The influence of pictorial illustrations with written text and previous achievement on the reading comprehension of fourth grade science students
Thomas, James L, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Shoemaker, Donald H., Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
MacDougall, Mary Ann, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Beegle, Charles W., Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Dayton, Deane K., University of Virginia
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of this study was to investigate four specific questions: ( 1) Does varying the inclusion of pictorial illustrations with written text influence the reading comprehension of fourth grade students in the science area? (2) Does previous achievement influence the reading comprehension of these students? (3) Does a relationship exist between the materials being used and the achievement levels on the reading comprehension of these students? and (4) Does time influence any of the aforementioned areas?
A total of 108 fourth grade students from three elementary schools were divided into three achievement levels of high, medium, and low using the combined percentile scores from the SRA reading and science measure. Students were then randomly assigned across three treatments: color photographs with written text, simple line drawings with a colored background and written text, and written text only. Students viewed the treatments on 2 x 2 slides. Reading time was measured for each treatment. An appraisal instrument consisting of seven literal and seven inferential comprehension questions was administered. A two-way (3 x 3) factorial analysis of variance was performed in order to detect significant (.05) differences.
NULL HYPOTHESES AND FINDINGS
Three null hypotheses were tested within the major problem area:
1. There is no significant effect of varying the inclusion of pictorial illustrations with written text on students' reading comprehension in science.
2. There is no significant effect on different achievement levels on students' reading comprehension in science.
3. There is no significant interactive effect of varying the inclusion of pictorial illustrations with written text and different levels of achievement on students' reading comprehension in science. Three other null hypotheses similar to the above were tested using time as a covariate.
Using the F statistic at the .05 level of significance, hypotheses number one and three were accepted; however, hypothesis number two was rejected. The hypotheses set forth using time as a covariate were untenable, since it was found that a weak relationship existed between the scores made by students on the comprehension tests and the amount of time it took them to read the material.
Based upon the findings, conclusions were formulated.
They were as follows:
1. Pictures neither facilitated nor hindered the reading comprehension of students.
2. Previous achievement appeared to be an accurate indication of students' performance across levels since all means for all levels were found to be different.
3. No interactive effect was found between picture/ non-picture treatments and achievement levels.
4. Students in varying treatments and varying levels took approximately equal amounts of time to comprehend the material.
EDD (Doctor of Education)
Reading comprehension, Science, United States, Textbooks, Illustrations
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