A study of a reading class for poor readers with art ability

This study was designed to find a method of motivating disabled readers in the junior high school by developing a non-threatening, non-academic atmosphere in which the student's basic reading skills could be developed and reinforced. Two classes of eighteen students each were selected to be taught: one in a traditional reading program, and the other in an experimental program where the students' and the teacher's interest in art was used as the motivational factor. The assumption for this study was this: that students can be taught to read during their junior high school years when they are moved from the traditional reading class situation and placed in a motivational one that makes them feel more comfortable. The purposes of the study were these: (a) to determine whether a non-academic teacher with some training in the teaching of reading could be successful in the teaching of reading to students with whom there was a non-academic mutual interest; (b) to measure whether the same teacher could change student's attendance at school through the development of a more interesting and less threatening classroom atmosphere. The measures for testing in this study were these: The Gates-MacGinitie Reading Test, Form D, 2M, a pre and posttest attitudinal survey, and the teacher's roll books showing attendance. The findings of this study have indicated that a non-academic teacher can teach reading to a group of students sharing the teacher's interest in a non-academic field. Even though the hypothesis was not disproved, the raw-score results of the individual students within the experimental group did show positive growth except in one instance. Students were not absent more with the nonacademic teacher's assumption of the role of reading teacher, and they were more positive about their feelings toward reading as a result of the experimental program.