Institution Granting Degree
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research
The goal of this investigation was to determine if one of three prereading advance organizers: a verbal, a graphic, or a problematic situation organizer affected the comprehension of given fifth-grade social studies reading selections. The study attempted to answer the following research questions. 1. Are the post-reading comprehension test scores following a lesson using anyone of the given prereading approaches significantly different from the lesson introduced by the control organizer? 2. Are the post-reading comprehension test scores following a lesson using anyone of the given prereading approaches significantly differently from the other two? In order to answer these questions, subjects in eight Hamilton County, Tennessee, schools were used. Four 30- minute lesson plans were written for each of four lessons in the McGraw-Hill fifth-grade social studies series (1985), united States. Each plan included one of the prereading organizers, the given reading selection, and a post-reading comprehension test. Eight college education major taught the lessons. The data were collected and analyzed using a t-test or a one-way ANOVA. The results indicated no significant differences between the test scores following the control organizer and each of the studied organizers, and significantly higher scores for the graphic organizer over the problematic situation. The conclusions were that the subjects' schemata for the related reading material were already sufficient for its comprehension or that the studied advance organizers did not contribute enough to the building of schemata for them to significantly affect the results. Other variables appeared to affect the outcomes of the study more than the studied variables. The teacher had an impact on the results, with one teacher's performance appearing to be superior to the others'/ Also, the sequence of lessons affected the results, with the first day's scores, regardless of the use of organizer, being higher than those of the other day's and significantly higher than the last day's. Either the novelty of the student teacher, the alertness of the subjects on the first day, or the difficulty of the material may have caused these results.