The Effects of a Non-Basal Holistic Curriculum of Reading in a Fourth Grade Class
Mahoney, Barbara K.
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The problem. The purpose of this study is to determine whether or not attitudes and certain identified reading skills can be affected by using a non-basal holistic curriculum as proposed in the report "Becominq a Nation of Readers" prepared by Richard C. Anderson, Elfrieda H. Hiebert, Judith A. Scott, fan A, G, Wilkinson, and other members of the Commission on Reading. Procedure. The Estes Attitude Scale was given as a pre- and post-test to a population of forty-nine fourth graders in a Des Moines public school. The students' progress in mastering specific reading skills was documented by the administering of criterion tests developed by the Des Moines Public Schools. These tests will be referred to as SARI (Systematic Approach to Reading Improvement). Findings. Desired attitude responses on the Estes Attitude Scale were determined prior to administering the instrument. The McMemar test was used on the results of the pre-evaluation and post-test data. The results of the pre and post-SARI tests were computed into percentages using a criterion of 80 percent as mastery. The percentages indicated that the students did master the identified reading skills at the eightieth percentile or above. Conclusions. Attitudes of fourth graders involved in the study were positively affected. The students also mastered identified reading skills at an eightieth percentile or above. If we embrace the concept that a student's attitude affects learning, then the results of the Estes Attitude Survey also indicated a positive effect on learning. Recommendations. There is a need for further longitudinal studies to be done comparing a non-basal holistic reading curriculum to a traditional three-reading-group basal curriculum.
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