The Relationship between Reasoning Ability and Gain in Reading Ability.
Final rept. 1 Jan 75-31 Aug 77,
MISSOURI UNIV-KANSAS CITY EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY AND RESEARCH DIV
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The general objective of the proposed research was to determine how reasoning ability, or intellectual capacity, affects gain in reading ability. The theory underlying the present research was that poor readers consist of two types--those who read poorly because of deficits in their reasoning ability and those who read poorly because of deficits in reading practice, or experience. The effect of reading practice upon reading ability was investigated using high school students who read poorly. The reading training involved a recently developed technique, called programmed prose, which allows regular reading material to be automatically converted into training material. A PLATO IV computer terminal was used to administer the programmed prose passages. Each student was given 50 to 70 hours of individualized instruction on the terminal. There were three separate studies with six high school students in each study. All students were at about grade level 5 in reading ability prior to the instruction. One half of the students in each study were selected because they purportedly had high reasoning ability, as indicated by high scores on the Raven Progressive Matrices Test the other one half had low scores on this test. The results were consistent across all three studies. The high Raven groups, who supposedly had high reasoning ability and should benefit greatly from reading training, did not gain more than the low Raven groups. When gain in reading ability was measured using a test that was just like the task employed in the reading training, there was a large amount of gain--from grade level 5 to 8.