An evaluative study of the effect of pupil sharing on the selection of library books and on reading vocabulary

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Sprague, Rachel J.
Williams, Joan L.
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Thesis (Ed. S.)
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The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of group sharing of books and related materials on the number of books borrowed, on the strengthening of reading interests, and on the improvement of vocabulary of second grade pupils.The study was conducted over a period of twelve weeks from the first pre test to the final post test.The subjects selected for the study were forty-two second grade pupils in two classes in Anthony Elementary School, Muncie, Indiana, 1969-70. The pupils had been assigned to the two classrooms by the administrator the previous spring at the close of school. The school is located near the Ball State University campus. The population consisted of white children from a middle class neighborhood. The children ranged in mental ability from 89 to 140 I.Q. The mean I.Q. was 109.9.Thirty-nine pupils completed the study. The experimental group, labeled as Group A, consisted of eleven boys and nine girls. The comparison group, labeled as Group B, contained fourteen boys and seven girls. Two of the boys moved away during the study. One boy was dropped from the study.The following null hypotheses were examined:(1) There will be no significant difference between the children of Group A and the children of Group B in the quantity of books borrowed; (2) There will be no significant differences in terms of broadening of reading interests of the children of Group x as compared to the children of Group B; (3) There will be no significant difference between the children of Group A and the children of Group B in the growth of vocabulary from the pre test to the post test.The instruments of measurement used were: (1) a book count of library books borrowed by the children during the study; (2) an interest inventory constructed by the writer; and (3) the Dolch list of 220 words.Two teachers participated in the study. Each had had previous experience with second grade children. The writer was the teacher of the experimental group.The experimental group differed from the comparison group in that, while both groups had free reading periods, only the experimental group participated in the sharing of books and related materials at the beginning of each free reading period.Some of the library books were selected by the teachers from a neighborhood library. These sets of books were exchanged between Group A and Group B. This afforded the opportunity for children of both groups to make contact with identical books. Other library books were selected by the children from the centrally located school library. A special library period each week was scheduled for both groups. Books were placed in a library corner of the classroom of Group A and of Group B.Free reading time consisted of three twenty minute periods each week. This was for the purpose of allowing the children to select and read library books. Records of the books read were kept by means of the cards which the children signed when they borrowed the books. The cards were collected by the writer each week.The interest inventory was devised by the writer. The selected seven book categories of possible interest to second grade children consisted of (1) humor, (2) farm, (3) make-believe, (4) pets, (5) family and friends,(6) cowboy, and (7) outer space. A book from each category was then selected from the school library. Each book was assessed for its most representative picture. Each child was given an interest inventory sheet which listed numbers corresponding to numbers on the books. Each child was instructed to place an X in the three boxes following the number if he liked the book "a lot"; two boxes were to be marked if he liked it "some"; one box was to be marked if he was indifferent to the book. No boxes were to be marked for that number if he disliked the book.The interest inventory was previously given to the third and first grades of Anthony Elementary School. The teachers of those classes evaluated the inventory. The interest inventory then was given to Groups A and B at the beginning and end of the study.The Dolch Vocabulary Test of 220 basic sight words was administered at the beginning and again at the end of the study to each group by the teacher in charge of that group. The entire list of 220 words was given to each group.The sharing activities of the experimental group consisted of free discussion of stories and pictures, illustrations of ideas and characters found in the books, tape recordings of the children's evaluation of books, and dramatization with the aid of puppets.Attempts were made to keep the formal reading programs of Group A and Group B the same. Both groups used The Ginn Basic Readers, Ginn and Company, as a basic reader series and The New Basic Readers, Scott Foresman and Company, as a supplementary reader series.The total number of books borrowed by Group A during the study was 858. The boys of Group A were found to have borrowed 348 and the girls borrowed 510.A total of 653 books were borrowed by Group B during the study. The boys of Group B borrowed 403 and the girls 250.Group A showed a mean of 47.667 books borrowed, while Group B showed a mean of 31.095. Simple analysis of variance was used to statistically test the difference in the number of books borrowed by each group. The F Ratio was 12.8702, which was significant at the one percent level, thus allowing the null hypothesis to be rejected.Subsequent t-Test was applied and the results showed that when comparing the number of books borrowed between boys and girls of Group A, there was a significant difference at the one percent level favoring the girls. There was also a significant difference at the one percent level favoring Group A girls when comparing girls of Group A with boys of Group B, and girls of Group A with girls of Group B in the number of books borrowed.In consideration of books borrowed there was no significant difference between boys of Group A and boys of Group B, boys of Group A and girls of Group B, or boys of Group B and girls of Group B.Simple analysis of variance was used to test the differences in the reading interests of Group A as compared to Group B as indicated through the interest inventory administered. No significant differences were found.There were no significant differences found between Group A and Group B in vocabulary growth as measured by the Dolch words when tested by simple analysis of variance.In conclusion, it can be stated that children of the experimental group had a tendency to be motivated to check out more books by group sharing of books, and that the experimental group borrowed more books than the comparison group. It may also be stated that boys of both groups tended to narrow their reading interests while girls had a tendency to broaden their reading interests during the study.While the measured vocabulary growth did not indicate significant differences between the comparison group and the experimental group, there was a tendency for the experimental group to show strength in vocabulary growth. Had the experiment been of longer duration, the growth in vocabulary might have been significant.It was noted that children of different mental abilities chose similar books. This was indicated by the result of the reading interest inventory and by the specific books borrowed.As a result of this study, it is recommended that more teachers use motivational techniques to encourage the borrowing of library books by young beginners in reading.It is suggested that boys especially have the advantage of a wide variety of books. The books selected for this study were limited by the neighborhood library and the Anthony School library.It is recommended that further studies such as this be made with large random sampling of groups and over a longer duration of time. It is suggested that a vocabulary test consisting of a wider range than the Dolch test be used as a measuring instrument. Since this study was conducted with children of a white population, whose mental abilities were normal and above, it is suggested that the study be repeated in a more controlled situation to see whether the results would be statistically similar. An inner city population might tend to show different results as related to their background experiences and interests. Another recommendation could be a change in the procedure in administering the interest inventory. Instead of children indicating interest in a book based upon a picture, the children could browse through the book. Several books in each category could be utilized.Further recommendation with regard to testing would be that the study be conducted over a longer period of time and achievement checked with standardized tests. Interest and achievement might be related.Ball State UniversityMuncie, IN 47306