring Canada: Learning from the Past. Looking to the Future. These texts were examinedcarefully and a number of expository passages were selected. Both texts containeda fairly large amount of narrative prose and it was difficult to find suitableexpository prose. The Canada: Building Our Nation had many first hand accounts,often written in narrative prose, and used only chapter headings. Therefore, thistext was eliminated and the text, Exploring Canada: Learning from the PastsLooking to the Future was selected to be used in this research study.Next, the Burnaby, Coquitlam, Courtenay, Delta and New Westminsterschool boards were phoned to ascertain what grade 5 social studies text wascurrently being used in their school districts. The district social studies consultantsfrom the various school boards suggested that this researcher choose material thatthe classes were not using or work very closely with the classroom teacher to fit inwith a suitable agenda. As one can not easily fit in with each classroom teacherbecause there no longer is any mandated or suggested order for teaching content-area topics, this researcher chose to use material from the text that was not beingused by the subjects in their classrooms. Therefore, it was decided that only thoseclasses that were using the text, Canada: Building Our Nation would be used in thisstudy. This decision eliminated the Burnaby school district, and narrowed theclasses available to the researcher in the Delta, Coquitlam and New Westminsterschool districts. Of the preselected districts, only the Courtenay school district wassolely using the text, Canada: Building Our Nation as the main grade five socialstudies text when initially approached.133Selecting the Passage to be Used in the Research - The text, Exploring Canada: Learning from the Past. Looking to the Future, contains large amounts of narrativeprose interspersed with short sections of expository prose. From the availableexpository sections, three of the most appropriate were chosen and typed up.Next, some readability scores were produced on the typed selections using agrammar checker program for the Macintosh computer. These were compared withthe readability levels of the passage used by the 11 and 12 year old students in theHartley and Trueman (1985) study and the passages used in the Coulombe andGoble studies. Several passages were eliminated because they had very highreadability levels for grade 5 students. The final choice was made in consultationwith the thesis advisor. A passage from page 34 to 37, in a chapter called HowWere Forests Used in the Past? was selected. This passage had several advantages.The topic of early forest use is fairly easy to understand and many British Columbiachildren probably have adequate background knowledge to relate to the material.Moreover, the selected passage had more similarities, especially in length with theHartley and Trueman (1985) study and readability level to the relevant studies ofHartley and Trueman (1985), Coulombe (1986) and Goble (1986), than the otherpossible passages had. See Table 3.04 for a comparison of studies on threereadability scales partly provided by Correct GranlmarTM for the Macintosh®.Preparing the Passage for Research Use - The selected text (Bowers & Swanson,1985, p. 34-37) needed to be modified slightly for this experiment. A fewsentences were removed because they made direct reference to information providedin a previous section of this chapter. (To see the original text and the sentences thatwere removed, refer to Appendix A.03.) Only one sentence had to be rewritten toinclude relevant information. The phrase, "at that time," on page 35 was replacedby two phrases "about 200 years ago, during the late 1700s" from the line above.The remaining text material formed a logical, self-contained passage. Two versions134Table 3.04A Comparison of Three Studies on ReadabilityAuthor ofstudy inwhichpassagewas usedNameofpassageNumberofwordsNumberofparagraphsNumberofheadingsRatioofwordstoheadingsFleschReadingEasescoreGradelevelrequiredFlesch-KincaidgradelevelGunningFogindexHobbins(currentstudy)HowWereForestsUsed inthe Past?1090 20 5 218 75.5(fairlyeasy)6 5.8 5.2Hartley &Trueman(1985)TheLifeofLouisBraille1000(approx.)- - 84(easy)(suitablefor11 and 12yearolds)- -Stables(1985)Goble(1986)Coulombe(1986)Termites 214 5 6 35.7 87.3(easy)5 2.9 3.0Stables(1985)Goble(1986)Coulombe(1986)Parrots 253 5 6 42.2 85.7(easy)5 3.6 3.9of this remaining passage were constructed. Version C (to be used by the controlgroup) contained the prepared passage but all the headings were removed. VersionD (for the two experimental groups) contained the prepared passage with allheadings present. Because of the changes between the original text, version C, andversion D, the appropriate version was typed in a similar manner to the originalversion and inserted in place of the original text next to the pictures. In addition,the title for the chapter was added to the headings present version. It was in theform of a question because the text authors wished "to set the tone of inquiry" (Theteacher's manual, Bowers & Swanson, 1985, p. 34). The research selectioncontained a number of special features to help students understand the text. Thesefeatures were pictures with statement and question captions, key vocabulary in135boldface print, and inserted questions. Headings were also used but were notconsidered a special feature by the authors. All these processing features of theoriginal text were retained in the prepared version D and only the headings wereremoved for version C. (See Appendix A.02.) Therefore, the prepared passagesvery closely represented the real classroom social studies material.Exploring^ Relevance of Treatment as a Real Activity in the Classroom - In thisstudy, the subjects were required to read a four page passage selected from anauthorized social studies textbook and recall as much information as possible after aone day delay. In addition, the heading strategy instruction group had to previewthe headings, use the headings to link with background knowledge, predict whatthe passage was about and use the headings to categorize or group information. Itis important to see if these are reasonable requests in a real classroom situation.A number of sources were reviewed to see how typical the researchsituation was. First, the Teacher's guide to the textbook, Exploring Canada: Learning from the Past. Looking to the Future. was consulted. It suggests that atleast one or more classroom periods should be devoted to the section on pages 31-37. In one part of the chapter introduction, the teacher is asked to guide theirstudents to read all the headings in order to familiarize them with the structure andformat of the chapter. Later on, the students are asked to read pages 31-37 beforeusing information contained in the passage to do one of a number of activities.Therefore, reading the selected passage on pages 34-37 (in future, to be referred toas the forest passage) and recalling the information is a real classroom activity. Ascan of the rest of the teacher's guide shows that one of the most basic activitiesrequired in social studies text is reading a certain number of pages (usually 3-8) andthen being prepared to use the information that has been read in a range of tasks.The 1989 Social Studies Assessment for the British Columbia Ministry ofEducation found that 77% of the grade 4 teachers and 79% of the grade 7 teachers136of Social Studies used the textbook as one of their five most prevalent teachingstrategies (Cassidy & Bognar, 1991, P. 75). In addition, in Skills Through theGrades in Appendix A of the British Columbia Social Studies Curriculum Guideindicates that children are introduced to acquiring information through readingmaterials at the appropriate level (G2 on page 53) as early as grade one. Moreover,students begin to classify pictures, facts and events under main headings or incategories by grade 2 (F6 on page 51). By grade 4, the students start to learn howto select the main idea and supporting facts (F2 on page 51). If these skills are inplace, students should be able to read the passage in order to recall information andif headings are present, to use them classify facts. However, the skill of usingheadings to select main ideas and differentiate between main and subordinate ideasis a social studies skill that is not introduced until grade 6 (G4 on page 53). It isone of the purposes of this study to explore whether younger students (grade 5),who are given heading strategy instruction, can use it to improve comprehensionand recall of expository material.The PosttestsTwo types of written posttests were given one day after the treatments wereadministered. The first test was a written free recall of the forest passage read the previousday. The students were requested to write everything they could remember about thepassage they had read. The focus on this test was on the quantity of main ideas (orsuperordinate ideas), supporting ideas (or subordinate ideas) and specific details (or sub-subordinate ideas) recalled. The second test involved a delayed main idearecall/formulation task based on the same forest passage. Each child received a preparedstructure. (See Appendix B.01.) On this structure, the subjects recalled or formulated themain idea of the passage and listed four of the most important supporting main ideas.These main ideas were expressed partly in the headings and partly by what was learned in137the passage as it relates to the main idea. This test measured the quality or accuracy of thesubjects' responses.The Delayed Written^ Posttest - In this researcher's experience, free recall isnot a common task in school, probably because it is very labour intensive anddifficult to evaluate. Instead, multiple choice, matching or selected questions areoften used when teachers wish to find how much students have understood andremembered a passage. The focus in this study was to explore heading effects oncomprehension as examined through the recall process in a typical classroom. Itwas important to use a reading activity that students might be asked to use in thisclassroom setting but it was not deemed essential that our testing procedures be thesame.A large segment of heading studies have explored the effects of headings onthe ability of the subjects to remember information that has been read. Threecommon ways to explore remembering are recognition tests, cued recall questionsand uncued recall. In recognition activities, all the information is provided and thestudent must recognize the correct connections. In cued recall, part of theinformation is given or available and the student needs to remember the rest of theinformation. In free recall, no cues are given. Instead, the student is asked to tellorally or state in writing, everything that he remembers about the passage. Manzo(1975) says, "Unaided recall is the ability to recall much of what one has readwithout benefit of questions to aid remembering" (p. 288).There were a number of reasons why delayed free recall was chosen as away to assess heading effects. Firstly, free recall measures are commonly used orrecommended in the field of heading research (e.g. Clark, 1982; Coulombe, 1986;Gibbs, 1985; Goble, 1986; Holley et al., 1981; King, 1985; Stables, 1985).Jonassen, Hartley and Trueman (1985) concluded at the end of one of theirexperiments that "the necessity of free-recall measures is also obvious" (p. 11).138Secondly, the literature points to free recall as a better method to get at the amount astudent can recall and to see how this information is organized in memory. Clark(1982) claims that researchers, in the area of prose comprehension, have turned tofree recall as it is found to be more informative than literal questions which measure"how well a student remembers the text when given a prompt, not how well it isunderstood or comprehended ..." (p. 435). Furthermore, Clark thinks that whenliteral questioning techniques are used, "nothing is learned about the students'abilities to remember text in an organized manner or to remember important(superordinate) information versus detail (subordinate) information" (p. 435). Inregard to recognition tests, Radcliff and McKoon (1989) cite the studies of Tulvingand Thomson (1973) and Watkins and Tulving (1975) as showing that "under avariety of conditions, there is significant recall of words that were not recognized"(p. 74). Therefore information that students might know, might not be recognized.Conversely, Anderson and Pearson (1984) said, "a recognition test item minimizesthe need for retrieving information from memory since the information is providedin the item itself. [and] ... access is not a problem on recognition items ... .Access is a critical process in free recall" (p. 283). So, with free recall, the studentmust access information from the passage without benefit of cues, and organize theinformation in some form for presentation. A free recall protocol enables theresearcher to gain quite a large amount of information about the subjects' readingprocesses. Thirdly, the results of a heading research suggest that headings aremore likely to have a significant effect on free recall than on recognition questionsor cued recall. Therefore, a free recall measure was chosen to explore heading andheading strategy instruction effects.In addition, a delayed rather than immediate free recall measure was used.Heading research to date seems to show headings to be more effective in delayedrecall situations instead of immediate recall situations. (See the review of the139literature on Heading Effects on Recall.) In immediate recall, the student may havea tendency to recall information in patterns affected by the order that the informationwas read. For example, what was read last may be easier to remember using one'sshort term memory than what was read in the middle. By delaying the free recall,one is able to observe what is drawn out of long term memory storage. Whenstudents are asked to remember information after a time lapse, headings mightprovide categories under which information can be grouped. In the book edited byTulving and Donaldson (1972), Postman discussed the need for humans toorganize material in chunks or categories in order to remember more efficiently. Ifchunks or superchunks are recalled instead of specific pieces of information, thechunks or categories may further stimulate the person to remember some of theinformation contained within the chunk. Therefore, it is possible that headings aidin the chunking process and lead to improvement in recall of information.It is also relevant to have information about delayed recall. There is littleadvantage to quantities of information being learned for immediate recall and thenforgotten. Many times information is read that would be useful to recall on otheroccasions. Hence it is important to explore ways to retain information in memoryso that it can be accessed at some later date and used for any necessary purpose.Therefore, on this test, a delayed measure of free recall was used.Main Idea Recall/Formulation - In the free recall posttest, general quantity and levels oforganization of recall were explored. Yet, it has been hypothesized that headingsmight have more of an effect on recall of the superordinate concepts in the passagethan on the recall of details. This is especially likely as headings often contain thesubject part of the main idea and are themselves superordinate ideas. However, afree recall makes no specific demands for students to express the main themes ofthe passage. Indeed, as Loman and Mayer (1983) point out, some students have atendency to use a rote reading strategy. They say:140When a reader is confronted with an unfamiliar passage, the readermay use at least two types of processing strategies. A rote readingstrategy is used when the reader views the passage as a list ofseparate facts or events to be memorized; in this case, the reader'sattentional strategy may be to focus on the first and the last few ideasin the passage (primacy and recency information), and the reader'sorganizational strategy may be to add each fact to memory as aseparate unit. A reader who uses a rote reading strategy may show aserial position effect for idea units in recall and may be unable tomake inferences or apply the presented information in creativeproblem solving. A meaningful reading strategy is used when thereader has a notion of the structure of the passage; in this case, thereader's attentional strategy may be focused on the key conceptualinformation in the passage, and the reader's organizational strategyis to build an organized, coherent representation. (p. 403)So, the main idea recall/ formulation posttest was created to focus the attention ofthe student specifically on the key ideas in the passage and then assess their resultson this type of knowledge about the passage.ScoringFree Recall Posttest - Several dependent variables were measured on the free recallposttest. These variables were: quantity of main ideas or superordinate ideas,quantity of supporting ideas or subordinate ideas, quantity of specific details orsub-subordinate ideas, and the total number of ideas recalled.A number of free recall scoring systems were considered. The often citedMeyer (1975) procedure (see Baine, 1986, pages 143 to 147, for a list of purposesand a simple description) was thought to be too elaborate for the purposes of thisstudy as it detected between eight to fifteen levels in the content structure of thepassages. Simpler and somewhat similar free recall scoring procedures were thosedevised by Clark (1982), Niles (1955) and Niles and Catterson (1972/78). TheNiles procedure was chosen because this researcher had access to a series ofpassages that Niles and Catterson had prepared as scoring protocols for their141reading tests. These were used to familiarize the researcher in the Niles scoringprocedure.Using the Niles procedure as a starting point, the researcher developed aprotocol for the forest passage. First, the researcher divided up a number of theNiles and Catterson passages without looking at their protocols and then comparedthe results with the originals. Secondly, the four page research passage was brokeninto sections (usually pausal units) and placed in one of three locations dependingwhether the information contained a main idea, a supporting idea or a specific detailin the passage. (In order to keep the text intact, some ideas were broken at unusualspots.) Thirdly, another person repeated the process and produced their version ofthe divisions for the passage.These versions were compared. Any differences were discussed andmodified after a consensus was arrived at. The new, jointly approved version ofthe scoring protocol (see Appendix B.02) was arranged in columns for easymarking purposes.Scoring the Main Idea Recall/Formulation Posttest  - A system somewhat similar toBaumann's (1981a) scoring system for written recall gist statements was used.Baumann had given each complete (identical or paraphrased gist statement) mainidea a full mark and each fragment of the gist statement a partial credit. In thisstudy, four marks were given for a complete and accurate main idea statement andone mark was given for each fragment of a gist statement as predetermined on ascoring guide. No marks were given if the student combined parts of main ideaswith subordinate or sub-subordinate ideas (specific details). The total scorepossible on this posttest was 20.General Features of the Marking or Scoring of the Posttests  - One key feature of thescoring procedures was blind scoring. While scoring the posttests, the researcherhad no access to the complete student codes that told to which treatment group the142student had been assigned. The posttest papers contained only the assignedresearch numbers of the students. The thesis chairman held the full code list in herpossession while the scoring and rescoring took place. Then, all the informationwas entered into computer and data analysis was carried out.A second key feature of the scoring procedure was an intra-rater reliabilitycheck. After all the papers were marked, 10% were selected randomly by the thesisadvisor or her assistant to be rechecked. The two sets of scores were compared andan intra-rater correlation coefficient was obtained.PROCEDUREThe procedure consisted of three phases: the organizational phase, the pilot studyphase and the main study phase.The Organizational PhaseBefore the study could take place, various contacts had to be made to obtainpermission to carry out this research. First, a number of school districts were contacted byphone to find out what social studies text was being used in grade 5 classes that year and tolearn what district wide reading achievement test was being used. Next, a reading passagewas selected from one of the two recommended British Columbia social studies texts andpermission from the publisher to use this passage with the treatment groups was requested.The original publishers, Douglas & MacIntyre, had sold the rights to the textbook,Exploring Canada: Learning from the Past. Looking to the Future, that contained the forestpassage, to Nelson of Canada. Therefore, a second letter was written to the new publisherfor permission to use the forest passage. (See Appendix C.01 for a copy of both letters.)Thirdly, school districts for the study were selected (see sampling in this chapter), andletters were written to the superintendents of three school districts: Coquitlam, Courtenay,143and Delta. Fourthly, thesis approval from the thesis committee was to be sought at a thesisproposal hearing. Fifthly, the Ethics committee at U.B.C. was asked to approve anapplication to conduct educational research using human subjects. Next, the researchermade arrangements with each school board to select appropriate classrooms for the study.Contact was made with the schools and teachers that were to be involved in the study.Lastly, permission was sought from parents to carry out an experiment involving theirchildren.Pilot Study PhaseTwo phases of a pilot study were planned. The first phase of the pilot study wasexploratory and used students from a grade five class in a Catholic school in the lowermainland. After each session, the children's comments were sought and noted. This partof the pilot study had a number a purposes. It provided a chance to field test headingstrategy instructions, to learn about their understandability, effectiveness, timerequirements, and the students' attitude about carrying out the instructions. In addition, theprepassage alternate treatments, that consisted of a cross-word puzzle with words from theheadings in the forest passage embedded, were tested. The questions of level of difficultyof crossword puzzle, length of time needed to complete puzzles and interest level wereexplored (Two different crossword puzzles were tried. These puzzles, designated #5[easier] and #10 [harder], were adapted from Thorton, 1985. Each puzzle was enlarged tocontain all the key words that were used in the headings). The researcher also asked thevarious groups if they thought that the puzzle was more fun than the heading strategyinstructions. Next, the forest passage was field tested for suitable time allowance andpassage difficulty. Lastly, the posttests and the scoring protocols were tried out so theresearcher could find answers to the amount of time allowance needed on posttests,whether the students had the ability to understand how to do the posttests, and theusefulness of the scoring protocols in providing consistency and accuracy. When the pilot144study was completed, the researcher sought feedback from the students and their teachersand noted their responses.Results of Pilot Study #1In early March, 1992, the first pilot study was carried out. The researcher spentone complete school day, followed by a 45 minute session the next day, in a Grade 5 classfrom a Catholic school in the Lower Mainland, trying out treatment variations andadministering the posttests. The following is a brief listing of the activities that werecarried out in the explorative pilot study:1. The students were assigned to three reading ability groups by the teacher.2. Students in each ability group were assigned to different treatment groups.3. Within each treatment group, some students read the treatment materials silently inmixed group setting (replicating main study conditions) and times were recorded foreach treatment group. These students circled any words they did not understand.Other students in each treatment group worked orally, on an individual basis withthe researcher, in order to see if the students could read and understand allinstructions and activities.4. Prereading components:Headings instruction - Generally, this component went very well. Only afew words caused students any problems and some of these were remedied in thematerial that was prepared for pilot study #2 (Appendix A.01 - Version A). A fewconcepts were also changed in order to make the heading instructions more clearand effective.Puzzle activity - The students had very little problem solving puzzle #5(Appendix A.01 - Version B - expanded puzzle #5) and its time requirements werefairly similar to the heading instruction strategies. Puzzle #10 (Appendix A.01-Version B-expanded puzzle #10) was harder to do and took far too long to finish.145Therefore, puzzle #5 has been chosen by the researcher for the main experiment. Itwas thought that a few answers could be inserted in puzzle #5 to make the headinginstructions and the puzzle activity more equal in time, if necessary. Variationswere to be explored in the second pilot study.5. Main passage components were not changed. The students thought the reading wasquite easy.6. Posttest Components: The directions on the posttests seemed to be fairly easy tofollow. Only a few words needed to be changed. (See Appendix B.01, B.03, andB.04 for the differences in pilot study #1 and #2 and the format for the main study.)7. Evaluation: The students filled out an activity form evaluation and the response wasvery positive. Most students found the activities easy or just about right indifficulty and just about right or too short in length.8. Scoring and tabulating the results: The results of the free recall and the main idearecall/formulation test were scored and tabulated but not analyzed. These resultswere compiled on a graph (see Appendix B.05) and taken back to the pilot study #1classroom as the teacher requested feedback for her students.9. Evaluating the scoring of the posttests: Several things became very obvious whenthe posttests were scored. First, the free recall test was very difficult to markbecause ideas were remembered in no particular order and information was linkedwith vague referents (e.g., they, or the people) so it was hard to figure out thesubjects of actions and to decide when the student had left one topic and moved onto another. Moreover, when the scoring protocol listed the same items at severalhierarchical levels, it was hard to decide at what level to give the subjects a markbecause of vagueness of ideas. Secondly, very little was remembered and whatwas remembered was often generalized, inferred or linked in inaccurate ways.Thirdly, many children confused information from previous class discussions onconservation of forests today with information from the passage on forest use in the146past. Lastly, no students were able to respond with verbatim recall. It wouldappear that young students (ages 10-11) who are reading several pages ofclassroom expository prose do not process and recall text in a verbatim manner atall. The researcher thought the scoring protocols that had been developed for shortpassages of only several paragraphs were not adequate for the longer four pagepassage that the researcher had attempted to use when simulating classroomconditions. It was decided by the thesis advisor and the researcher that acompletely new scoring system might have to be designed and tested before themain study could take place.10. The search for a better scoring system: An extensive scan of the research inmemory and recall was carried out to find a better scoring system. The result ofthis search is provided in the next section.11. A new scoring protocol was developed and tried out by rescoring the posttests ofthe pilot study #1 subjects using this new scoring system. The results of therescoring appear in Appendix B.06. The new scoring protocol (see AppendixB.07), which was created using ideas from a wide number of researchers, isdesigned to overcome problems that appeared in the pilot study and to accommodatethe way children tend to process and recall text.Developing the New Scoring SystemExploring How People Recall - One of the most obvious problems with the scoringsystem used in pilot study #1 was that the children produced no evidence ofverbatim recall in their responses. Therefore, the first area this writer researchedwas how people recall information. Although most scoring systems rewardverbatim recall, the literature shows that people do not recall in a literal or verbatimfashion (Baine, 1986; Baker & Stein, 1981; Bartlett, 1932; Graesser, 1981; Voss,Tyler & Bisanz, 1982). Very early on, Bartlett (1932) decided memories were not,147as supposed in his day, a large number of fixed and lifeless traces residing inspecific locations in the brain. Instead, he hypothesized that people use schematadeveloped in the past to construct meaning about new situations or information.Bartlett (1932) said,The first notion to get rid of is that memory is primarily or literallyreduplicative, or reproductive. In a world of constantly changingenvironment, literal recall is extraordinarily unimportant. ... In themany thousands of cases of remembering which I collected, aconsiderable number of which I have recorded here, literal recallwas very rare. With few exceptions, ... re-excitement of individualtraces did not look to be in the least what was happening. (p. 204)He went on to suggest that some common features of remembering arecondensation, elaboration and invention. Years later, Bartlett's ideas have becomeaccepted in the research community. Graesser (1981) states, "Duringcomprehension individuals normally focus on the meaning of the message ratherthan the exact wording and the syntax (the surface structure). As a consequence,individuals normally remember the semantic and pragmatic aspects of passagesrather than the surface structure code... "(p. 6). Later, Voss, Tyler and Bisanz(1982) conclude:When a text is read and an individual is asked to recall its contents,recall is typically not verbatim. Instead, the individual recalls somesections of the passage while not recalling other parts, and theindividual often "recalls" statements that were not in the passage.Moreover, if a recognition test containing appropriate distractoritems is given, the individual often has difficulty in determiningwhich items were or were not in the text. These results constitutethe basic empirical findings in the study of prose comprehension andmemory. Their explanation has been the primary goal ofpsychological models of text processing. (p. 349)Verbatim recall is especially unlikely when the length of the passage to berecalled is long, as it usually is in real-life situations. Baine (1986) states that, "a148verbatim recitation for a previously read passage ... [is] an impossible task with alengthy or complex passage" (p. 17). Trabasso (1981) suggests a wide variety ofdifferent ways to represent meaning besides using verbatim recall because he findsproblems with researchers emphasis on free (verbatim) recall when "the materialread clearly exceeds limitations of surface retention" (p. 113).Instead, more recent research has shown that readers tend to constructmeaning from passages that they read rather than receive knowledge, intact, fromtext (Resnick, 1984; Rowe & Rayford, 1987; Struck, 1983; Voss, Tyler & Bisanz,1982). Resnick (1984) concludes:People construct rather than receive knowledge. Knowingsomething, whether a body of interrelated concepts or a performanceskill, is a result of mental activity by an individual. This activityuses external information, and is responsive to what an individualmay be told or shown. But the person does not simply "store" thisinformation as received. Instead the person transforms it, links it toknowledge already held, and uses it to build a coherent interpretationof the world and its events. (p. 431)Van Dijk and Kintsch (1983), in their new model of strategic discourse processing,also make the assumption that discourse processing "is a strategic process in whicha mental representation is constructed of the discourse in memory, using bothexternal and internal types of information, with the goal of interpreting(understanding) the discourse" (p.6). Van Dijk (specializing in textlinguistic) andKintsch (noted for his work in memory) say that "Whereas our earlier model [1978]could be characterized as predominantly structural, we now propose a moredynamic, process-oriented, on-line model, an approach we want to call strategical"(p. 4).However, Bartlett did not think that recall was equally reconstructive.Graesser (1981) says, "When Bartlett (1932) examined memory for stories afterlong and short retention intervals, he has made a few informal observations.149Memory for text initially tends to be 'reproductive' in the sense of being close towhat was explicitly stated. However, memory is more 'constructive' as theretention interval increases ..." (p. 95). It becomes obvious that the recall of proseis not a simple matter of reproducing text. Graesser (1981) hypothesizes that recallof passages is critically affected by abstraction and summarization procedures andhe identifies three stages that can effect recall: processes "occurring at acquisition,to some extent by processes occurring during memory retrieval and to some extentby abstraction and summarization operators" (p. 209). In other words, what weunderstand is not always what we store and what we remember from storage is notalways then reproduced. If, as many researchers have hypothesized, peopleconstruct meaning from text, store some of this information in long term memoryand then reconstruct the information when one is asked to recall information,researchers' emphasis on rewarding verbatim recall is unrealistic.There are a number of ways that people do construct a representation of thetext they have read. Firstly, a reader may condense or generalize a text. Graesser(1981) states that "... there is some evidence that recall of text material involvesabstraction and summarization processes ..." (p.79). Baine (1986) in discussingthe Kintsch and van Dijk (1987) model of text processing says:Recall may not result in an exact reproduction of the originalstimulus. For example, an individual performing a previouslydemonstrated set of steps, may resequence, eliminate or add to thesteps demonstrated, while imitating the essential features of themodelled performance. This type of edited recall in some cases isdesirable and, as is discussed later in the text, is prerequisite to thegeneralization and adaption of recalled strategies to novelapplication. Also, rather than provide a verbatim recitation of apreviously read passage of prose - an impossible task with a lengthyor complex passage - readers may describe the general sequence ofevents, the major points or the gist of the topic expressed in the text.(p. 17)150Deletion is another common feature of prose recall (Graesser, 1981). Graesser(1981) hypothesizes that "recall of a passage is critically affected by abstraction andsummarization procedures. These presumably unconscious procedures delete somenodes that were explicitly stated and insert other nodes that are inferences (ratherthan explicit passage statements)" (p. 210). Other features of recall, such asinferences (Crothers, 1979; van Dijk & Kintsch, 1983), elaborations (Wagner,1986), substitutions and intrusions, come from the reader's world knowledge.Voss, Tyler and Bisanz (1982) say, "Lots of information isn't in the text. It isassumed knowledge. The meaning we give to discourse is based upon ourknowledge of the world" (p. 369). Brown, Smiley, Day, Townsend, and Lawton(1977), in their study with grade 2 to grade 7 students, found that recall ofambiguous narrative passages was improved if a framework was given. In thisrespect, there were no developmental patterns. The children behaved like adults intheir recall and recognition studies and Brown et al. argue that "for children as wellas adults schemata provide the interpretive framework for comprehendingdiscourse" (p. 1454). They say, "Texts are never fully explicit, and the reader mustrely on preexisting knowledge to disambiguate situations, to fill in gaps, toincorporate the unfamiliar into the familiar, and to provide a plausible interpretationfor the ambiguous or vague. Thus, a reader's personal history, knowledge, andbelief systems will influence the interpretation that is given to a passage" (p. 1454).Unfortunately, people, when they read new material and have incorporated it intotheir long term memory, have trouble distinguishing their own inferences from thetext's message. Baker and Stein (1981) state, "One of the most frequently testedhypotheses emerging from Bartlett's work (1932) is that people construct anintegrated semantic representation as they read or listen to prose and that as a resultof this integration, it is sometimes difficult to distinguish the actual text contentfrom inferred information" (p. 25). Baker and Stein cite an experiment by Paris151and Carter (1973) that concludes "that children, like adults, construct the semanticrelationships among ideas and integrate them in the representation stored inmemory; this creates difficulty discriminating inferred from explicit information" (p.26). In the pilot study for this research project, many students recordedinformation from their classroom lessons on forest practices today instead ofrecalling information from the text on forests in the past. In this case, previousinformation intruded upon the most recent information in a negative manner.Substitutions also occur in recall protocols. The substitution may be related but canbe more general (e.g., boat for canoe) or more specific (e.g., capes for clothes).Students also substitute pronouns for nouns as if one can read their minds. VanDijk and Kintsch (1983) discuss Karmiloff-Smith's (1981) observations withnarrative prose that children of various ages and skills may use pronouns torepresent the hero of the story and later refer to other characters with a pronoun anda description (p. 32). Brown, Smiley, Day, Townsend and Lawton (1977) sum upBartlett's ideas on recall protocols in the following way: There was a high degreeof inaccuracy in recall protocols (omissions, condensations and embellishments),these inaccuracies increased over time, and subjects seemed to be unaware that thiswas occurring and had trouble discriminating material that they had added orchanged from the original material that they had read. It would seem that peoplehave a system designed to recall in a more general rather than specific way. Indeed,Neisser (1989) thinks that memory for generic characteristics is more typical thanmemory for specific occasions (p. 73). Lastly, a number of researchers (Graesser,1981; van Dijk & Kintsch,1983) think recallers restructure text. Graesser (1981)lists five types of structural changes. They are appending, inserting, pruning,deleting plus restacking, and reordering (p. 250).In summary, Wagner (1986) says that for constructing text representations, peopleneed the following strategies:152• the semantic-syntactic processes for construction of propositions,• inferential and elaborative processes,• reductive processes,• reconstructive processes, and• metacognitive processes (p. 893).Although researchers must be cautious in concluding that the results of narrativeprose research apply to expository prose, no research was found that indicated thatpeople recall in a verbatim fashion. Therefore, a new scoring protocol would haveto be sensitive to useful recall strategies while reducing marks awarded to lessuseful strategies.Exploring Potential Methods for Preparing Scoring Protocols - Traditionally, free recalltests have asked the subjects to remember as much of the contents of a passage aspossible. Then, the protocols of the subjects are scored for the amount of originaltext information that is remembered. Therefore, most methods or models turn tothe text and attempt to break the selection into smaller units in order to obtain areference for measuring comprehension and recall. As a result, researchers haveused information derived from the study of text structure. Voss, Tyler and Bisanz(1982), in their review of prose comprehension and memory, group the methods ofstudying text structure under three categories: intuitively derived text structure,empirically derived text structure, and text structure derived from logic andlinguistic theory (p. 351-353). This framework provides a useful way to look atthe available models for use in deciding how to divide up text.Idea units (intuitively derived text structure) - Voss, Tyler and Bisanz (1982)say, "The need to divide a text into a number of units arose, at least in part,from the necessity of scoring recall protocols ... . One technique developedwas to divide the passage into a set of 'idea units,' in other words, units oftext that embody a single complete idea. The units were typically small,153consisting of one or a few words. The investigator then determined whichand how many of these units were recalled" (p. 352). Levitt (1956) warnsexperimenters that there can be problems with this method if one iscomparing passages or if several experimenters are using the same passagebut designing their own protocols. Some examples of systems using ideaunits are:• Niles (1955) developed the Niles procedure that used idea unitsarranged in two columns representing two levels of information:main ideas and details,• Niles/Catterson (1972/78) - Catterson adapted the Niles procedure toinclude three levels of information: main, subordinate, and sub-subordinate, and• Just and Carpenter (1980) used idea units called sectors andsynonyms and paraphrases were given full credit if they were closeto the gist of the sector.Empirically derived text structure• Johnson (1970) developed a method that used empirically derivedpausal units and weighted the text (narrative material) according tothe structural importance of the linguistic subunits.• Clark (1982), in a method similar to Johnson (1970), used pausalunits to break up text, a score of one to three for level of importance,and developed a way to record the order of the ideas that wereremembered.• Rubins (1978) defined units in terms of grammatical criteria or howthe word functioned. He used this method with narrative prose.Voss, Tyler and Bisanz (1982) say, "Whereas empirically definedunits have proved to be useful tools, the shortcomings of the method is that154it lacks a conceptual rationale to suggest what makes units differentiallyimportant and why such differences influence performance" (p. 353).Kintsch and Vipond (1979) say that scoring protocols need some theoreticalfoundation. "Scoring for words won't do; and scoring for meaning - if it isnot to be arbitrary - presupposes some model for the representation ofmeaning. A number of such models are now available, and we can expect awider use of recall and summarization techniques" (p. 338).Text structure derived from logic and linguistic theory - Voss, Tyler andBisanz (1982) say "these approaches have shared the assumption thatinvestigators could characterize the underlying structure of a text in terms ofbasic units and the relations among the units" (p. 353).• Dawes (1966) devised a method for measuring memory (setrelations) and distortion (overgeneralization and psuedo-discrimination) of meaningful written material based on logicalrelations.• Meyer (1975) identified the structure of ideas in a passage using aseries of propositions, arranged in hierarchical tree diagrams basedon the classification of predicates.• Frederiksen's model (1977) combined a semantic and logicalstructure. Frederiksen's model also included inferences.• Kintsch (1974), Kintsch and van Dijk (1978); Kintsch and Vipond(1979); van Dijk and Kintsch (1983) broke text into propositionsand atomic propositions and these were arranged in a hierarchicalstructure using processing cycles. (The model of Kintsch and hisassociates is considered to be one of the best analyses of textstructure and text processing (Beyer, 1986; Voss, Tyler & Bisanz,1982).155Problems with Available Methods for Preparing Scoring Protocols 1. Some of the methods are very complicated to prepare. Baker and Stein (1981) listthe following models: Crothers (1972); Frederiksen (1972); Kintsch, (1974);Meyer, (1975), and say they are often not used because of their complexity.2. Many systems reward only literal recall or close proximities. Voss, Tyler andBisanz (1982) say, "We note that a serious problem facing investigators using unitrecall is how to handle intrusions, and even more importantly, how to scoregeneralized statements" (p. 374).3. Many systems are designed to be used with shorter passages, usually only one orseveral paragraphs in length.4. Some of the systems have been designed to score narrative prose.5. Most systems are better suited to analyze recall of older subjects. Younger subjects(grade 4 and 5) have a tendency to recall text in a less coherent and more incompletefashion (Wagner, 1986, p. 896). The results of the pilot study scoring protocols inthis thesis showed that the children did not remember very much of the passage andwhat they did remember was sometimes confusing or only partially accurate.Therefore, the passage needed to be broken into finer units so that what fewfragments the children did remember could be rewarded. Some might argue that ifa child has not remembered a significant chunk of a sentence, he should not receivecredit. However, based on the literature reviewed, it was decided that the scoringprotocol should allow for partial or fragmentary information from the passage to bepartially rewarded because some information recalled at this age is better than noinformation recalled. As children mature, they remember more information and aremore successful in relating ideas.New Protocol Sources - Although no method or procedure was used, as is, ideas froma number of methods were used in creating a new scoring protocol. This systemuses a hierarchical tree system for diagramming ideas based on the work of Meyer156(1975) but the arrangement is concentric rather than linear. This system also hasmany fewer levels of information than Meyer's system. Frederiksen (1977) vied tocreate a system that would take inferences into account and this system rewards on-topic inferences. Kintsch and van Dijk (1978) developed a system of textprocessing and production that discussed some of the categories that the newscoring system rewards. Graesser (1981) in his work on the construction of proserepresentation system, such as the five types of structural changes, used a systemof nodes that have been adapted for use here. Lastly, Mandl and Ballstaedt (1986)diagrammed the idea of information being stored in a network or a knowledgestructure and showed how new information is incorporated with old information ona topic (p. 866). Neisser (1989) also refers to networks when he is discussingEndel Tulving's work. Neisser (1989) says, "Most cognitive psychologists today,including Tulving himself (1985), think of semantic memory as an information-processing system in the head. Many specific models of that system have beenproposed, most of them based on hypothetical networks of labelled associations"(p. 68-69). This thesis uses a scoring protocol that is a series of networks to whichnew information can be added or embedded.The New Scoring Protocol ExplainedDividing up the Text - The new protocol starts with the old scoring systembased on Niles' idea units. The Niles and Catterson (1972; 1978)procedure was chosen a second time because it is very easy to use andmodify, and it contained a manageable three levels of information. It wasthought that the difficulties mentioned by Levitt (1956) and discussedabove, under Idea units, would not be a problem in a study where only onepassage was used and where only one experimenter divided up the passageand marked all the protocols. (However, for large scale or joint research,one of the more complicated systems with a theoretical base would be more157appropriate.) This time the passage was broken up into much finerdivisions more closely resembling the size of units in Kintsch and van Dijk(1978) (see argument #5 above). Care was taken to not have the sameinformation fragments at several levels even if the text repeated the ideas.The subjects in each section were usually located at the main idea level andwere rewarded only once.Arrangement of protocol - The design of series of rings around the bull's-eyeallows the researcher or teacher to see clearly what levels of information areremembered and to follow the readers mind as it struggles to recallinformation. The center ring held all main idea fragments including theheadings. The second ring contained subordinate idea fragments and theouter ring was reserved for specific details. Each idea fragment or unitacted as a node that was linked to other related idea fragments by lines. Theresult was a network arrangement of units that seemed to be more useful fordisplaying the message of the text and for capturing the students' thoughtsor remembrances than a linear arrangement. The marker then used acoloured line to show the order and direction of the student's thoughts. Thearrangement was especially useful for showing misconnected information.On the scoring protocols, the units of information were well spaced to allowfor inferences, substitutions, and generalizations etc. to be added in atappropriate points. A different coloured pencil was used to identifydifferent processes that were used by the students. The categories were:generalization, inference, substitution (more general or more specific),misconnected information, and information acquired only from the pictures.Awarding marks - This marking system differs the most from other scoringsystems, not so much in their attempts to divide the text up for scoring, butin rewarding marks mainly for verbatim recall. In other words, most158systems reward students for showing only literal recall ability that is notnecessarily the most useful way to recall a passage. The system used in thisresearch rewards, either partially or fully, on-topic paraphrasing,summarizations and on-topic inferences (especially when implicitunderstanding is made explicit), it partially rewards (1/4, 1/2 or 3/4 marks)substitutions (such as being more specific or more general than the text) andgives marks for remembrances from pictures as they were part of the naturaltext presented. This system shows what information was deleted and canbe made to show in what order ideas are remembered. The system rewardsrememberings but penalizes (deducts partial marks) misconnectedinformation. Any information that is supplied by the child, that was notexplicitly expressed in the text, is written on the protocol with its awardedmark. This information is also kept on a general record sheet under theappropriate headings (inference, picture clue etc.). That way if a similarresponse is given by another student, the same mark will be awarded.Because the judgments of the marker are so important in this kind of amarking scheme, a set of rules or guidelines for awarding marks wasdevised. The researcher maintained a record of the application of the rulesas the marking progressed.Advantages of the New Scoring System1. The system rewards generalizations or summarizations that are on-topic.Therefore, children should have a chance to score more points for theirremembrances. (This is based on the idea that we construct meaning. When thereis a great deal to be recalled, remembering verbatim is a very difficult and time-consuming process. It makes sense to generalize in order to grasp the essentials ofthe situation.)1592. Inferences that are on topic are rewarded. (Once again inferences are elaborationson the information that one is recalling. Once information is integrated in the mindwith prior knowledge, it is very hard for the reader to separate his newunderstanding as a result of reading the passage from the author's actual points.)Here we reward only inferences that fit within the confines of the author's topic anddo not count inferences that are outside of the author's area of focus.3. Ideas that are remembered but are incorrectly linked together (termed disconnectshere) are partially penalized because it is important that ideas are not onlyremembered but are correctly linked to each other. This way you can reward thestudents for every piece of an idea that is correctly remembered and yet subtractmarks when pieces of ideas are not correctly connected.4. Because the text has been broken down into finer idea fragments than the oldscoring system, students can be rewarded for partial remembrances and hence thenew system is able to differentiate student responses more finely. (See differencesbetween old and new scoring protocols - Appendix B.06.)5. The new scoring protocol greatly improves consistency. The original scale wasoften very hard to mark because children did not use a verbatim-like recall. Therewas a need to standardize marking. This scoring system attempts to find out atwhat level each piece of information fits and allows the researcher to make newcategories if necessary. Once a new category has been established, it is recorded ona master sheet and all further responses of a similar nature would receive the samemark.6. The recall units are diagrammed more as a network than as a linear recall protocolbecause this is closer to the way the brain is thought to operate. Moreover, withthis arrangement, it is easier to grasp and follow the students' line of thinking. It isalso easier to make decisions on inferences and generalizations using a networksystem where one can chart the student's progress through recall using a line.1607. Although the different levels of information are no longer placed in three easy-to-mark vertical columns, the arrangement of all information to fit within three rings ofthe bull's eye design on the diagram makes totalling the rings equally as easy.Disadvantages of the New Scoring System1. Decisions have to be made on the weighting and penalties of generalizations,inferences, disconnects and restructures of information that are somewhatsubjective or intuitive, whereas verbatim recall is judged on whether it is eitherpresent or absent.2. It is also necessary to keep detailed records of all decisions made in #1 so that themarker remains consistent throughout the marking of all the protocols.Pilot Study #2One school board was to be formally approached to provide the pilot studyclassroom plus two main study classrooms of grade 5 social studies students. All threeclasses were to be representative or randomly sampled after research conditions had beenmet. None of the students in the pilot studies were to be used in the main study. It was thefunction of this pilot study to be the final test run for the research. The class was to receivethe full main study procedures (stated below), including the coding process and thestandardized pretest. All material was to be marked but not statistically analyzed. Then anynecessary final adjustments would be made.Main Study PhaseThe following is a plan of the procedure that was to be applied:Preparing for the Research , Administering the Pretest and Preparing for the Treatments1. As each of the eight class lists are made available to the researcher, a research classnumber in Roman numerals is assigned each class. The class number is followed161by individual numbers that are assigned alphabetically and correspond to firstnames on the class lists. A name tag is then produced for every child in every classthat consists of the child's first name and any necessary first letters in the last nameto identify each student from his classmates, his or her class designation, followedby an individual research number.For example:^Sandra S.^#VII-229On the first day in the classroom, the prepared name tags are distributed and tapedto the subjects' desk prior to the research activity. After each session, the tags arecollected and retaped for each research day. This system allows the children toidentify themselves no matter where they sit and provides a research number for thechildren to copy on to all research material. The research number is verified by theresearcher before the work of the student is collected each session.2. Give all the students in the eight classes the standardized reading test, Gates-MacGinitie Reading Test, Canadian Edition, Level D, Form 1. Instructions are tobe followed exactly from the teacher's instruction manual. Omit any students thatthe teacher thinks would be unable to manage the test and would be very frustrated.Allow any student to take the reading test if the teacher thinks being part of thegroup activity is more important to the student than finding the tasks manageable.3. Rank order the students using the raw score from the comprehension subtest of thestandardized reading test.4. Eliminate learning disabled readers and New Canadians who are non-Englishspeaking from the study. Exact guidelines will be established after the pilot studyand pretest have been given.5. The remaining students will be divided into three stratified groups (one-third ineach group or at the closest break points) based on rank order scores higher,medium and lower reading comprehension ability groups).1626. Using random assignment procedures, the stratified students will be assigned tothree treatment groups.7. Next, treatment envelopes will be prepared. A treatment code will be added to theoriginal research number on the envelope. The code consists of the followingcategories and appears in the following order:a) school class # - assigned a roman numeral by selection orderb) a personal research number based on alphabetical orderc) a reading comprehension ability stratification -• higher as X• middle as Y• lower as Z• eliminated as Wd) Treatment group -• Ti - control group as C• T2 - headings only treatment as H• T3 - headings and strategies as SHere is an example of the coding procedure and its interpretation that will appear onthe treatment envelopes: #11- 019-Y- C represents a student from class II, who is giventhe student number of 019, is from the middle reading comprehension ability group, andwho is randomly assigned to the control treatment. A master list for each class containedthe full research code and the partial names of the students.Preparing and Administering Treatments1. The full assigned code will be put on each treatment envelope (see the exampleabove). Each envelope will then be filled with the appropriate treatment materialbased on the envelope specifying C, H or S.2. The three treatments are to be given in the same classroom at the same time. Todistribute the treatment envelopes, the researcher matches the research number on163the treatment package with the research number on the taped name tags on the desksof the students. Because all directions are written, the researcher will be free tocirculate and assist any child who does not understand the directions. There is notime limit. Envelopes will be collected as the students finish. If any children finishearly, they will be asked to read the library book that they were to have on theirdesks or complete some assigned class work.3. When all treatments have been administered, treatment packages and the master listswill be given to the thesis chairperson for safekeeping until after the posttests arescored to prevent researcher bias.Administering and Scoring Posttests1. Posttest booklets were developed in preparation for administering the posttests.Students will be given a posttest booklet containing Part A (Posttest 1) on page 1, alined second piece of paper, and Part B (Posttest 2) on page 3. Each booklet willbe identified only with the assigned class and student research number (forexample: MI- 019); not the full code (for example: # II-019-Y-C ). The researcherwill check carefully to see that the research number that the student places on thebooklet matches the student number that is taped on his or her desk.2. The posttests will be identical for all students and are to be administered one dayafter treatment. Instructions will be presented in written form and page oneinstructions will also be read orally. In Part A of the posttest booklet, the studentswill be asked to write down everything they remember about the passage. In PartB, each child will be asked to recall or formulate the topic for the whole passageand list four of the most important ideas from this passage on the appropriate linesthat will be provided (see Appendix B.04). There is no time limit.3. Next, all papers will be marked using the new scoring system. Because theposttest booklets will be identified only with class and student number (for164example: #III-035) and all master lists and treatment packages will have beenturned into the thesis chairperson, the researcher will not be able to identify eitherthe treatment group or the ability group when the papers are scored.4. All the marked protocols will be turned over to a third party. Next, 10% of theposttests will be randomly chosen for rescoring, under the supervision of the thesischairperson. The researcher will rescore 10% of the original posttests using freshscoring sheets. When a second copy of the marks is returned to the thesis advisoror the third party, the original tests will be taken back and compared to the rescoredprotocols. The intra-rater reliability correlation coefficient will be computed.5. When all tests are scored and 10% rescored, the treatment envelopes will bereleased to the researcher and the posttest protocols will be matched with the fullcodes on the envelopes.6. All data will be entered into the computer and the statistical analysis will begin usingSYSTAT 5.2.1 for the Macintosh computer.DATA ANALYSISAnswers to the research questions and hypotheses were sought using inferentialstatistics. The main statistical procedure chosen for this study was a 3 x 3 factorial analysisof variance. This procedure was used to investigate any significant differences among themean scores of the subjects on three levels of the independent variable Treatments,shown as A in the diagram (see Table 3.05), and three levels of the variable ReadingComprehension Ability, shown as B. In addition, the interaction between A and B(AB) was explored to see if the two factors interacted significantly with one another. TheANOVA was used six times on four dependent measures of free recall (quantity ofsuperordinate, subordinate, sub-subordinate ideas and total of all three) shown as a,b,c,165and d, one dependent measure on accuracy of main idea recall/formulation as shown by e,and a total score for both posttests shown as f). This is also diagrammed in Table 3.05.The various assumptions that underlie the analysis of variance (normality,homogeneity of variance and independence) and their possible violations were considered.Firstly, Glass and Hopkins (1984) claim, "Nonnormality has negligible consequences ontype-I and type-II error probabilities unless populations are highly skewed, n's are small,and directional ("one-tailed") tests are employed" (p. 351). The sample size of 20 subjectsper cell was considered to be quite adequate and this research did not use directional tests.Also, some of the selection for sample population was done randomly or representativelyso the chance of extreme skewing is unlikely. In addition, the results of the twostandardized reading pretest measures could be used to indicate whether the sample isnormal or skewed. Therefore, nonnormality should not be a problem. Secondly, thisresearch has equal cell sizes of 20 subjects. Glass and Hopkins (1984) say when the n'sare equal, concern for homogeneity of variance is less of a problem. Thirdly, theassumption of independence is met because each subject has been randomly assigned totreatment groups from each strata of ability level. Keppel and Saufley, Jr. (1980) statethat, "The assumption of independence is generally satisfied through the randomassignment of subjects to the treatment conditions" (p. 97). Care was taken with the designof this study to insure that independence was not violated.Another statistical procedure that was considered for this research was an analysis ofcovariance. This procedure would be used in place of the ANOVA to control fordifferences other than those that might exist because of the treatment variable if the researchgroups are too dissimilar before treatment. General reading ability and readingcomprehension ability were expected to have a large influence on the subjects' recall of theexpository passage regardless of treatments, so the comprehension subscores and totalreading scores from the pretest (the standardized Gates-McGinitie Reading Test, Canadianedition) could be used as a covariate. Although reading comprehension ability differences166Table 3.05The Factorial Design with Emphasis on Data Analysis(Reading Comprehension Ability) dependenthigher (H) middle (M) lower (L)^variablesT1AT2(Treatments)T3n = 20 n = 20,n = 20n = 20 n = 20 n = 20n = 20 n = 20 n = 2060^60^6060 KTI60 KT2 a,b,c,d,e,f60 3-C-T3N= 180AB^XH^Xm^XLN = number of subjects in study^n = number of subjects in cellA and B - independent and control variables^AB - interaction of variablesT1 = Treatment 1 - no headings, no heading strategy instructionsT2 = Treatment 2- headings but no heading strategy instructionsT3 = Treatment 3 - headings and heading strategy instructionsa = quantity of superordinate ideas in delayed free recall.b = quantity of subordinate ideas in delayed free recall.c = quantity of sub-subordinate ideas in delayed free recall.d = quantity of ideas recalled from the delayed free recall (a, b, c)e = accuracy of main idea recall/formulation after a one day delayf = total from a, b, c, and e167had been considerably controlled for in the three level reading comprehension abilitystratified design, the statistical technique of analysis of covariance could be used to furthercontrol for initial differences between groups in general reading ability and readingcomprehension ability. Elashoff (1969) states that when ability groups are beingcompared, "The further apart the two groups are in mean ability the more imprecise is theestimate of the difference in the adjusted treatment means" (p. 378). Once again, a numberof factors needed to be satisfied for the analysis of covariance. Elashoff (1969) suggeststhat:the assumptions that assignment to treatments has been at random, that thecovariate is independent of the treatments, and that there is no treatment-slope interaction are crucial to the underlying rationale for the use ofcovariance analysis. The assumptions of linearity, normality, andhomogeneity of variances are necessary for statistical simplicity and thevalidity of standard statistical tests; transformations of the data may beuseful for making the data satisfy these assumptions and alternativecovariance procedures which do not depend on these assumptions havebeen developed for certain cases. Generally, violation of the assumption oflinearity, homogeneity or regressions, normality, or homogeneity ofvariances will be less serious if individuals have been assigned to treatmentsat random and the x variable has a normal distribution. (p. 395-396)The level of significance was set at a = .10. In educational research, the mostcommonly used level of significance is an alpha level set at .05. Because this research wasexploratory and had a potentially weak treatment effect, a higher alpha level was selected.Borg and Gall (1989) suggest that "in exploratory studies the .10 level may be used" (p.351). [However, Bonferroni (Kirk, 1982; Systat, 1992b) cautions researchers about theeffect of a large alpha level when using repeated tests. He suggests dividing the alpha levelby the number of repeated tests. Therefore, in this research one should be cautious aboutany probability results that lie between .02 and .101 Expectations of a weak treatmenteffect (because of the small number of headings to the amount of text in the selected forestpassage) led to a need for increased statistical power. A high level of alpha and an adequatesample cell size were used to gain statistical power. Controlling the factor of reading168comprehension ability in a stratifying design also was used to help isolate true differencesdue to treatment. All data was processed using the SYSTAT 5.2.1 - A statistical Packagefor the Macintosh computer.LIMITATIONSThe following is a discussion of the limitations that should be noted wheninterpreting the results of this study:• It is very hard to control for type and difficulty of the reading material. To controlfor these variables, B.C. authorized grade 5 social studies material that wascurrently being used in many classes was selected. This gives the study greaterecological validity. However, it makes it much more difficult to explore the effectof headings. In many studies that have been reviewed, contrived passages wereused. Contrived passages allow one much more control over the number and thetype of headings used in any passage plus any other processing aids can beeliminated from the text. However, results on contrived material fail to show howstudents are affected by headings when they actually read normal classroomtextbooks with a variety of processing aids and fewer headings and subheadings.Real textbook material uses a number of processing aids to help the readercomprehend. In the case of the material selected in this study, headings, pictures,inserted questions and bolded key words were used. In four pages of text, onlyfour headings were used. As there is a limit to the number of pages that grade 5children can read and recall comfortably, this study is left with very few headings tocreate any effect. Therefore there is likely to be a very weak treatment effect. As aresult, an alpha of .10 was used to gain statistical power.• Because there is no recommended order for teaching social studies topics in theselected school districts, no material could be selected that represented material that169none of the eight classes had read. Instead, it was necessary to sample only thosestudents that had not been taught from the textbook from which the passage waschosen. This limited the number of classes that could be used in the study andmade the sample less random.• Sampling was strengthened by having all the treatments given in each class at thesame time. This arrangement avoided the John Henry because no treatment seemedmore special than any other treatment and it allowed the fmal unit of measurement tobe the individual student rather than the class. However, because all the treatmentswere given at the same time, no oral instructions could be given to the headingstrategy instruction group and the quality of the instruction was thereby affected.Only heading strategies presentable in the written instruction format could be used.• One of the weaknesses of testing the results of an instructional program, is that onedoes not know if the students actually used the heading strategies that were taught.This experiment guides students in such a way that the student was sure to havefocused on the headings in the heading strategy instruction group. On the otherhand, a number of heading strategies can not be easily and effectively explained inone set of instructions. A period of instruction is necessary if the students have notalready grasped these points intuitively. In order to see a more full picture, lookingat the results of both long term instructional programs in heading use plus theresults of heading studies that insure the students focus on the headings isnecessary. This study only did the latter and tried to compliment the studies ofCoulombe (1986) and Goble (1986) who explored the former.• This study used a written free recall as a measurement tool of some dependentvariables. The free recall was an attempt to learn how an individual comprehendsand recalls material that he reads. It is both better and weaker than othercomprehension tools. At this point there is no way to totally understand howanother person comprehends. Free recall relies on memory. In addition, although170it does require a person to group or organize recalled thoughts in some fashion forwriting, it does not insure that the subject will attempt to express the main ideas ofthe passage that he/she is recalling. Therefore, it is not ideal for our purposes whenthe literature leads one to believe that main idea recall is improved more by headingsthan memory for details. Free recall is better than some comprehension measuresbut it may not be able to show the true extent of the main idea understanding thatoccurs as a result of headings being present. To overcome this problem, a fourthdependent measurement, a main idea recall/formulation test, was added. Allmeasures though, are crude attempts at trying to really understand how headingsaffect both the readers' comprehension and recall of expository prose.• Because of the need to use classroom subjects, this study was limited to the effectsof headings on one passage only. Repeated experiments on different materials overdifferent periods of time would be more effective in exploring the question.SUMMARY OF THE CHAPTERIn this chapter, the plan for the research was fully developed. A design andtargeted population were selected. A standardized pretest measure was chosen, and plansfor rank-ordering students and dividing subjects into approximately three even groups,based on higher, middle and lower scores on the pretest, were discussed. The threetreatments and the posttest materials were prepared and tested in a pilot study. As a result,some adjustments were made to the materials. A new scoring protocol was designedbecause the original protocol was problematic. The rationale for this new scoring systemwas also discussed. The final details of the main study were given. A brief description ofthe data analysis considerations and procedures were outlined. The chapter ended with adiscussion of the limitations of study. In chapter 4, details of the actual study and itsfindings will be presented.171CHAPTER FOURThe ResultsINTRODUCTIONIn chapter 3, a series of methodological choices were made that were designed toexplore the research questions posed in chapter 1 and reviewed in chapter 2. A procedurefor conducting this research was also presented. In chapter 4, the focus is on what actuallyhappened when the research was carried out in the field and what the results of the researchwere.This chapter begins with the identification of any changes that had to be made in theresearch plans during the process of conducting the research. Secondly, conditions thatprevailed during the research are briefly noted. Thirdly, the focus will shift toconsiderations that are important for the analysis of the data and then the data will beanalyzed. The chapter closes with a summary of the research fmdings.The Actual Study Versus the Planned StudyA number of changes were made in the research project. These are noted and thepossible effects discussed.1. Obtaining the required number of classes:The plan called for three classes to be selected from each of the three schooldistricts. One of the school districts was to provide a pilot study class plus twomain study classes. Unfortunately, in spite of efforts made at the district level, thisschool district was only able to provide one class for the study. Because of timeconstraints and other considerations, it was not feasible to approach another schooldistrict to obtain more subjects. As a result of these unforeseen events, the total172available classes dropped from nine to seven and a number of modifications had tobe made to the proposed study. These will be discussed in item #3.2. Locating classes that met the criteria:It was the researcher's intention to carry out the task of finding classes thatmet the criteria (those classes that were not using the text, Exploring Canada: Learning from the Past. Looking to the Future, in their social studies program andhad not had the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Test, Level D) once the school boardrepresentatives had generally approved the research proposal and had given theresearcher permission to approach the schools. After obtaining a list of classes thatmet the research criteria, it was hoped that the researcher and the school boardofficials would discuss the actual class selection based on random sampling or ifnecessary, the selection of schools that were most representative. To facilitate thisprocess, a list of randomly chosen schools, placed in the order to be approached ineach district, was prepared and sent to each school board office. This plan was notfeasible with the various school boards who usually prefer to make initialarrangements themselves with the schools (principals and teachers) before theresearcher approaches the school (although one school district did eventually permitthe researcher to phone schools to obtain this information). In attempting to makethis study ecologically valid (by using real classroom material that requiredknowledge of which social studies textbook each class was using), the researchercreated inconvenience for the school board officials and the schools that theyrepresent. This problem is something that should be avoided in the future, ifpossible. In the end, the researcher was assigned classes in the three districts inwhich one class was first on the randomly chosen list, one class was second on therandomly chosen list with some reservations about the first class qualifying, oneclass was a volunteer classroom, and the rest of the classes were thought to berepresentative of their districts.1733. Obtaining a satisfactory sample size:Losing two classes created a serious potential loss of research subjects. Anumber of changes were made to maximize the number of subjects who could beused in the study:a) It was decided that the second pilot study would be eliminated. Fortunately,the first pilot study had provided a great deal of information and the loss ofthe second pilot study did not create any noticeable problems. As a result,the class that would have been scheduled to be a pilot study class, wasavailable for the main research study.b) The cut-off point for the elimination of students who had reading or Englishlanguage difficulties was lowered from the Gates-MacGinitie gradeequivalent score of 4.0 to Grade 3.2 This does present some concernsabout the ability of some of the children to read and understand the readingpassage. However, it more truly represents typical classroom conditionswhere most of the students attempt to use the regular classroom materials.The results of the lower reading comprehension ability group will nowshow heading effects on students who are not fully able to decode thereading passage. The choice of grade 3.2 was chosen because it was one ofthe ways that children in the past were selected for special remedial orlearning assistance help. It was thought that if a child was performing attwo full grade levels below the class average, they probably would not beable to carry out classroom tasks successfully and should receive specialreading or English language assistance. Therefore, because the averageclass reading score was expected to fall at the grade 5.2 level in October andNovember of grade five, a grade 3.2 equivalent score was chosen to be thecut-off score. Also, the tasks that were expected during the research weredeemed to be unmanageable for students scoring below this point. This174change provided a considerable number of extra subjects for the experimentwho were needed to obtain sufficient cell sizes.c) An uneven cell design was accepted in order to use every student thatqualified. It was not possible to fill every cell with 20 students using theseven classes that were available to the researcher, after student attritionbecause of absenteeism, emotional and medical reasons and elimination dueto reading difficulties. Instead, every available, qualifying student was usedso the final cell counts (see Table 4.02) could be as full as possible. Thereare statistical problems when uneven cell sizes are used but the SYSTATstatistical package used by the researcher automatically adjusted thecomputations of the ANOVAs to compensate (SYSTAT: Statistics, Version5.2 Edition, 1992, p. 275). Because some cells contained fewer subjectsthan 15, the results of heading effects on the specific readingcomprehension ability groups must be viewed with caution (Borg & Gall,1989, p. 233). Fortunately, the main statistical results compare headingeffects of the three treatment groups and each of these are comprised of 41to 43 subjects.After making all the above changes, the available, qualifying student subjectsdropped from the required 180 to 131.4. Classification of subjects into ability groups:The plan called for extra students who had been classified as higher, middleor lower reading ability comprehension ability students to fill gaps created bystudent attrition. As there were no extra subjects, the groups were separated at thebest natural breaking point in the list of rank-ordered raw scores on the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Comprehension subtest and uneven groups were created bynecessity. If the groups had been divided up exactly evenly, students with identicalreading scores would have been put in different reading ability groups and this175made little sense. There were two obvious dividing points when the rank-orderedscores were surveyed. Uneven cell size was compensated for on SYSTAT.5. Classification of subjects into treatment groups:Once the reading comprehension ability groups were selected, the abilitygroups were to be randomly assigned to treatment groups until the three cells ateach ability level were filled. This was replaced with a systematic counterbalancedassignment to treatment groups using the rank-ordered list. The student with thehighest comprehension subscore on the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Test wasassigned to treatment group 1 (designated group 1 randomly). The next highestscore was assigned to treatment group 2 and the third highest score to treatmentgroup 3. At this point the order was reversed. The fourth highest score was alsoassigned to treatment group 3, the fifth to treatment group 2 and the sixth totreatment group 1. The 1-2-3-3-2-1 pattern was followed until all the students wereassigned to treatment groups. This design provided very similar readingcomprehension abilities in each treatment group, as measured on the standardizedreading test, and helped to ensure that the groups were relatively equal on this mostimportant factor before beginning the treatments. It was hoped that this similaritywould compensate for the lack of random assignment and would result instatistically equivalent groups.General Research ConditionsSetting Up the StudyThe three participating school boards were contacted at the end of August or earlySeptember and provided with a copy of the research proposal, the Ethics committeeapproved consent form, and an information sheet for principals and teachers outlining theresearch involvement in the schools. Once the names of the selected schools were madeavailable from the school board offices, the principals were contacted and a meeting was set176up with the teachers. During this meeting, the consent letter was approved or modified tosuit the schools (one school added a covering letter that showed their support for theresearch), convenient dates and times were selected for the research, conditions of theresearch were discussed, and class lists (with or without last names) were obtained.Carrying out the ResearchThe classroom phase of the research was begun on October 8 and ended onNovember 13. The research was carried out in the individual classrooms or in the library.Desks were moved apart to insure individual responses. The children seemed genuinelywilling to cooperate and all the teachers were very supportive, flexible and helpful. Theclassroom environment was judged to be suitable for conducting the research.During the classroom research phase, a number of students had to be withdrawn orexcluded from the study for the following reasons:1. Seven children did not return consent forms and ten children returned consentforms marked no. These students were removed from the study.2. For emotional reasons, two children were excused from the study. On Day 1 in theclassroom, the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Test, Canadian Version, Level D, Form1 was given. All teachers decided to have every member of their class (exceptspecial needs students) attempt the test in order to feel like they were part of thegroup. This proved too stressful for two subjects who did not complete thestandardized reading test.3. After the reading test was administered and the tests marked, 29 students wereeliminated because their comprehension subtest scores were below the Grade 3.2level. (Britton & Lumpkin, 1982, point out that the Gates-MacGinitie test does notprovide passages at a readability level below grade 4 and therefore these resultsmust be viewed with caution.)1774. Ten children had to be eliminated because they were absent on one of the threeresearch days.5. One child was eliminated for medical reasons because he wrote the posttest withoutsome critical medication (Ritalin) that he needed to perform normally.There were 190 potential subjects enrolled in the 7 classes. After student attrition (59students), the final number of subjects in this research was reduced to 131 students.All the teachers preferred to have most of the eliminated students pretend tocontinue so they would feel part of the group. Therefore, these students were assigned acode W that indicated to only the researcher that their papers were to be excluded from thestudy results. They were given the Headings Only treatment material and their crosswordpuzzle also contained additional answers to assist them with the task. Any students thatwere absent on the initial testing date were also eliminated and given a W code. The codeW was chosen as it represented withdrawn but it was designed also to be an unobtrusivepart of the three ability codes that were X, Y and Z. Students who did not bring back theconsent forms or who did not have their parents' permission were also eliminated and theirwork was coded with NC or N respectively and was turned in only to the teacher.Representativeness of the SampleBecause it is useful to view the results of the subjects in this research with those ofprevious heading studies, it is important to compare the representativeness of this samplewith the samples used in former studies. In Table 4.01, the means and standard deviationsof the T-scores from the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Test, Canadian Edition, Level D (1979-80) of the present sample (from the Coquitlam and Delta public school districts in theLower Mainland and from Courtenay School district on Vancouver Island) are comparedwith two other research studies in both parochial (Goble - Vancouver, Coquitlam andBurnaby) and public school systems (Stables - Richmond, Maple Ridge, and Surrey) andthe 1982 West Vancouver fifth grade population that used the same reading test on the same178grade level in the lower mainland area of British Columbia. The table shows that thesample used in this current study was very similar to those used in two previous studiesand the whole grade 5 school population of one school district in the lower mainland ofBritish Columbia. Therefore, even though the classes from three school districts in thepresent study were not all randomly selected, they seem to be very representative of grade 5students in six other schools districts in southwestern British Columbia.Table 4.01Comparison of Means and Standard Deviations of the T-scores of Grade 5Groups from Nine School Districts in Southwestern British Columbia onthe Gates-MacGinitie Reading Test, Comprehension SubtestGroup K S.D. NCurrent study 52.11 8.12 131Goble (1986) 52.35 9.23 153Stables (1985) 53.22 9.83 50West Vancouver (1982) 53.38 7.90 313Note: Much of the information for this table came from Goble, 1986, p. 59-60.RESULTS OF THE RESEARCHThe Standardized Pretest MeasuresThe purpose of the pretest was to find some reading tasks that attempted to measurethe differences in the reading comprehension ability in the treatment groups before thetreatments were given. The full Gates-MacGinitie Reading Test, Canadian Version, LevelD, Form 1 was administered and two scores were considered in judging differences before179treatment. These scores were the comprehension subtest and the full test results(vocabulary and comprehension subtests). In Table 4.02, the means and standarddeviations of the comprehension subtest raw scores are displayed for each treatment group.It can be observed that there were almost no differences between the grand means of thetreatment groups on the raw scores on the comprehension subtest of the Gates-MacGinitieReading Test. Furthermore, there was little difference among the grand means of the threetreatment groups on the total raw scores (vocabulary and comprehension subtests) on theGates-MacGinitie Reading Test. This was confirmed visually with box plot graphs and byconducting statistical analysis of variance tests. The box plots (or box and whiskers)appeared to be almost identical in range and the results of both the analysis of variance testsshowed no significant differences in means of the three treatment groups. As wasexpected, there are significant differences in the grand means of the three readingcomprehension ability groups. Therefore, because of the similarity of the three treatmentgroups, all the hypotheses in this research were explored using analysis of variancetechniques instead of analysis of covariance.Data Analysis ConsiderationsScoring ReliabilityAll scoring for both the pretests and the posttests was done by the researcher. Theposttest protocols were marked using the researcher-designed scoring system that wasexplained in Chapter 3. Before the posttests were marked, an assistant to the chairpersonperformed a computer procedure to randomly select 10% (14 subjects) of the protocols tobe remarked. The selected protocols were photocopied by the assistant and the copiedversions were put in a sealed envelope along with the randomly selected list and sent to thethesis chairperson. The researcher had no access to any part of this procedure. When theprotocols were being marked, the researcher only had knowledge of the student researchnumber (e.g., VII-207). The list with the treatment and ability group codes and180Table 4.02The Final Factorial Design with Cell Size (n), Means and (S.D.) on Pretest:Gates-MacGinitie Reading Comprehension Subtest(Reading Comprehension Ability)dependenthigher (H) middle (M) lower (L)^variablesT1AT2(Treatments)T3n = 1433.86(3.06)n = 1326(1.73)n = 1519.13(2.1)n = 15 n = 12 n = 1634.07 26.33 19.38(3.35) (2.06) (2.13)n = 14 n = 16 n = 1634.43 26.25 19(3.46) (2.08) (2.10)42 5Z-Ti26.17(6.61)43 )7r2 a,b,c,d,e,f26.44(6.80)46 KT326.22(6.77)43^41^47^N = 131AB^XH^5-c-m^54,34.12^26.20^19.17(3.22)^(1.93)^(2.07)N = number of subjects in study n = number of subjects in cellA and B - independent variables AB - interaction of variablesT1 = Treatment 1 - no headings, no heading strategy instructionsT2 = Treatment 2- headings but no heading strategy instructionsT3 = Treatment 3 - headings and heading strategy instructionsa = quantity of superordinate ideas in delayed free recall.b = quantity of subordinate ideas in delayed free recall.c = quantity of sub-subordinate ideas in delayed free recall.d = quantity of ideas recalled from the delayed free recall (a,b,c)e= accuracy of main ideas recalled or formulated after a one day delay.f = total score for free recall test and the main idea recall/formulation test.1810.98510.99530.99700.99890.98240.9985the actual research materials were stored with the thesis chairperson.After the protocols were marked and recorded, the assistant collected the markedmaterials and gave the researcher the protocols that were to be remarked. Once again, theresearcher scored blind. When the results of the remarked (10%) protocols were enteredinto the computer, a Pearson correlation matrix was computed using the SYSTAT (1992b)statistical package on the Macintosh Computer. The intra-rater reliability results appear inTable 4.03.Table 4.03Intra-rater Reliability Correlation Coefficients for the Posttestsa, b, c - Free Recall Posttesta - Superordinate Ideasb - Subordinate ideasc - Sub-subordinate ideasd - Total Free Recalle - Main Idea Recall/Formulation Testf - Total PosttestsThe results of the intra-rater reliability check were assumed to be acceptable. Noattempt was made to carry out an interrater reliability check because of the highlyinterpretive nature of the scoring procedure. It would necessitate a considerable timecommitment from someone to learn the scoring procedure and score 10% of the protocols.OutliersWhen a series of scattergratns were carried out, there seemed to be evidence of anoutlier. SYSTAT (1992b) notes, "The F-test is robust to certain violations of assumptions,182but factorial ANOVA is not robust against outliers" (p. 269). Leinhardt and Leinhardt(1980) concur and both groups recommend doing box plots on data before using the resultsfrom the analysis of variance runs. Box plots for each treatment group were carried out onboth pretest and posttest measures. On the standardized reading test, no outliers appearedin the treatment groups on the comprehension subtest or the total reading test. However, inthe nonstandardized measures, the box plots revealed one outlier in treatment group 3.When box plots were carried out for the three treatment groups on six dependent measures,one subject appeared as an outlier in five of the six dependent measures. Her recall was sogood that her scores were often twice as high as the next highest student. A variety ofpossible causes were considered. (No possible causes suggested by Borg and Gall [1989,p. 368] seemed feasible.) The researcher concluded that the most likely cause wasunusually superior recall by the outlier as the pilot study also contained an outlier who wasable to recall twice as much information as the next highest student in the class. Althoughboth these students were good readers, they were not exceptional readers. Indeed, theywere not even the best readers in their classes. Therefore it would appear that the outliersare only exceptional when it comes to remembering information.Borg and Gall (1989) state, "The decision to eliminate one or more outliers from aresearch study is problematic. Even one or two outliers can distort the results yielded byconventional statistics, unless the sample is large. You can not eliminate outliers just forthis reason, though. Outliers should only be eliminated for good cause, ..." (p. 368).Leinhardt and Leinhardt (1980) say, "The problem with choosing the mean and relatedstatistics such as standard deviation is, for the most part, their lack of resistance to theimpact that one or a few deviant data values can have" (p. 97). Yet, they too think thatutmost caution should be used in removing data from a study. Shavelson (1981)recommends if outliers are found, the data should be analyzed with and without theoutliers. Therefore, analysis of variance procedures were conducted for both the outlierpresent group (N=131) and outlier absent group (N=130). As this outlier appears to have183violated the homogeneity of variance on several dependent measures (total score on the freerecall test and the total of both posttests), only the tables for the outlier removed group willbe shown after the first ANOVA test is presented. However, the p-values for the outlierpresent group will also be mentioned. Fortunately, although the results between outlierpresent and absent vary, the outlier did not affect the outcome on any ANOVA test and,therefore, one can have confidence in the significant findings.Results of the Nonstandardized Posttest MeasuresThe results of the data will be analyzed in terms of the following null hypotheses:Hoi: There will be no significant differences among the mean scores on thedelayed written posttests for the two experimental groups (treatment group2 - headings without heading strategy instructions and treatment group 3 -headings with heading strategy instructions) and the control group(treatment group 1 - no headings and no heading strategy instructions) onthe following dependent variables:a - quantity of superordinate or main ideas in free recallb - quantity of subordinate ideas or supporting ideas in free recallc - quantity of sub-subordinate ideas or details in free recalld - total score on free recall test (a, b, and c)e - accuracy of main idea recall/formulationf - total score for free recall and main idea recall/formulation testsFree Recall: Superordinate IdeasThere were significant differences among the mean scores on the three treatmentlevels with respect to the quantity of superordinate or main ideas recalled on the Free RecallTest. (See Tables 4.04 and 4.05.) A further look at the Scheffé test reveals that treatment184Table 4.04Analysis of Variance by Treatment Groups with Outlier Present (n=131) onQuantity of Superordinate Ideas Recalled on the Free Recall PosttestGroup^R.^S.D.^F-Ratio^P1 control2 without3 with2.823.926.332.162.743.91 18.13 p<.001Scheffé Post Hoc Test - Superordinate Ideas(Outlier Present)Matrix of pairwise comparison probabilities1 2 31 - -2 .205 - -3 <.001 <.001 -Table 4.05Analysis of Variance by Treatment Groups with Outlier Removed (n=130)on Quantity of Superordinate Ideas Recalled on the Free Recall PosttestGroup^R^S.D.^F-Ratio^P1 Control^2.82^2.162 without 3.92 2.74^17.08^p<.0013 with^6.04^3.43Scheffé Post Hoc Test - Superordinate Ideas(Outlier Removed)Matrix of pairwise comparison probabilities1^2^31^- - -2 .164^-^-3^<.001 .001 _group 3 significantly outperformed both treatment group 1 and treatment group 2 (p<.001).Treatment group 2 did not significantly outperform either group 3 or group 1. These185results apply to the three treatment groups with and without the outlier removed. Thus, thenull hypothesis was rejected. This means that the group who received a social studiespassage with headings and heading strategy instructions (treatment group 3) rememberedsignificantly more information than those students who received a passage with headingsonly (treatment group 2) and those that received a passage with the headings removed andno heading strategy instruction (treatment group 1 - control group).Free Recall: Subordinate IdeasThere were no significant differences among the mean scores on the three treatmentlevels with respect to the quantity of recall of supporting or subordinate ideas in either thesample with the outlier present (p=.117) or the outlier removed (p=.165) (see Table 4.06).Therefore, the null hypothesis was accepted. This means that the treatment groups did notdiffer significantly when recalling subordinate ideas in a free recall situation.Table 4.06Analysis of Variance by Treatment Groups with Outlier Removed (n=130)on Quantity of Subordinate Ideas Recalled on the Free Recall PosttestGroup^X^S.D.^F-Ratio1 control^3.49^3.712 without4.90 4.40^1.83^0.165^(n.s.)3 with^4.77^3.92Free Recall: Sub-subordinate IdeasThe results show that there were no significant differences among the mean scoreson the three treatment levels with respect to the quantity of sub-subordinate ideas or specificdetails recalled (see Table 4.07). Thus, the null hypothesis is accepted. Headings andheading strategy instructions did not significantly improve the students' recall of sub-186subordinate ideas or specific details on the free recall test. These results were consistent forboth the conditions of the outlier present (p=.107) and the outlier removed (p=.279)although there was a trend towards the outlier having an effect on the quantity of sub-subordinate ideas recalled.Table 4.07Analysis of Variance by Treatment Groups with Outlier Removed (n=130)on Quantity of Sub-Subordinate Ideas Recalled on the Free Recall PosttestGroup^Tc"^S.D.^F-Ratio^P1 control^3.53^3.112 without 4.08 3.39^1.29^0.279^(n.s.)3 with^4.63^3.58Free Recall: TotalThere was a significant difference among the mean scores on the three treatmentlevels with respect to the total number of ideas recalled in the free recall test (see Table4.08). These differences were consistent with the outlier present (p=.004) and removed(p=.005). Thus, the null hypothesis has been rejected. The Scheffé test indicates thattreatment group 3 significantly outperformed treatment group 1 but not treatment group 2.Treatment group 2 did not outperform treatment group 1. This indicates that the studentswho received heading strategy instructions (treatment group 3) remembered more ideas onthe free recall test than the group that received no headings and no heading strategyinstructions (treatment group 1).187Table 4.08Analysis of Variance by Treatment Groups with Outlier Removed (n=130)on Total Ideas Recalled on the Free Recall PosttestGroup K S.D. F-Ratio P1 control 9.85 7.742 without 12.89 9.41 5.49 .0053 with 15.44 9.02Scheffé Post Hoc Test - Free Recall Test Total(Outlier Removed)Matrix of pairwise comparison probabilities1 2 31 - - -2 .221 - -3 .005 .306 -Main Idea RecantFormulation: AccuracyThere were significant differences among the mean scores on the three treatmentlevels with respect to the number of ideas remembered in the delayed written main idearecall/formulation test (see Table 4.09). This effect applied when both the outlier waspresent (p<.001) and when the outlier was removed (p<.001). Further analysis using theScheffé test revealed that treatment group 3 significantly outperformed both treatment group2 and 1 (p<.001). Thus, the null hypothesis was rejected. This data seems to indicate thathaving heading strategy instructions significantly improves one's ability to remember orformulate main ideas for passages that have been read.188Table 4.09Analysis of Variance by Treatment Groups with Outlier Removed (n=130)on Accuracy of Recall on the Main Idea Recall/Formulation TestGroup^)1*^S.D.^F-Ratio^P1 control2 without3 with2.212.816.822.232.644.9728.32 <.001Scheffé Post Hoc Test - Main Idea Recall/Formulation(Outlier Removed)Matrix of pairwise comparison probabilities1 2 31 - -2.638 - -3 <.001 <.001 _Free Recall and Main Idea Recall/Formulation: TotalThere were significant differences among the mean scores on the three treatmentlevels with respect to the total number of ideas remembered on the two posttests.Treatment group 3 significantly outperformed treatment 2 and 1 (see Table 4.10). Thiseffect was significant with and without the outlier removed (p<.001). Thus, the nullhypothesis has been rejected. There was no significant difference between treatment group2 and 1. This shows that heading strategy instruction improved the total recall of thestudents on the reading passage but that headings without heading strategy instruction didnot.189Table 4.10Analysis of Variance by Treatment Groups with Outlier Removed (n=130)on Total Quantity Recalled on Both PosttestsGroup^5.?^S.D.^F-Ratio^P1 control2 without3 with12.0615.7022.27 8.7211.3111.9313.41 <.001Scheffé Post Hoc Test - Total on Both Posttests(Outlier Removed)Matrix of pairwise comparison probabilities1 2 31 - - -2 .210 - -3 <.001 .005 -Ho2: There will be no significant differences among the mean scores on thedelayed written posttests of each specific reading comprehension level(higher, middle, or lower) for the two experimental groups (treatment group2 - headings without heading strategy instructions and treatment group 3 -headings with heading strategy instructions) and the control group(treatment group 1 - no headings and no heading strategy instructions) onthe following dependent variables:a - quantity of superordinate or main ideas in free recallb - quantity of subordinate ideas or supporting ideas in free recallc - quantity of sub-subordinate ideas or details in free recalld - total score on free recall test (a, b, and c)e - accuracy of main idea recall/formulationf - total score for free recall and main idea recall/formulation tests190Analysis of Variance - Higher Reading Comprehension Ability and TreatmentsFree Recall: Superordinate Ideas - There was a significant difference among the meanscores between the treatment group 3 and treatment group 1 in the higher readingcomprehension ability group with respect to the quantity of main ideas rememberedin a free recall test (see Table 4.11). When the outlier was present, the result wasp=.004 and when the outlier was removed, the result was p=.007. These resultsshow that the higher reading comprehension ability group that received the headingstrategies (treatment group 3) outperformed the higher reading comprehensionability group that had a passage without headings and who received no headingstrategy instruction (treatment group 1) but did not significantly outperform thetreatment group 2 that received headings but did not receive heading strategyinstructions. Therefore, the null hypothesis was rejected.Table 4.11Analysis of Variance - Higher Reading Comprehension Ability Group withOutlier Removed (n=42) and Treatments on Quantity of Superordinate IdeasRecalled on the Free Recall PosttestGroup^57^S.D.^F-Ratio^P1 control2 without3 with3.705.737.271.922.723.565.59 .007Scheffé Post Hoc Test - Superordinate Ideas(Higher Reading Comprehension Ability Group - Outlier Removed)Matrix of pairwise comparison probabilities1 2 31 - - -2 .159 - -3 .008 .358 -191Free Recall: Subordinate Ideas - There were no significant differences among the meanscores for the higher reading comprehension ability group on the three treatmentlevels with respect to the quantity of subordinate ideas in a free recall whether theoutlier was present (p=.526) or absent (p=.411). (See Table 4.12.) Thus, the nullhypothesis (Ho2: b) was accepted. No higher reading comprehension ability groupoutperformed any other high ability group on the three treatments on the dependentvariable of quantity of subordinate ideas recalled on the Free Recall Test.Table 4.12Analysis of Variance - Higher Reading Comprehension Ability Group withOutlier Removed (n=42) and Treatments on Quantity of Subordinate IdeasRecalled on the Free Recall PosttestGroup^K^S.D.^F-Ratio^P1 control^5.32^4.542 without7.43 4.73^.91^.411^(n.s.)3 with^5.73^4.08Free Recall: Sub-subordinate Ideas - There were no significant differences among themean scores for the higher reading comprehension ability group on the threetreatment levels with respect to the quantity of sub-subordinate ideas in the FreeRecall Test. (Outlier present - p=.65'7; Outlier removed - p=.852). (See Table4.13.) Thus, the null hypothesis (Ho2: c) was retained. The higher readingcomprehension ability groups in each treatment group were not significantlydifferent in their recall of sub-subordinate ideas on the Free Recall Test.192Table 4.13Analysis of Variance - Higher Reading Comprehension Ability Group withOutlier Removed (n=42) and Treatments on Quantity of Sub-SubordinateIdeas Recalled on the Free Recall PosttestGroup^X^S.D.^F-Ratio1 control^5.25^3.942 without 5.88 4.02^.16^.852^(n.s.)3 with^5.17^2.93Free Recall: Total - There were no significant differences among the mean scores forthe higher reading comprehension ability group on the three treatment levels withrespect to the total number of ideas remembered in the delayed written free recalltest. (Outlier present - p=.243; Outlier removed - p=.314). (See Table 4.14.)Thus, the null hypothesis (Ho2: d) was retained. The higher readingcomprehension ability groups in each treatment group were not significantlydifferent in their total recall of ideas on the Free Recall Test.Table 4.14Analysis of Variance - Higher Reading Comprehension Ability Group withOutlier Removed (n=42) and Treatments on Total Number of Ideas on theFree Recall TestGroup^X^S.D.^F-Ratio1 control^14.27^8.972 without 19.05 9.68^1.20^.314^(n.s.)3 with^18.17^7.34Main Idea Recall/Formulation: Accuracy - There were significant differences amongthe mean scores for the higher reading comprehension ability group on the threetreatment levels with respect to the number of ideas remembered in the delayed193written main idea recall/formulation test. This was significant (p<.001) when theoutlier was present and when the outlier was removed (see Table 4.15). Thus, thenull hypothesis (Ho2: e) was rejected. The higher reading comprehension abilitygroup in treatment group 3 that received headings with heading strategy instructionssignificantly outperformed the higher reading comprehension ability groups in bothtreatment group 2 and 1 (p<.001) on their accuracy of main idea recall/formulation(on the Main Idea Recall/Formulation Test).Table 4.15Analysis of Variance - Higher Reading Comprehension Ability Group withOutlier Removed (n=42) and Treatments on the Accuracy of Main IdeaRecall/Formulation on Posttest 2Group^K^S.D.^F-Ratio^P1 control2 without3 with2.464.179.852.092.953.47 24.19<.001Scheffé Post Hoc Test - Main Idea Recall/Formulation(Higher Reading Comprehension Ability Group - Outlier Removed)Matrix of pairwise comparison probabilities1 2 31 - - -2 .293 - -3<.001 <.001 -Free Recall and Main Idea Recall/Formulation: Total  - There was a significantdifference among the mean scores for the higher reading comprehension abilitygroup on the treatment levels with respect to the total number of ideas rememberedon the two posttests. This was significant (p=.023) when the outlier was presentand when the outlier was removed (p=.023) (see Table 4.16). The higher readingcomprehension ability group that received headings with heading strategy194instructions (treatment group 3) significantly outperformed the group that receivedno headings and no heading strategy instructions (treatment group 1) but did notoutperform the group that received headings without heading strategy instructions(treatment group 2) as shown by the Scheffé Test.Table 4.16Analysis of Variance - Higher Reading Comprehension Ability Group withOutlier Removed (n=42) and Treatments on Total Quantity Recalled on BothPosttestsGroup^)7^S.D.^F-Ratio^P1 control2 without3 with16.7323.2228.0210.5911.188.584.14 .023Scheffé Post Hoc Test - Total of Both Posttests(Higher Reading Comprehension Ability Group - Outlier Removed)Matrix of pairwise comparison probabilities1 2 31 - - -2 .247 - -3 .024 .472 -Analysis of Variance - Middle Reading Comprehension Ability and TreatmentsThis section shows how the middle reading comprehension ability group wasaffected by the three different treatments as shown by the results of the ANOVAs on the sixdependent variables. (As the outlier was not in this reading ability group, there can be noeffect by the outlier.) However, these results are affected by the Bonferroni criteria (Kirk,1982, Systat, 1992b) and should be used only with caution. In each case, the data will beanalyzed according to the original alpha level first. If the results are higher than .02 whenrounding off has taken place, a second analysis of the results will be stated using theBonferroni critical values.195Free Recall: Superordinate Ideas - The results show that there were significantdifferences among the mean scores (p=.003) for the middle reading comprehensionability group on the three treatment levels with respect to the quantity of main ideason the Free Recall Test (see Table 4.17). The Scheffé test shows that the resultswere significant at the .10 level. The middle comprehension ability group thatreceived headings with heading strategy instructions (treatment 3) outperformedboth the groups that received no heading strategy instructions (treatment groups 1and 2). The null hypothesis was rejected.If adjustments are made for a Bonferroni critical value of .02, treatmentgroup 3 still outperforms treatment group 1 (p=.004), but does not outperformtreatment group 2 (p<.06). The null hypothesis is still rejected.Table 4.17Analysis of Variance - Middle Reading Comprehension Ability Group(n=41) and Treatments on Quantity of Superordinate Ideas Recalled on theFree Recall PosttestGroup K S.D. F-Ratio P1 control 2.77 2.252 without 3.85 2.79 7.00 .0033 with 6.44 3.01Scheffé Post Hoc Test - Superordinate Ideas(Middle Reading Comprehension Ability Group)Matrix of pairwise comparison probabilities1 2 31 - - -2 .614 - -3 .004 .058 -Free Recall: Subordinate Ideas - There were no significant differences among the meanscores (p=.433) for the middle reading comprehension ability group on the three196treatment levels with respect to the quantity of subordinate ideas remembered on theFree Recall Test (see Table 4.18). The null hypothesis was accepted.Table 4.18Analysis of Variance - Middle Reading Comprehension Ability Group(n=41) and Treatments on Quantity of Subordinate Ideas Recalled on theFree Recall PosttestGroup^)7^S.D.^F-Ratio^P1 control^3.94^3.632 without 4.924.36^.86^.433^(n.s.)3 with^5.70^2.91Free Recall: Sub-subordinate Ideas - Although there is a tendency to significance(p=.109), there were no significant differences among the mean scores for themiddle reading comprehension ability group on the three treatment levels withrespect to the quantity of sub-subordinate ideas remembered on the Free Recall Test(see Table 4.19). The null hypothesis was accepted.Table 4.19Analysis of Variance - Middle Reading Comprehension Ability Group(n=41) and Treatments on Quantity of Sub-Subordinate Ideas Recalled onthe Free Recall PosttestGroup^)7^S.D.^F-Ratio^P1 control^3.42^2.482 without 3.69 2.55^2.35^.109^(n.s.)3 with^5.72^3.92Free Recall: Total - There was a significant difference among the mean scores for themiddle reading comprehension ability group on the treatment levels with respect to197the total quantity of ideas remembered on the Free Recall Test (see Table 4.20).The Scheffé test shows that treatment group 3 outperformed treatment group 1(p=.037) and therefore, the null hypothesis was rejected. The treatment group 3did not outperform treatment group 2, however. This data shows that whenheading strategy instructions were given and headings were present, treatmentgroup 3 recalled significantly more than students who received no headings and noheading strategy instructions but not more than the group that received headings butno heading strategy instructions.If an adjustment is made for the Bonferroni critical value, then the nullhypothesis is accepted. Treatment group 3 did not significantly outperformtreatment group 1.Table 4.20Analysis of Variance - Middle Reading Comprehension Ability Group(n=41) and Treatments on Total Number of Ideas on the Free Recall TestGroup^3?^S.D.^F-Ratio^P1 control2 without3 with10.1412.4617.867.488.937.663.60 .037Scheffé Post Hoc Test - Free Recall Test Total(Middle Reading Comprehension Ability Group)Matrix of pairwise comparison probabilities1 2 31 - -2 .770 - -3 .046 .222 -Main Idea Recall/Formulation: Accuracy  - There were significant differences amongthe mean scores for the middle reading comprehension ability group on the threetreatment levels with respect to the accuracy of ideas remembered on the Main Idea198Recall/Formulation Test (see Table 4.21). The Scheffé test shows that treatmentgroup 3 outperformed treatment group 1 (p=.007) and treatment group 2 (p=.050)and therefore, the null hypothesis was rejected. This data shows that when headingstrategy instructions were given along with headings (treatment group 3), thestudents recalled significantly more main ideas than students who received noheadings and no heading strategy instructions (treatment group 1) and the group(treatment group 2) that received headings without heading strategy instructions.After a Bonferroni adjustment has been made to the critical probability level,treatment group 3 does not significantly outperform treatment group 2, but doesoutperform treatment group 1 (p<.007). Therefore, the null hypothesis is stillrejected.Table 4.21Analysis of Variance - Middle Reading Comprehension Ability Group(n=41) and Treatments on the Accuracy of Main Idea Recall andFormulation on Posttest 2Group )7 S.D. F-Ratio P1 control 2.35 2.312 without3.42 2.23 6.32 .0043 with 7.19 5.49Scheffé Post Hoc Test - Accuracy of Main Idea Recall/Formulation(Middle Reading Comprehension Ability Group)Matrix of pairwise comparison probabilities1 2 31 - -2.789 - -3 .007 .050 -Free Recall and Main Idea Recall/Formulation: Total - There were significantdifferences among the mean scores (p=.003) for the middle reading comprehension199ability group on the three treatment levels with respect to the total quantity of ideasremembered on the Free Recall Test and the Main Idea Recall/Formulation Test(see Table 4.22). The Scheffé test shows that treatment group 3 outperformedtreatment group 1 (p=.005) and treatment group 2 (p=.056). Therefore, the nullhypothesis was rejected. This data shows that when heading strategy instructionswere given and headings were present, treatment group 3 recalled significantlymore ideas on both posttests than students who received no headings and noheading strategy instructions (treatment group 1) and those that had headingspresent with no heading strategy instructions (treatment group 2).When the Bonferroni procedure is used, treatment group 3 continues tosignificantly outperform treatment group 1, but not treatment group 2. Therefore,the null hypothesis is still rejected.Table 4.22Analysis of Variance - Middle Reading Comprehension Ability Group(n=41) and Treatments on Total Quantity Recalled on Both PosttestsGroup K S.D. F-Ratio P1 control 12.48 7.782 without 15.88 10.97 6.67 .0033 with25.05 9.93Scheffé Post Hoc Test - Total Recall on Both Posttests(Middle Reading Comprehension Ability Group)Matrix of pairwise comparison probabilities1 2 31 - -2 .682 - -3 .005 .056 -200Analysis of Variance - Lower Reading Comprehension Ability and TreatmentsIn this section, the focus is on how the lower reading comprehension ability groupwas affected by the three different treatments as shown by the results of the ANOVAs onthe six dependent variables. As the outlier was not in this reading ability group, there is noeffect by the outlier. However, like the middle reading comprehension ability level, theresults of the lower reading comprehension ability level are affected by the Bonferronicriteria (Kirk, 1982; Systat, 1992b).Free Recall: Superordinate Ideas - The results show that there were significantdifferences among the mean scores (p=.008) for the lower reading comprehensionability group on the three treatment levels with respect to the quantity ofsuperordinate or main ideas remembered in the Free Recall Test (see Table 4.23).The Scheffé test shows that the results were significant at the .10 level. The lowercomprehension ability group that received headings with heading strategyinstructions (treatment group 3) outperformed both the groups that received noTable 4.23Analysis of Variance - Lower Reading Comprehension Ability Group(n=47) and Treatments on Quantity of Superordinate Ideas Recalled on theFree Recall PosttestGroup^5?^S.D.^F-Ratio^P1 control2 without3 with2.052.274.662.111.453.445.35 .008Scheffé Post Hoc Test - Superordinate Ideas(Lower Reading Comprehension Ability Group)Matrix of pairwise comparison probabilities1 2 31 - -2 .971 - -3 .020 .033 -201heading strategy instructions (treatment group 2 at p=.033, and treatment group 1 atp=.020). The null hypothesis was rejected.When adjustments are made for the Bonferroni critical probability level,treatment group 3 outperforms treatment group 1, but not treatment group 2. Thenull hypothesis is still rejected.Free Recall: Subordinate Ideas - There were no significant differences among the meanscores (p=.308) for the lower reading comprehension ability group on the threetreatment levels with respect to the quantity of subordinate ideas remembered on theFree Recall Test (see Table 4.24). The null hypothesis was accepted.Table 4.24Analysis of Variance - Lower Reading Comprehension Ability Group(n=47) and Treatments on Quantity of Subordinate Ideas Recalled on theFree Recall PosttestGroup^5Z^S.D.^F-Ratio^P1 control^1.40^1.292 without2.50 2.60^1.21^.308^(n.s.)3 with^3.06^4.29Free Recall: Sub-subordinate Ideas - There were no significant differences among themean scores (p=.538) for the lower reading comprehension ability group on thethree treatment levels with respect to the quantity of sub-subordinate ideasremembered on the Free Recall Test (see Table 4.25). The null hypothesis wasaccepted.202Table 4.25Analysis of Variance - Lower Reading Comprehension Ability Group(n=47) and Treatments on Quantity of Sub-Subordinate Ideas Recalled onthe Free Recall PosttestGroup^K^S.D.^F-Ratio^P1 control^2.02^1.772 without 2.67 2.63^.63^.538^(n.s.)3 with^3.09^3.37Free Recall: Total - Although there was a tendency to significance (p=.113), there wereno actual significant differences among the mean scores at (p<.10 level) for thelower reading comprehension ability group on the three treatment levels withrespect to the total quantity of ideas remembered on the Free Recall Test (see Table4.26). Therefore, the null hypothesis can not be rejected. The treatment group 3did not outperform treatment group 2 or 1. This data shows that when headingstrategy instructions were given and headings were present, treatment group 3 didnot recall significantly more than students who received no headings and noheading strategy instructions (treatment group 1), and the group that receivedheadings without heading strategy instructions (treatment group 2).Table 4.26Analysis of Variance - Lower Reading Comprehension Ability Group(n=47) and Treatments on Total Quantity of Ideas Recalled on the FreeRecall PosttestGroup^X^S.D.^F-Ratio^P1 control^5.47^3.582 without 7.44 5.69^2.30^.113^(n.s.)3 with^10.81^10.07203Main Idea Recall/Formulation: Accuracy  - There was a significant difference among themean scores (p=.018) for the lower reading comprehension ability group on thetreatment levels with respect to the accuracy of ideas remembered on the Main IdeaRecall/Formulation Test (see Table 4.27). The Scheffé test shows that treatmentgroup 3 outperformed treatment group 2 (p=.023) and therefore, the nullhypothesis was rejected. The treatment group 3 did not outperform treatment group1, however (p=.128). This was the only time that treatment group 3 outperformedtreatment group 2 but not treatment group 1. This data shows that when headingstrategy instructions were given and headings were present, treatment group 3recalled significantly more main ideas than students who received headings withoutheading strategy instructions. Treatment group 3 did not significantly recall moremain ideas than the group that received no headings and no heading strategyinstructions (treatment group 1).Table 4.27Analysis of Variance - Lower Reading Comprehension Ability Group(n=47) and Treatments onAccuracy of Main Idea Recall or FormulationGroup^rc.^S.D.^F-Ratio1 control2 without3 with1.871.094.002.391.584.02 4.42 .018Scheffé Post Hoc Test - Main Idea Recall/Formulation(Lower Reading Comprehension Ability Group)Matrix of pairwise comparison probabilities1 2 31 - - -2 .755 - -3 .128 .023 -204Free Recall and Main Idea Recall/Formulation; Total - There was a significantdifference among the mean scores (p=.046) for the lower reading comprehensionability group on the treatment levels with respect to the total quantity of ideasremembered on the Free Recall Test and the Main Idea Recall/Formulation Test (seeTable 4.28). Therefore, the null hypothesis was rejected. The Scheffé test showsthat treatment group 3 outperformed treatment group 1 (p--.070) but not treatmentgroup 2 (p..140). This data shows that when heading strategy instructions weregiven and headings were present, treatment group 3 recalled significantly moreideas on both posttests than students who received no headings and no headingstrategy instructions (treatment group 1) but not those students that had headingswithout heading strategy instructions (treatment group 2).If a Bonferroni adjustment is made, treatment group 3 no longersignificantly outperforms treatment group 1, and the null hypothesis is accepted.Table 4.28Analysis of Variance - Lower Reading Comprehension Ability Group(n=47) and Treatments on Total Quantity of Ideas Recalled on BothPosttestsGroup )7 S.D. F-Ratio P1 control 7.33 4.532 without 8.53 6.50 3.32 .0463 with14.81 12.78Scheffé Post Hoc Test - Total of Both Posttests(Lower Reading Comprehension Ability Group)Matrix of pairwise comparison probabilities1 2 31 - -2 .930 - -3 .070 .140 -205Ho3: There will be no significant interaction between reading comprehensionability level (higher, middle and lower) and treatment (treatment group 1- noheadings and no heading strategy instruction; treatment group 2 - headingswithout heading strategy instruction; treatment group 3 - headings withheading strategy instruction) on the delayed written posttests on thefollowing dependent variables:a - quantity of superordinate or main ideas in free recallb - quantity of subordinate ideas or supporting ideas in free recallc - quantity of sub-subordinate ideas or details in free recalld - total score on free recall test (a, b, and c)e - accuracy of =hi idea recall/formulationf - total score for free recall and main idea recall/formulation testsThere were no significant interactions between reading comprehension ability level(higher, middle and lower) and treatment (treatment group 1 - no headings and no headingstrategy instruction; treatment group 2- headings without heading strategy instruction;treatment group 3 - headings with heading strategy instruction) on the delayed writtenposttests on the following dependent variables:a - quantity of superordinate or main ideas in free recallb - quantity of subordinate ideas or supporting ideas in free recallc - quantity of sub-subordinate ideas or details in free recalld - total score on free recall test (a, b, and c)f - total score for free recall and main idea recall/formulation testsThere was a borderline interaction on the main idea recall/formulation test(dependent variable: e) between the low and middle reading ability groups and treatments 1and 2. It was decided that this interaction was not of any practical significance (F=2.44,p=.050).206SUMMARY OF RESEARCH RESULTSA series of ANOVAs were carried out using the SYSTAT statistical package 5.2.1for the Macintosh computer. The level of significance for this experiment was set at thealpha level of .10. The results of the ANOVAs, that looked at the effects for the threetreatments on the six dependent variables, showed a number of main effects for treatmentgroup 3. These results were still significant after the Bonferroni procedure (Kirk, 1982;Systat, 1992b) was applied. The group that received heading strategy instruction plusheadings significantly outperformed treatment groups 1 and 2 in recall of main ideas on theFree Recall and the Main Idea Recall/Formulation Tests and on the total recall from bothposttests. It also enabled treatment group 3 to significantly outperform treatment group 1 intotal recall on the Free Recall Test. Treatment group 2 never significantly outperformedtreatment group 1 on any dependent measures. This means that headings with headingstrategy instruction received by treatment group 3 had a considerable effect on the results oftwo posttests while having headings without heading strategy instructions, as treatmentgroup 2 received, did not significantly improve recall performance over the control group(treatment group 1) that read a social studies passage without the benefit of headings orheading strategy instruction.When further analysis was carried out on the treatment effect in each readingcomprehension ability group on the six dependent variables, a similar pattern appears.Treatment group 3 significantly improved recall on main ideas in the Free Recall Test andthe Main Idea Recall/Formulation Test, plus had some effect on total recall in bothposttests. Although the three ability groups benefitted from the treatment with bothheadings and heading strategy instruction, the middle treatment group found this treatmentespecially effective (7 significant Scheffé tests). However, caution must be used with theresults when the specific reading comprehension ability levels are compared with treatmentson the six dependent measures because the cell size is small (numbers ranging from 12 to20716 - see Table 4.02) and some of these measures were affected by the Bonferroniprocedure. Although the pattern is similar to that of the main effects, it is weaker for thespecific comprehension ability levels. After the Bonferroni procedure is applied, the higherreading comprehension ability group found headings more helpful (4 significant Scheffétests) than the middle ability group (3 significant Scheffé tests). The middle readingcomprehension ability group found the heading strategy instructions more helpful than thelower ability level (2 significant Scheffé tests).Generally, the subjects in this sample found that headings with heading strategyinstructions definitely aided their ability to recall or formulate main ideas and to some extenthelped the students with overall recall. It did not help the students recall subordinate(supporting ideas) or sub-subordinate ideas (details) on the free recall posttest. There wereno significant effects for the headings only group over the control group.In chapter 5, the research results will be discussed. Suggestions will be made forfuture research and implementation, and some general conclusions will be proposed.208CHAPTER FIVESummary and ConclusionsSUMMARY OF THE RESEARCHThis study was designed to investigate whether the presence of headings in regularclassroom content area reading material naturally facilitated the quantity and type of recall ofexpository prose by fifth grade students, and whether the exposure to and use of headingstrategy instructions further improved the recall of the students.Students from seven classrooms in three school districts were chosen to berepresentative of classes in each district or were randomly selected. An ExperimentalPretest-Posttest Control Group Design was used to explore the research problem. In thefirst phase of the experiment, all the students were given a Gates-MacGinitie Reading Test,Canadian Edition, Level D, Form 1. The students were rank-ordered on the basis of thecomprehension subtest of this test and divided into approximately even groups based onhigher, middle and lower reading comprehension ability performances. The students werethen placed in treatment groups using a systematic, counterbalanced assignment procedurethat ensured that each treatment group contained a similar number of higher, middle andlower reading comprehension ability subjects.All treatment groups read a four page passage from a currently authorized grade 5social studies textbook in British Columbia. The three treatment groups consisted of:1) a control group that read a passage with all headings removed,2) a treatment group that read the passage with the original text headings present, and3) a treatment group that received heading strategy instructions, and then read thepassage with headings present.209The control and headings only groups were given an alternative prereading activity (apuzzle with key words from the headings of the passage embedded) that tookapproximately the same time as the heading strategy instructions. All instructions werewritten so that the three treatments could be conducted at the same time in each classroom.The posttests consisted of two measures: a free recall test, and a main idearecall/formulation test. All students in the experiment completed the same posttestmeasures. These were scored according to a newly designed scoring protocol. Theresearcher had no access to information about the ability or treatment group of each subjectwhile marking the protocols. Ten percent of the tests were rescored in a blind remarkingsituation. The level of significance for this experiment was set at the alpha level of .10 andthe results were analyzed using analysis of variance on Systat (1992b), a statistical programfor Macintosh personal computers.DISCUSSION OF RESEARCH RESULTSResults of the PretestAfter the different reading comprehension ability groups were assigned in asystematic and counterbalanced fashion, the three treatment groups were compared to see ifthere were any differences in the groups before treatment. An analysis of variance on theGates-MacGinitie comprehension subtest scores was used to determine whether there wereany significant differences in treatment groups. A box plot was also produced and theresults were almost identical for the three groups, with no outliers present. This closesimilarity in groups was also reflected in the means and standard deviation scores shown inTable 4.02. Therefore, the three treatment groups were assumed to be similar beforetreatments were begun.210Summary of Posttest ResultsNumerous tests were performed using an analysis of variance technique and furtherScheffé tests were included to isolate specific effects of different factors on the analysis ofvariance tests (see chapter 4). Because of the complexity of this factorial design, the resultshave been grouped under the following headings:Effect for Presence of Headings on RecallThere were no significant recall effects on any statistical test for the presence ofheadings. These results reconfirm the results found by Hartley and Trueman (1985),Landry (1966), and Stables (1985) for students at a similar grade level. To date, there areno experiments found by this researcher that show significant effects for the presence ofheadings with grade 5 students on recall of expository prose.However, there is some indication that headings in text had some small, but notstatistically significant, effect on recall. When a series of Scheffé tests were carried out, theheading strategy instruction plus headings (treatment 3) significantly outperformed thecontrol group (treatment 1) that had no headings and no instruction on 13 Scheffé tests,whereas treatment group 3 significantly outperformed the headings only group (treatment2) on only 5 Scheffé tests if the Bonfeironi adjustments are made to the critical probabilitylevel or 9 Scheffé tests if the original alpha level of .10 is used (see Table 5.01).These results suggest that textbook authors should continue to produce textmaterials that contain headings. However, other intervention will be necessary if grade 5students are to make significant use of headings to aid recall.Effects of Heading Strategy InstructionSuperordinate Level of Recall - There were definite significant differences among thethree treatment groups on two measures at the superordinate level. The main ideason the free recall test and the main idea recall/formulation test were significantly211Table 5.01 - Summary of Scheffe Statistical ResultsScheffe Test Comparisons of Treatment Groups (numbers)by Reading Ability Levels(N=130 - outlier removed)Note: Treatment Group 1 - no headings and no heading strategy instructionsTreatment Group 2 - headings and no heading strategy instructionsTreatment Group 3 - headings and heading strategy instructionsdependentvariable main sub sub-subfreerecalltotalmainrecall/formulationtotalposttestscomparisonsreading group3/1 3/2 3/1 3/2 3/1 3/2 3/1 3/2 3/1 3/2 3/1 3/2threelevelscombined4ffit .28 <.99 <.28 <.70 ifitts: <.31..4.44‘2..............:mp.iji.7-:mm...TrA,iIOIupperability- ''''''-'4?K*level<.36 .97 <.61 <.999 <.88 <.52 <.97 UO 02^47middleabilitylevel<.06 43 .85 .16 .25 .05 .22 <.05 45^<.06lowerabilitylevel .03 <.32 .87 .54 <.91 <.12 <41 <.13 .07^<.14significant effectsmeeting Bonferroni's critical valuesignificant effectsnot meeting Bonferroni's critical value(use with caution)212improved with the addition of heading strategy instructions. The Scheffé testsshowed that this effect was consistent when treatment group 3 was compared withboth treatment groups 2 and 1 (see Table 5.01). This would suggest that the grade5 students in this sample benefitted from heading strategy instruction because itimproved their ability to recall at the superordinate or main idea level. These resultsare particularly important as it has been shown that young people are less skilled atcategorizing information at the superordinate level (Gardner, 1991; Lakoff, 1987)and do not find that information at the superordinate level is most memorable(Baumann, 1981b). Moreover, elementary pupils have trouble getting the gist of apassage and identifying or constructing main ideas (Baumann, 1981a).Subordinate and Sub-subordinate Level of Recall - Heading strategy instructions hadno significant effect on the ability of treatment group 3 to recall subordinate(supporting ideas) and sub-subordinate (details) information on the combinedreading groups or on any specific reading ability group. These results are notsurprising because headings represent the superordinate levels of text and thereforetheir effect is more likely to be shown at the superordinate level. These results alsoindicate the need for research designs to include level effects rather than measuringgeneral recall.Total Recall (Total Free Recall and Total of Both Posttests) - Generally, headingstrategy instructions helped treatment group 3 to significantly outperform theheadings only group (treatment 2) and the no headings or instruction group(treatment 1) on the total of both recall tests. In the total quantity of ideas recalledon the free recall posttest, the heading strategy group outperformed group 1 but notgroup 2.These results suggest that it was generally helpful for treatment group 3 toreceive heading strategy instructions in order to improve the total number of ideasrecalled. One possible hypothesis is that students were able to use headings to213organize or chunk information (Postman, 1972) and hence increase their totalamount of recall. Another explanation is that the students might have found that thefocus on headings helped them to understand the passage more when reading andtherefore improved their overall recall. Meaningful material is recalled more easilythan meaningless or rote information unless the incentives are high to remember themeaningless material (Jones, 1986). Jones (1986) says, "... memory requiresthinking, and there are various levels of processing information for both short-termand long-term storage of information ... . In general, the deeper the level ofprocessing, the higher the level of immediate and delayed recall ..." (p. 7).In summary, heading strategy instructions had a number of significanteffects on superordinate recall and total recall. These results (subject toconfirmation) suggest that giving students direct instruction in heading strategiesuse would be a fruitful course of action. These results seem to reconfirm the resultsof Goble (1986) who found that direct heading instruction significantly improvedthe recall of grade 5 pupils. They also concur with Baumann (1984) who foundthat direct instruction of main ideas significantly aided recall.Effects of Reading Comprehension Ability PerformancesThe results of the ANOVAs show that the higher reading group outperformed themiddle reading group which outperformed the lower reading groups on all measures(p<.001). These results are consistent with the research literature that shows readingcomprehension ability has a significant effect on recall performance (e.g., Baumann, 1984;Coulombe, 1986; Hartley & Trueman, 1985).Effects of Treatments on Specific Reading Comprehension Ability GroupsIn previous research, there has been some suggestion that headings have more of aneffect on students from specific reading ability groups, rather than a general effect.214However, in this research, each ability group tended to be affected by the treatments in asimilar pattern (i.e., heading strategy instructions: especially improved recall at thesuperordinate level, had some significant effects on total quantity of recall, and had nosignificant effects on subordinate and sub-subordinate recall). Moreover, the headingstrategy instruction treatments at each specific ability level were significantly more effectivethan the control groups (on 9 Scheffé tests, of which 7 met the Bonferroni criteria) moreoften than with the treatment 2 groups that had headings only (on 6 Scheffé tests, whereonly 2 met the Bonferroni criteria) (see Table 5.01).Although the pattern was approximately the same, the middle reading ability groupappeared (see Table 5.01) to find heading strategy instructions more useful (if the originalalpha level is used) than the higher and lower reading groups (Number of significantScheffé tests: The middle ability group had 7 [3 met the Bonferroni criteria], the upperability group had 4 [all met the Bonferroni criteria], and the lower ability group had 4 [2met the Bonferroni criteria]). Some heading research in the past has found headings to bemore helpful for lower ability students (Hartley cgic. Jonassen, 1985, generally, and Hartleyet al., 1980 and Hartley, Morris & Trueman, 1981, when the headings were in the form ofquestions). Other research showed that an upper ability group that received instructionbenefitted the most (Coulombe, 1986). It is possible that the difficulty of the readingmaterial might be a factor in causing different reading comprehension ability groups to findheadings and heading strategy instruction more or less effective. Spyridakis and Standel(1987) found signalling aids are most effective when the passage is neither too difficult ortoo easy. In this research, it seems reasonable that a passage with a difficulty of grade 5 to6 on three readability scales (see Table 3.04) would be most suitable for the middle andupper reading groups and would be found to be rather difficult for some subjects in thelower reading ability group.215SUGGESTIONS FOR FUTURE RESEARCHA number of tentative suggestions have been based on the assumption that theresults of Goble (1986) and this thesis reflect true differences in performance. First andforemost, it is necessary to replicate or confirm the results of the two studies (that ofsensitizing grade 5 students to headings and heading strategy instruction) using a variety ofexpository material. If this research is replicated, a number of changes might lead to animproved design. The changes are:• Clearly show the students what is involved in free recall and main idearecall/formulation and have them practice both types of responses prior to readingexpository prose in the research situation.This way, the subjects will be more familiar with the requested researchtasks.• Add a pretest memory component.In this research, care was taken to avoid confounding readingcomprehension ability with treatment effects. No similar measure was taken beforetreatment to establish general ability to recall information. In future research,pretest measures of both recall ability and reading comprehension ability need to beobtained.Some tentative suggestions for publishers, researchers and educators are given below:Publishers• Continue to provide text material with headings.Because headings can serve a number of encoding (comprehension andrecall) and retrieval functions (see chapter 1 and the review of the literature inchapter 2), their presence in text is important. Although headings will not be usefulfor everyone all the time, headings are of use to many readers some of the time.216• Publishers of textbooks aimed at teaching teachers how to teach reading couldconsider including a separate section on the importance of headings, because oftheir multiple functions, and show teachers how to instruct students to use headingseffectively.This should combine direct instruction of heading understanding andheading strategy instructions.Researchers• Focus on improving scoring protocols for longer, more natural classroom textualmaterial so that subjects are rewarded for summarizing, generalizing and inferringbecause these are sensible strategies for comprehending and coping with the recallof larger text passages.The new scoring protocol, only one possible prototype, used in this thesisseemed to work well for the researcher. It clearly differentiated performances andrewarded partial attempts instead of crediting only completely accurate responses.The protocol also included a mechanism for scoring summarizations,generalizations and inferences, when appropriate. In addition, because of it'sgraphic nature, the scoring protocol provided information about how studentsprocessed and recalled text. Now, there is a need to formalize the scoring rules sothey could be used by classroom teachers to obtain informal information about theirstudents' comprehension and recall from their textbooks.Serious researchers need to continue the efforts to develop feasible ways topartition text and analyze the responses of their research subjects.• Explore patterns of recall and look for ways to aid children in recalling information.The results of this study show that the children were not able to recall muchinformation and what was recalled was often fragmented and sometimesmeaningless. These findings are similar to that of Baumann (1984) who found that217the amount of recall by grade 6 students on a free recall test was poor for all threetreatment groups, and Wagner (1986), who found that his young pupils (grades 4and 5) tended to represent text meaning incoherently and incompletely. Baine(1986) recommends systematically teaching memory skills. A researcher couldexplore potentially useful strategies for remembering information.Researchers and/or Teachers• Experiment to find the most efficient ways to teach heading understanding andheading strategy use.Pressley, Forrest-Pressley and Elliot-Faust (1988) suggest research on thepotent components in a complex set of strategies. They say, "complex treatmentsare expensive in terms of time and effort. There is high incentive to streamline byeliminating aspects of instruction that do not enhance the intervention" (p. 114-115). In this study, a number of heading strategies were suggested. It may be thatonly some of these are truly effective. If some of the suggestions do not contributeto improved comprehension and recall, they could be eliminated.• Replicate the research of Coulombe ( 1986).It is important to replicate the Coulombe (1986) research which was similarin method and materials to the Goble (1986) research, but did not find significantresults for instruction. It is not clear whether grade 4 students are just notcognitively ready for this instruction or if they did not have enough time to absorbthe information in the eight lessons that were provided. This time the length ofinstruction should be increased to cover the later possibility.218CONCLUSIONSIt is not enough to just provide text material with headings and assume that childrenwill benefit from them. This research shows that, at the grade 5 level, students do notautomatically use headings to recall material at the superordinate level. The recall studies atthe elementary level are consistent. If students are given material with headings and noinstruction, these headings do not significantly improve their ability to recall information(Hartley & Trueman, 1985; King, 1985; Landry, 1966; Stables, 1985). If the students areinstructed to use heading strategies (as is the case in this research) or are sensitized toheadings (Goble, 1986) then students seem to be able to recall more information at thesuperordinate level (this research), plus their overall recall is improved (both studies).The results of this research seem to indicate that grade 5 children in southwestBritish Columbia recall little of what they have read from a provincially authorized socialstudies textbook. Indeed, Stetson and Williams (1992) claim that there is overwhelmingempirical evidence that large numbers of students can not understand their social studiestextbooks. Any attempt to help students become aware of heading strategies that improvetheir ability to understand, integrate and recall textbook information, would be a veryworthwhile endeavor. Educators seem to have assumed that headings in text are self-explanatory and the mere presence of headings in text should aid comprehension and recall.At the grade 5 level, with this sample, this certainly was not the case. At no point did theinclusion of headings alone effectively improve recall on any dependent measure over thecontrol group that had the same passage and no headings present. When the studentsreceived heading strategy instructions, they improved both general recall and especiallyimproved their ability to remember the main ideas in the passage. These seem to beimportant accomplishments for upper elementary school students. If this was all headingstrategy instructions did, it would be useful for the students to learn to use headingseffectively. However, there are a number of heading strategies that have broader219implications. A thorough understanding of categorization would be a useful aid to helpchildren grasp the basic structures in text material. It would allow the students to see theauthor's structure and teach them to hook ideas to this basic framework. It could helpstudents to select or eliminate textual material rapidly based on the usefulness of thematerial that is contained in the text, as suggested by the subject matter of the headings.Furthermore, when the students were writing their own material, the children could beshown how headings, that represent key ideas, can be used as a structure for writingclearly themselves.There has been some realization lately that headings might be important to focus onif students are to comprehend the content area material. Some of the teacher guidebooksrecommend that teachers direct children to preview headings and use these to predict whatwill be read. However, it is the contention of this researcher, that it is not enough to focuson headings on a lesson-by-lesson basis. The teacher is not going to be present every timethe student reads informational material and students do not seem to apply such a procedureoutside the classroom. It is essential that the students are taught heading strategies over aperiod of time until they are thoroughly comfortable with them and can select and use themeffectively at any time they choose. It is the experience of this researcher, that with carefulinstruction over time, even with learning disabled children, strategies can be taught untilthey become a part of the strategic coping techniques of the students. Then the strategiesbecome available for use anytime the child has a need. The key to effective transfer ofstrategies into life skills, once the heading strategies have been isolated, identified andmodelled, is to practice using these strategies on reading material that is especiallymeaningful to the learner. Therefore, it is this researcher's view, that it would beworthwhile for the teacher to thoroughly teach heading strategies at the upper elementarylevel so the children have a useful set of tools for coping with expository text materialduring school.220The jobs of educators do not end at preparing children to carry out daily schooltasks. One of the four main goals laid out in an ABC Special Television Show calledCommon Miracles:  The New American Revolution in Learning  (that aired on January 23,1993) was learning how to obtain information. In a world flooded with written material,the skillful, strategic use of headings could be a much needed aid. 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