- The purpose of this study was to evaluate a content reading program designed to improve reading skills and teach learning process to underprepared college freshman by applying these skills to biology content. The twenty-two students in the experimental group were admitted to the college under Act 101 guidelines and scheduled into classes on the basis of background data and results of a test battery.
During the ten week summer session, students received individualized and/or classroom reading instruction and simultaneous instruction in biology. The reading professor taught reading skills and the learning process; the biology professor taught biology content; the tutor reinforced skills and provided practice.
In the fall term, Act 101 students were scheduled into the mainstream biology course and a control population was selected from the Campus-at-large students enrolled in the course.
Results of the Nelson Denny Reading Tests and the Biology Placement Tests administered before and after the summer session indicated significant gains in the scores of Act 101 students. A comparison of the Biology 100 grades of the experimental and control groups at the completion of the fall term revealed a higher performance from students in the control group. Reading skills and biology content were mastered by the underprepared college students; however, these skills were not transferred into the mainstream biology course. Results of the Piers Harris Self Concept Test reported no significant difference in the mean self concept scores of the Act 101 students during the extent of the study.
This data suggests that compensatory education is possible at the college level and that a content reading approach is an appropriate method to be used to raise reading levels and teach content to underprepared college freshman. Further study should be conducted to determine why the process learning was not transferred into the mainstream course.
- Dissertation Note:
- D.ED. The Pennsylvania State University 1980.
- Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 41-09, Section: A, page: 3968.
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