Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


The purpose of this study was to measure the effectiveness of individualized reading with a group or nine- and ten-year-old pupils. The study was carried out in the Fort Hays Kansas State College Summer Laboratory School. Subjects participating in the study were twenty-one nine- and ten-year- old pupils enrolled in the laboratory school. Initial and final reading tests were administered to determine (1) the approximate initial reading status of each pupil and (2) growth in reading skills occurring during the period of instruction. Throughout the five-week period continuous evaluative and diagnostic techniques were employed to secure data for improvement of instructional procedures as well as to evaluate pupil progress. Instruments used in compiling this data were (1) teachers' records, (2) pupils' records, (3) pupils’ questionnaires, (4) teachers' observations, (5) teacher-made tests, (6) standardized tests, (7) parents' questionnaires, and (8) student teachers' evaluations. Reading instruction was provided in twenty fifty-minute periods extending over the five-week session. Reading materials were selected by each pupil to meet his interests and purposes and progress was paced to his rate of learning. The instructional techniques employed and the learning experiences provided were varied and were designed to meet individual and group needs and interests. The teacher met with pupils individually at least twice each week. Groups were formed for activities and instruction as common needs and interests developed and functioned until goals were attained. Instruments used in evaluating pupils' reading skills, interests, and attitudes revealed the following. 1. A mean gain of 1.2 months was achieved in reading ability. Gains of one month to fourteen months were achieved by 65 per cent of the pupils in comprehension ability and by 40 per cent of the pupils in vocabulary. Greatest gains were in retention, interpretation, and appreciation. No increase in mean scores occurred in organization and vocabulary skills. 2. Increased maturity in the use of language skills in both speaking and written were noted. 3. During the five weeks 365 books were read by the twenty-one pupils. The greatest number read by a pupil was fifty and the least number was three. 4. Attitudes toward reading improved, interests became broader, and more discrimination in the selection of books was shown by these pupils. 5. Pupils', parents’, and student teachers' reactions to the absence of fixed ability grouping for reading were favorable. The following recommendations are suggested by this investigation. 1. That classroom teachers’ move in the direction of more individualization of instruction, proceeding carefully and thoughtfully after a thorough study of the philosophy of the program and of the procedures involved. 2. That classroom teachers using the individualized approach in reading should have a thorough knowledge of developmental reading skills and should continuously check, teach, and reinforce these skills as needed. 3. That classroom teachers seek ways of helping pupils become aware of their vocabulary needs and of ways of improving in this area. 4. That further studies be conducted in which instruction is provided for a longer period of time and with greater emphasis upon the building of vocabulary skills.


Hilda Groesbeck

Date of Award

Summer 1963

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 1963 Ruth Steinke


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