Reading in the Elementary Schools of Indianapolis, II

William S. Gray
1919 The Elementary school journal  
Fourteen hundred eighty-four pupils were tested in oral reading in fifteen schools of Indianapolis. In selecting the schools to be tested, the following conditions were observed: (I) that one school in each supervisory district be tested; (2) that the schools tested represent all sections of the city; (3) that schools representing different nationalities, races, and economic levels be included; (4) that schools in which special experiments in reading had been under way, if any, be included; and
more » ... y, be included; and (5) that the final list chosen represent as fairly as possible the entire school system. The B sections of each grade above the first were tested, inasmuch as they were just beginning the work of the year. The pupils who were tested were selected from the alphabetical list of names of each grade tested. The pupil whose name appeared at the head of the list and every fifth pupil there after were selected. After a list had been canvassed once the second pupil in the list and every fifth pupil thereafter were chosen. The list was canvassed as many times as were necessary to secure the names of fifteen pupils. The tests were given by thirty seniors of the normal-training class under the immediate and skilful supervision of Miss Mary Pasho, one of the normal-training teachers who had been carefully trained for her work. The students were called to a number of conferences and were carefully instructed in regard to the methods of giving the reading tests. Several pupils were tested in their presence and each step was carefully 419 This content downloaded from 080.082.420 THE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL JOURNAL explained. Each student was required to make several preliminary tests until he had developed sufficient skill to secure reliable results. After a week of careful direction and supervision the students were well qualified to give the tests, as evidenced by the carefully filled test sheets which were returned by them. The material for the oral-reading test consisted of a series of twelve short passages arranged in the order of increasing difficulty. These passages had been carefully selected from readers, textbooks, and current literature. The arrangement of the passages and the steps of difference in difficulty had been previously determined after several thousand pupils had been tested. The derivation and validity of the tests are described in Monograph No. I, Volume I, of the Supplementary Educational Monographs entitled "Studies of Elementary School Reading Through Standarized Tests" by William S. Gray. The tests were given in each school by two students under as nearly uniform conditions as possible. As a pupil read, the teacher recorded the time required to read each paragraph and the number of errors of the following types which were made: a) Gross mispronunciations including all errors in pronunciation which indicated clearly that the word was too difficult for the pupil to pronounce. b) Minor mispronunciations, which included the mispronunciation of a portion of a word, wrong accent, wrong syllabification, omission of a portion of a word, etc. c) Omission of words. d) Insertion of words. e) Repetition of words or groups of words. f) Substitution of one word or group of words for another. A pupil continued to read until he had made seven or more errors in each of two paragraphs. No estimate of the quality of oral reading was made in this investigation for two reasons. In the first place, previous This content downloaded from 080.082.
doi:10.1086/454688 fatcat:5vyr5b2jhbel5adj3mkti2z52i