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Title:Strategies for Identifying the Main Idea of Expository Passages: An Experimental Study
Author(s):Stevens, Robert James
Department / Program:Education
Discipline:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ph.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):Education, Curriculum and Instruction
Abstract:The goal of this study was to test the relative effectiveness of instructional interventions designed to teach remedial reading students to identify the main idea of expository passages. These interventions were based upon research in cognitive psychology and task analysis, and were implemented via a computer-assisted instruction program. The study randomly assigned students to treatments in a 2 x 2 factorial design. The Strategy Training intervention taught students strategies for identifying the topic and main idea of expository passages. This treatment also taught students metacognitive skills for checking the appropriateness of these main idea hypotheses. The Classification Skills intervention taught students to classify words, phrases and sentences under the appropriate topic. The Control students received practice answering main idea questions, much like main idea instruction in basal reading series.
The results of the analysis of covariance indicated a significant effect for Strategy Training in terms of students' ability to answer main idea questions about passages on experimental and nonexperimental content. The Classification Skills treatment had a significant effect only when the content of the posttest was the same as that used in the interventions. A stepwise regression analysis indicated that students' condition in the Strategy Training treatment was the best single predictor of their posttest achievement, and accounted for 27% of the variance in their posttest scores. These results suggest that teaching remedial reading students strategies for identifying the main idea of expository passages can be both effective and very useful for classroom instruction in reading.
Issue Date:1983
Type:Text
Description:114 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1983.
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/68919
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8410053
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1983


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