AuthorSmith, Barbara Desrosier
AdvisorValmont, William J.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractOver the years there have been many criticisms of the contents of basal reading series. This study sought to describe the contents of basal readers by analyzing the student reading materials contained in the books for grades one, three, and five of three current basal readers, published by D. C. Heath, Houghton Mifflin, and Silver, Burdett, and Ginn. It determined the amount of material written for the basals and the amount of material originating in other literature sources. It also described the amount and types of adaptation to the text and visual displays in material that originated elsewhere. Further, it calculated the amount of material that was classified into each of seven literature genres and six writing types using number of selections, pages, and words as units of analysis. While other researchers have each investigated some of the points examined here, none has explored all and none has used all three units of analysis to describe the contents of basal readers. Each of the student reading selections was analyzed as to the number of pages and words and then classified into the following categories: written for the basal or taken from other literature sources, one of seven literature genres or an added reading instruction category, and one of six writing types. Material that had its origins outside the basal reader was located and compared to the basal version with notations for each adaptation to text or visual display. The adaptations were classified into twenty two different types of text adaptation or six different types of visual display adaptation. While less than half of the reading material was created expressly for the basal readers examined, most of the material from other literature sources was adapted in some way. The largest category of adaptation was deletions. Overall, while there were selections in each of the categories for literature genre and writing type, the distribution was uneven. For almost all of the points examined, individual differences were found among the three reading series and the grade levels in all of the means of analysis.
Degree ProgramLanguage, Reading and Culture