Date of Award:
Master of Science (MS)
Human Development and Family Studies
Department name when degree awarded
Family and Child Development
Literature indicates that in past years a controversy has arisen as to the proper time and methods to begin the instruction of reading to young children. Most recent research indicates that authorities do not advocate formalized instruction by which whole classes or groups of children participate in a given program. However, recent literature also indicates a trend toward structured and formalized reading by public school teaching staff.
While there is a great deal of research in the area of early reading, the research is not definitive. Consequently, a need remains for definitive research that can help in answering questions about when and how to instruct children in reading.
This study was conducted with 185 kindergarten children. Eighty-nine of the selected children participated in Sullivan's Programmed Reading, Series E, in their kindergarten year. The remaining ninety-six children did not participate in Sullivan's Programmed Reading, Series E, in their kindergarten year. Rather they participated in a more traditional kindergarten atmosphere. Non-participating kindergarten children did begin instruction in formalized reading in their first grade year. The purpose of the study was to determine if children who participated in Sullivan's Programmed Reading, Series E, in kindergarten would indicate more growth than non-participating children by the time both groups entered third grade.
The study was designed to test three hypotheses stated in the null form. The first hypothesis was that there would be no significant difference in reading ability between children who participated in Sullivan's Programmed Reading, Series E, and those who did not by the time both groups of children entered third grade. This hypothesis was confirmed. The second hypothesis was that there would be no significant difference in reading ability of participating and non-participating children based on the the mother's highest educational level. This hypothesis was confirmed. The third hypothesis was that there would be no significant difference in reading ability of participating and non-participating children based upon the sex of those children selected. This hypothesis was not confirmed.
The instrument used was the SRA (Science Research Associates) Achievement Series. Children were tested at the beginning of their second and third grade years. The difference between their second grade score and their third grade score was determined to detect if kindergarten participants in formalized reading would reflect more growth than non-participating children. The chi square method for analyzing data was employed to determine if differences in test performance between the groups of children were statistically reliable. The level of significance of testing differences was at the .05 level.
Thomas, Diane, "Reading Abilities of Third Grade Children as Influenced by Kindergarten Instruction" (1975). All Graduate Theses and Dissertations, Spring 1920 to Summer 2023. 2474.
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