Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


The purpose of this study was to design a developmental reading program for high school, which will (1) give basic instruction in reading to all students as a part of the curriculum; (2) provide guidance for the improvement of instruction in adjusting skills and abilities to the demands of the content fields; (3) assist with corrective and remedial reading instruction; (4) stimulate broad and extensive reading of literature so that students can expand their interests and improve their tastes; and, (5) aid students to make the best possible use of the library in supplementing this program. The study was in practice in the term of 1963-64 at the Community High School of Lane County, Dighton, Kansas. Subjects participating in the study were 210 high school students enrolled in high school. Reading instruction was provided in the content fields, instruction in the use of the library, and through special reading instruction which consisted of an advanced reading class and a corrective reading class. Reading and library instruction designed to meet the needs of each student was provided in the classroom and in the reading center extending over the semester. This instruction was provided by working with students in groups, individually, and with the class as a whole. The evaluation of the study was made on the basis of information obtained from standardized tests, questionnaires, and by teachers' observations. Initial and final reading and library tests were administered to determine (1) the approximate initial reading status of each student and (2) growth in reading and library skills occurring during the semester of instruction. The mean gain on the average total reading for the corrective reading class was .17 month. The greatest gain was shown in comprehension and rate. The class as a whole showed no gain in vocabulary. The advanced reading class showed the greatest gain. In conclusion, the writer believes that reading and study skills can be improved in high school by an intensive reading program and that the phenomena of very fast reading speeds deserves attention and study. Vocabulary gains in this study showed best results when the words were introduced in conjunction with meaningful context and when they have emotional overtones for the learner. Another beneficial aspect of the program was the cooperation of the teachers, who observed and helped provide instruction for the semester period. The following recommendations are suggested by this investigation: 1. that teachers continue to seek ways of improving students' vocabulary skills in all the content areas, with emphasis on abstract terms, technical terms, and specialized terms. 2. That teachers continue to enforce the rule of making speed relate to purpose. 3. That more research and experimentation be conducted to investigate: (a) the value of a developmental reading program in high school; and (b) better techniques for conducting reading programs for secondary schools.


Hilda Groesbeck

Date of Award

Spring 1964

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 1964 Alma D. Johnson


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