Individualized readings: a research and review of the literature

The purpose of this thesis was to research as many available books, journals, and magazines on the individualized reading approach as possible. The findings of my research were then organized in a manner which would hope fully be of most value to teachers such as myself, planning to initiate an individualized reading program of their own. Prior to developing an individualized reading program (which will also be referred to as IR), it was felt that one would undoubtedly need to have some idea of how authorities define such an approach to reading. For this reason, the outset of my thesis is devoted to an investigation of authoritative definitions of IR. From the research pertaining to individualized reading, the most meaningful definitions were included in developing the thesis. Closely related to the task of defining individualized reading was the task of setting forth the principles upon which individualized reading was initially based. To accomplish this, an extensive investigation was conducted of the studies of Dr. Willard C. Olson. The findings of his studies were then included in the written research, along with comments made by those who have closely studied Olson’s work on the basis of IR. Finally, in an attempt to further clarify what individualized reading is, some general misunderstandings are enumerated with authoritative references. The second section of the written research deals with the characteristics of an individualized reading program, particularly those unique to this reading approach. Arising out of so many attempts to define IR, and due to varied personal experiences with the program, research indicates that there is an Individualized Reading Controversy. The objective here has been to clarify why IR is so controversial, and to present some of the major arguments that are being advanced by its proponents, and by those who still prefer the basal-group approach. For purposes of comparison and contrast, several studies or experiments made to determine the value of each reading approach is included. Hopefully, having established the basis for IR, and its prime characteristics, the actual initiation of the program is then discussed. This discussion is a result of a compilation of findings concerning organizational pattern, methods, procedures, and activities for a functional IR program. The findings were compiled from a study of the research of numerous authors who have written on the subject. Those whose works were relied upon most heavily include Veatch, Spache, Lazar, Bohnhorst and Sellars, Duker, Dolch, Sartain, Robinson, Harris, Smith, and Darrow. In conclusion, a summary of the research, compiled as a result of this project, has been given with some implications and suggestions for the classroom.