Group Title: inquiry into the identification of discriminating factors relating to high and low functional literacy performance
Title: An inquiry into the identification of discriminating factors relating to high and low functional literacy performance
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Title: An inquiry into the identification of discriminating factors relating to high and low functional literacy performance in English in selected Florida public high schools
Physical Description: x, 101 leaves : ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Wilson, Charles Lee, 1943-
Publication Date: 1978
Copyright Date: 1978
 Subjects
Subject: English language -- Study and teaching (Secondary) -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Reading -- Ability testing -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Curriculum and Instruction thesis Ph. D
Dissertations, Academic -- Curriculum and Instruction -- UF
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Thesis: Thesis--University of Florida.
Bibliography: Bibliography: leaves 97-99.
Statement of Responsibility: by Charles Lee Wilson.
General Note: Typescript.
General Note: Vita.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00098091
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: alephbibnum - 000078341
oclc - 04893162
notis - AAJ3640

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AN INQUIRY INTO THE IDENTIFICATION OF DISCRIMINATING FACTORS
RELATING TO:HIGH AND LOW FUNCTIONAL LITERACY PERFORMANCE IN
ENGLISH IN SELECTED FLORIDA PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOLS














By

CHARLES LEE WILSON




















A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE COUNCIL OF
THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE
DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF..PHILOSOPHY





UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

1978















ACKNOWLEDGMENTS


Special gratitude is expressed to Dr. Vincent McGuire, chairman

of the doctoral committee, for his guidance and encouragement in

this study, and especially for his understanding and unfailing

support throughout'the doctoral program.

Special appreciation is extended to Dr. Daniel L. Kelly for

his sage counsel and for the expertise he lent to the formation

and conduct of this study. The author is indebted to the members

of the committee: Dr. Robert G. Wright, whose insights and critical

suggestions have been invaluable; Dr. William C. Childers, whose

assistance goes back throughout 15 years of educational experiences;

and Dr. Elroy J. Bolduc, who generously provided statistical

assistance.

Grateful acknowledgement is given to Dr. Thomas H. Fisher and

Dr. Kenneth L. Loewe, Florida Department of Education, who allowed

the use of records and gave statistical advice. Grateful acknowledg-

ment is also expressed to all of the district superintendents, their

assistants, high school principals, English chairpersons, and faculty

members who were consulted as a part of this study.

The author affirms his profound gratitude to his students who

have reinforced his educational objectives, to his college for its

vision, and to Janis, his wife, for her encouragement, her patience,

and her empathy. To her this work is dedicated.












TABLE OF CONTENTS


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS.............................................

LIST OF TABLES .............................................

ABSTRACT...................................................

CHAPTER

I INTRODUCTION......................................

Need for the Study................................
Purpose of the Study..............................
Limitations of the Study..........................
Organization of the Study ........................
Definition of Terms ..............................
Summary ..........................................

If: REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE......................

Introduction .....................................
Origins and Development ..........................
Theoretical Position .............................
Experiences, Practices, and Principles............
Working Conditions arid Facilities.................
Survey Research ..................................
Summary ......................,....................

III DESIGN AND PROCEDURES.............................

Introduction .....................................
Scope and Limitations of the Study ...............
Procedures .......................................
Data Collection ..................................
Summary ..........................................

IV ANALYSIS OF DATA AND FINDINGS ....................

Introduction .....................................
Analysis of Data and Findings ....................
Summary ..........................................

V SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, AND IMPLICATIONS............

,Summary ..........................................


PAGE

ii










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67

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Conclusions ............. .... ....................... 68
Implications ... .......................... ... ... 70

APPENDIX A SAMPLE LETTER SENT TO COUNTY SCHOOL
SUPERINTENDENTS ............................... 74

APPENDIX B AUTHORIZATION FORM TO CONDUCT RESEARCH ......... .76

APPENDIX C SAMPLE LETTER SENT TO SCHOOL PRINCIPALS ....... 77

APPENDIX D SAMPLE LETTER SENT TO ENGLISH CHAIRPERSONS .... 79

APPENDIX E SAMPLE LETTER OF APPRECIATION ................ 81

APPENDIX F QUESTIONNAIRE (PART I) ...................... 82

APPENDIX G QUESTIONNAIRE (PART II) ..................... 84

APPENDIX H QUESTIONNAIRE (PART III) .................... 94


REFERENCES ..................................... .............. 97

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ......................................... 100















LIST OF TABLES


TABLE PAGE

1 RESPONSES TO TEACHER QUESTIONNAIRE (PART 1) AND
CHI SQUARE LEVELS OF SIGNIFICANCE BY TEACHERS
FROM LOW AND HIGH PERFORMANCE SCHOOLS .................. 35

2 CLASSIFICATION OF NON-PROFESSIONAL BOOKS READ BY
RESPONDING TEACHERS FROM LOW AND HIGH PERFORMANCE
SCHOOLS. . ................................... ............ 37

3 ANALYSIS OF VARIANCE UPON BOOK TYPES REPORTED FOR
NON-PROFESSIONAL READING BY TEACHERS FROM LOW AND
HIGH PERFORMANCE SCHOOLS. ............................... 42

4 RESPONSES TO EXPERIENTIAL PORTION OF TEACHER
QUESTIONNAIRE AND CHI SQUARE LEVELS OF SIGNIFICANCE
BY TEACHERS FROM LOW AND HIGH PERFORMANCE SCHOOLS ...... 43

5 RESPONSES TO TEACHING PRACTICES PORTION OF
QUESTIONNAIRE AND CHI SQUARE LEVELS OF SIGNIFICANCE
BY TEACHING FROM LOW AND HIGH PERFORMANCE SCHOOLS......... 48

6 RESPONSES TO ADDITIONAL (NON-ENGLISH) CERTIFICATION
QUESTIONS IN EXPERIENTIAL PORTION OF TEACHER
QUESTIONNAIRE AND CHI SQUARE LEVEL OF SIGNIFICANCE
BY TEACHERS FROM LOW AND HIGH PERFORMANCE SCHOOLS...... 51

7 RESPONSES TO STUDENTS PARTICIPATION QUESTIONS FROM
TEACHING PRACTICES PORTION OF TEACHER QUESTIONNAIRE
AND CHI SQUARE SIGNIFICANCE LEVELS BY TEACHERS FROM
LOW AND HIGH PERFORMANCE SCHOOLS..............'......... 53

8 RESPONSES TO QUESTIONS ABOUT EXTRA ACADEMIC WORK
TAKEN SINCE STARTING TO TEACH AND CHt SQUARE LEVELS
OF SiGNtFICANCE BY TEACHERS FROM LOW AND HIGH
PERFORMANCE SCHOOLS....... ....... ,,.. ..... .. ..... ..... 55

9 RESPONSES TO QUESTIONS ABOUT OTHER PROFESSIONAL
ACTIVITIES AND CHI SQUARE SIGNIFICANCE LEVELS BY
TEACHERS FROM LOW AND HIGH PERFORMANCE SCHOOLS......... 56

10 RESPONSES TO QUESTIONS ABOUT TEACHING PRACTICES AND
CHI SQUARE SIGNIFICANCE LEVELS BY TEACHERS FROM
LOW AND HIGH PERFORMANCE SCHOOLS....................... 59










TABLE PAGE

11 RESPONSES TO QUESTIONS ABOUT ADJUNCT (NON-ENGLISH)
SCHOOL INSTRUCTION AND CHI SQUARE SIGNIFICANCE
LEVELS BY TEACHERS FROM LOW AND HIGH PERFORMANCE
SCHOOLS................................................... 60

12 RESPONSES TO QUESTIONS ABOUT MATERIAL RESOURCES
AND CHI SQUARE SIGNIFICANCE LEVELS BY TEACHERS
FROM LOW AND HIGH PERFORMANCE SCHOOLS.................... 62











Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate Council
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy






AN INQUIRY INTO THE IDENTIFICATION OF DISCRIMINATING FACTORS
.RELATING TO HIGH AND LOW FUNCTIONAL LITERACY PERFORMANCE IN
ENGLISH IN SELECTED FLORIDA PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOLS

By

Charles Lee Wilson

August 1978



Chairman: Vincent McGuire
Major Department: Curriculum and Instruction

The purposes of this study were to examine how competency-based

testing for functional literacy evolved as a part of educational

accountability, to determine any theoretical positions which have

emerged, and to determine how functional literacy is defined and

interpreted in terms of English communication skills in Florida's

public high schools. The study proposed to identify discriminating

factors in terms of working conditions and facilities, experiential

background, teaching practices, and teaching principles of Florida

English teachers, grade ten through twelve, for the 1977-78 academic

year.

The study employed a causal-comparison design to establish likely

causes of differences between comparative groups. The comparison was

made between two groups of high schools, one of which performed below

the state mean on the communication section of the first Statewide











Grade Eleven Functional Literacy Test and one of which performed

above the state mean on the same test. Visits of two to three

days were made to each school, and data were collected by

questionnaires. Several different statistical tests of signifi-

cance were applied to this information.

In terms of significant differences, the tests revealed that

teachers in English programs where grade eleven students performed

above the state mean on the Grade Eleven Functional Literacy Test

tended to differ from teachers in English programs where grade

eleven students performed below the state mean on the Functional

Literacy Test. Compared to the teachers in the low group, the

high group teachers:

1. Had more teaching experience, were older, had more

teaching time in their present schools, and more of them

held only Rank III certification.

2. Had a greater incidence of undergraduate work in private

universities or liberal arts colleges.

3. Had a greater likelihood of an undergraduate English

major rather than the English education major, and less

chance of an undergraduate minor.

4. Had assigned written work in class more often, made

critical evaluations less often, emphasized organization

and content in their evaluations, and always assigned one

to two hours of writing homework a week.


viii










5. Were likely to require that students give formal

speeches before the class, have students work in

small groups, have students select writing topics,

and encouraged maximum student participation.

6. Made very frequent use of the.Socratic (questioning)

method of instruction, and frequently required individual

work of their students.

7. Felt that listening instruction was very important and

that other areas of school instruction should support

English objectives.

8. Continued to take graduate credit courses in literature,

teaching methods, and other education courses since

beginning their careers.

9. Took part in English teacher workshops, conferred often

with English specialists, and were currently subscribing

to professional journals.

10. Spent their summers either teaching or attending school.


In terms of significant differences, the test revealed that

working conditions and facilities for English programs where grade

eleven students performed above the state mean on the Grade Eleven

Functional Literacy Test tended to differ from working conditions

and facilities in English programs where grade eleven students

performed below the state mean on the Functional Literacy Test.

Compared to the working conditions and facilities available to

th6 low group, the hi:ghlgroup;










1. Considered their work week to be longer--

51-60 hours.

2. Used the school or classroom library almost exclusively

to other libraries.

3. Did not feel that workbooks with student drills, teaching

manuals, and clerical service were absolutely essential.

4. Were likely to consider very important the responsiveness

of the administration to their ideas.















CHAPTER I
INTRODUCTION


Consistent with the United States national policy of universal

education is the premise that one of the fundamental objectives of

public education is to teach students how to apply themselves to

problems they will encounter in everyday life. Therefore, a high

school diploma should indicate that the recipient has acquired the

minimum skills needed to function and survive in the marketplace of

everyday life. In recent years, this has not been the case.

Students have been graduated with high school diplomas who were

functionally illiterate; enough so that.the Florida Legislature

instituted a law, the Accountability Act of 1976, which guarantees

that the Florida system of public education will provide instruc-

tional programs which will require students to meet minimum perfor-

mance standards. If a student cannot meet these minimum performance

standards by grade twelve, then his diploma will indicate completion

rather than competency (Department of Education, 1977).

For purposes of compliance with the Accountability Act of 1976,

the State of Florida tested eleventh grade students for the first

time as part of the 1977-78 Statewide Assessment Program. The

eleventh.grade assessment was composed-of two tests: the Basic

Skills Test and the Functional Literacy .Test. The Basic Skills

Test was composed of:several separate minimal performance standards.










whereas the Functional Literacy Test consisted of only two standards

covering 24 skills with a total of 117 items. All eleventh graders

were expected to pass each of several standards on the Basic Skills

Test. If they failed any of them, remediation was to be provided

by the local district. Each district was given the responsibility

of certifying when the standards had been met after remedial

instruction. The district was given the option of requiring the

students to retake the grade eleven assessment the following year.

Eleventh graders were also required to pass the Functional

Literacy Test. If a student passed the Basic Skills Test and failed

the Functional Literacy Test, then he or she would have to retake

the Functional Literacy Test as a senior.

The Functional Literacy Test was comprised of items of a

practical nature which were applications of the basic skills. The

definition of functional literacy as approved by the Department of

Education on February 17, 1977, was as follows:

.functional literacy is the satisfactory
application of basic skills in reading, writing,
and arithmetic, to problems and tasks of a
practical nature as encountered in everyday
life. (Department of Education, 1977, p. 4)

As an instrument to serve the intent of the Accountability Act

of 1976, the Functional Literacy Test was designed to help:

(a) Provide a system of accountability for
education in Florida which guarantees that each
student is afforded similar opportunities for
educational advancement without regard to
geographic differences and varying local
economic factors.

(b) Provide information for education decision-
makers at the state, district, and school levels











so that resources may be appropriately allocated
and the needs of the system of public education
met in a timely manner.

(c) Provide information about costs of educational
programs and the differential effectiveness of
differing instructional programs so that the
educational process may be improved continually.

(d) Guarantee to each student in the Florida
system of public education that the system pro-
vides instructional programs which meet minimum
performance standards compatible with the state's
plan for education.

(e) Provide a more thorough analysis of program
costs and the degree to which the various districts
are meeting the minimum performance standards
established by the State Board of Education.

(f) Provide information to the public about the
performance of the Florida system of public
education in meeting established goals and
providing effective, meaningful, and relevant
educational experiences designed to give students
at least the minimum skills necessary to function
and survive in today's society. (Department of
Education, 1977, p. 16)


Development of the Functional Literacy Test was conducted with

the assistance of an outside contractor, Educational Testing Service

of Princeton, New Jersey (Zicky and Livingston, 1977). The test

which was administered in October 1977, was extensively pre-tested

in Florida and then revised when necessary. The following skills

were selected (Department of Education, 1977, p. 25):

1. Determine the main idea inferred from a
selection.

2. Find the who, what, where, which, and how
information in a selection.

3. Determine the cause and effect of an action.


4. Distinguish between facts and opinions.










5. Identify an unstated opinion.

6. Identify the appropriate source from which to
obtain extensive information on a topic.

7. Use an index to identify the location of
information requiring the use of cross-reference.

8. Use highway and city maps.

9. Include the necessary information when writing
letters to supply or request information.

10. Complete a check and its stub accurately.

11. Accurately complete forms used to apply for a
driver's license, employment, entrance to a school
or training program, insurance, and credit.


The impact of the Functional Literacy Test was substantial. Of

the 115,964 students who had taken the test, the 40,722 students

who failed either section of the test would get two more chances

to pass. For the purposes of the 1977-78 Statewide Assessment Program,

a standard was considered mastered if the student correctly answered 70

percent of the items measuring that standard along with at least 50

percent of the skills which comprised that standard. Students who did

not pass one of the tests would receive a certificate of completion

rather than a regular high school diploma (Fisher, 1978).

Ralph Turlington, Commissioner of Education, has stressed that

as an accountability index, the results of this test should not pose

a threat to teachers in Florida's public high schools, but should be

perceived as providing an additional opportunity to correct deficiencies

in students before they arise on the job or in college (Webber, 1978).

By studying the percentage of students who passed the communications

section of the Literacy Test among public high schools throughout the







5



State of Florida, factors related to effective English programs of a

practical nature could be revealed. Furthermore, these factors could

make a viable contribution to the state's intention of guaranteeing

each student that the system of public education will provide similar

instructional programs to meet minimum performance standards regardless

of geographic difference and varying local economic factors.


Need for the Study


Daniel L. Kelly's doctoral dissertation dealt with the identifi-

cation of discriminating factors related to consistent overachievement

and underachievement in English in Florida high schools (Kelly, 1966).

Using the Florida Statewide Twelfth Grade Testing Program as the

criterion for selecting schools to be used in the study, two groups

of schools were selected, eight schools in each group, based on seven-

year (1959-1966) records of comparison of aptitude and English test

scores on the placement tests.

Assuming that the aptitude scores on the placement tests were

representative of students' capacities to achieve in English, schools

consistently having a majority of their students scoring higher in

English than in aptitude were considered to be schools with effective

programs producing overachievers in English. Schools consistently

having a majority of their students scoring lower in English than

in aptitude were considered to be schools with ineffective programs

producing underachievers in English. The means by which factors were

to be identified were to test the following three hypotheses: Florida

high schools where students consistently achieve beyond their expected










potential in English differ from Florida high schools where students

consistently fail to achieve up to their expected potential in

terms of:

1. Experiential background and teaching practices
and principles of English teachers.

2. English department working conditions and facilities.

3. Students' perceptions of English instruction and the
subject of English. (Kelly, 1966, p. 5)


There is, ten years after Kelly's dissertation was accepted by

the Graduate Council of the University of Florida and the results

disseminated to the participating schools and others who were interested

widespread conviction that high school instruction in the discipline of

English is still not producing results acceptable to prospective

employers, college officials, school administrators, legislators,

parents, and students. As a reaction to this general dissatisfaction,

a system mandating minimum competency standards for high school diplomas

was instituted under the 1976 Accountability Act.

Of the 115, 964 grade eleven students who were tested in

October 1977, 9,277 did not pass the communication section of the

Functional Literacy Test. As information to the public, these

statistics indicated that the Florida system of public education

was adequate for a -large majority of students, but it had not provided

effective, meaningful, and relevant educational experiences designed

to give all students at least the minimum communication skills necessary

to function and survive in today's society. Since more time is spent

on the study of English than upon any other subject and since all

students who are not mentally retarded or otherwise handicapped should










be functionally literate after eleven years of public education,

there is a need to identify factors that are related to different

levels of performance in English in Florida's public high school

system, grades ten through twelve.


Purpose of the Study


The fundamental justification of this study was the need to

identify discriminating factors currently related to low performance

and high performance in English on the communication section of the

Functional Literacy Test among public high schools throughout the

State of Florida.

To identify factors, the following hypotheses were tested:

Florida's public high schools were students' performance on the

Grade Eleven Functional Literacy Test was above the state mean differ

from Florida public high schools where students' performance was

below the state mean in terms of:

.: Experiential background and'teaching practices and-

teaching principles of English teachers.

2. English department working conditions and facilities.


Limitations of the Study

The variables that influence test scores are many and varied

(Campbell and Stanley, 1966). The factors sought for this study

were identified with the following limitations:

1. Only those Florida public high schools which had a

minimum of 500 students taking the Grade Eleven

Functional Literacy Test in 1977 were included.












2. No analysis was made of cultural background, socio-

economic status, or previous formal education of.

students.


Organization of the Study


Investigation of the hypotheses previously stated was conducted

by a process of comparing two groups of Florida high schools, one group

designated as low performing and the other as high performing, The

communication section .of the first Florida Statewide Grade Eleven

functional Literacy Test was the criterion for selecting schools to

be used in the study.

Data collection. Two groups were selected: one low performers,

with a mean of 82.5 on the Functional Literacy Test and one high

performers, with a mean of 98.3 on the test. Twelve schools, six

in each group, were visited and information was gathered by use of

English department chairperson interviews and teacher questionnaires.

The sample. Teacher information was collected from those teachers

who taught at least one English class per day in the participating

schools. The English department chairperson was interviewed in each

of the schools.

Treatment of the data. Teacher questionnaire data were converted

to frequency distribution by the individual schools on a computer. All

data were arranged into frequency of response to individual questions

or, in the case of open-end questions, classified by types of responses.

Tests of significance of differences such as' analysis of variance,









and 2 X C Chi square analysis using contingency tables for values

of P (proportion) were performed (Snedecor and Cochran, 1973).



Definition of Terms


Public High School. A three or four year secondary educational

institution, containing a twelfth grade, which is supported by and

accountable to the public of Florida.

Accountability. Defined and provided for in the Educational

Accountability Act of the Florida Legislature, 1976.

Student Progression and Student Assessment. Responsibilities

are outlined in the Accountability Act of 1976 SB 232.245 (1) (2)

(3); SB 229.57 (2 (b) (d).

Literacy. For the purposes of the 1977-78 Statewide Assessment

Program, functional literacy is the ability to apply basic skills in

reading, writing, and arithmetic to problems and tasks of a practical

nature as encountered in everyday life.

Low Performance. Occurred when the majority of the grade eleven

students in a high school scored below the state mean on the communica-

tion section of the Functional Literacy Test.

High Performance. Occurred when the majority of the grade eleven

students in a high school scored above the state mean on the communica-

tion section of the Functional Literacy Test.

Causal-Comparison Design. Survey research method used to

discriminate factors as likely causes for educational occurrences.*


*This a posterior examination of teacher responses assumes that dif-
ferences found in characteristics and practices are necessary and
sufficient determinates of the observed literacy test performance
that was used for the original definitions of the group (Campbell and
Stanley, 1966).






10



Summary


The.Legislature of the State of Florida has committed the

state's system of public education to guaranteeing students that

the system will be accountable for providing similar opportunities to

acquire minimum performance standards. To fulfill this commitment,

the Legislature intends that a more thorough analysis of the system

of education must be provided. As an on-going part of this process,

the goal of this study was to find a solution to the problem of

practical English communication among grade eleven students by

identifying factors which are related to low performance and high

performance on the Functional Literacy Test, The procedure used for

identifying the factors was to compare six Florida public high schools

with low performance in English and six Florida public high schools

with high performance in English on the communication section of the

Functional Literacy Test.;















CHAPTER II
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE


Introduction


In.order to coordinate a review of the literature with the

hypotheses, to be tested, this review will treat the following

areas: (1) the origins and development of minimum competency

testing; (2) the theoretical positions for competency testing;

(3) the experiential background, teaching practices, and

teaching principles of high school English teachers; and (4) the

working conditions and facilities in public high schools. Finally,

there is a review of the survey technique for educational research.


Origins and Development


A competency-based approach to curriculum development has been

used at some time in virtually every curriculum program;

What teacher has not dreamed of teaching his
students to perform as he would have them,
with simple formula of training to intervene
between objective and learner performance?
(Alexander, 1972, p. 5)

A historical perspective of English grammar for this country

before 1850 pointed out that Princeton University required that their

1819 entering class be well acquainted with English grammar; however,

that English grammar was actually Latin grammar superimposed on English

(Braddock, 1969). Princeton University extended this requirement











in 1870 when it required candidates to demonstrate their writing

ability. Even more influential for the direction high school

English instruction was to take was the 1874 Harvard College

requirement that each candidate for admission ". . write a short

English composition, correct in spelling, punctuation, grammar, and

expression ..'."(Braddock, 1969, p. 443).

By 1900 most high schools had established some regular course

of instruction in English, though,"pt tended to be unorganized, and

sadly lacking in specific aims and methods" (Braddock, 1969, p. 443).

Early in the twentieth century, educators realized that the primary

aim of the high school curricula was not to prepare students for

college entrance. In 1917, it was suggested, in essence, that

social utility of language instruction was of major importance as

a competency objective for English instruction (Braddock, 1969).

The earliest published justification of a competency-oriented

curriculum for English instruction appeared in the first book on

curriculum published in the United States, The Curriculum, by

Franklin Bobbitt (1918). His theory is still a common argument

for competency .testing:

The curriculum theory is simple. Human life,
however varied, consists in the performance of
specific activities. Education that prepares
for life is one that prepares definitely and
adequately for these specific activities.
However, numerous and diverse they may be for any
social class, they can be discovered. They
require only that one go out into the world
of affairs and discover the particulars of
which these affairs consist. These will
show the abilities, attitudes, appreciations,
and forms of knowledge that men need. These
will be the objectives of the curriculum.









They will be numerous, definite, and
particularized. The curriculum will then
be that series of experiences which children
and youth must have by way of obtaining
these objectives. (Bobbitt, 1918, p. 42)


Bobbitt emphasized that his analysis procedure could be applied

to the improvement of English instruction in such areas as spelling

and grammar. Research indicated that more time in the 1930s was

devoted to grammar and usage in American high schools than any other

phase of instruction. The objectives of English instruction were

nevertheless ". . vague, uncertain, and far from agreed upon"

(Braddock, 1969, p. 443). .As more emphasis was placed upon

objective-defining for high school programs (Popham and Baker, 1970),

it became apparent that a standard for American English would be

difficult for English instructors and the public to agree upon

". the measurement experts, the teachers, the test makers, the

politicians, the linguists, the tax paying public . do not agree

on what is basic" (Baum, 1976, p. 33).

McGuire pointed out.that one researcher listed all the aims

of English teaching that could be found in print. The aims or goals

totaled 1,581 (McGuire, 1964, p. 3).

Forty-one years after the establishment of the National Council

of Teachers of English (NCTE), the 1952 Commission on the English

Curriculum recommended five basic concepts

1. Languague changes constantly.
2. Change is normal . not corruption but
improvement.
3. Spoken language is the language.
4. Correctness rests upon usage.
5. All usage is relative (NCTE, 1952, p. 24)









Furthermore in 1954, the NCTE intended that English instruction

should facilitate ". . communication in as real situations as

possible" (NCTE, 1954, p. 3). The pervasive influence of the

structural linguist, coupled with the political activism of the

late 1960s and the early 1970s, had led many English educators

to take the view that standard English wasjust a prestige dialect.

That philosophy was embodied in the following statement:

Linguistic snobbery was tactitly encouraged
by.a slavish reliance on rules, and these
attitudes had consequences far beyond the
realm of language. People were denied
social privilege, legal rights, and economic
opportunity, and their inability to manipulate
the dialect used by the privileged group was
used as an excuse for this denial. ("Why
Johnny Can't Write," 1975, p. 58)

In attempting to assist teachers in formulating a tenable theory

of English usage which would be of practical help in the classroom

the following observation was made (NCTE, 1954, p. 3):

In the final analysis, what we call usage is
the matter of becoming aware of choices in a
large number of specific irtstances. The English
language is full of possible variations. The
term 'good usage' implies success in making
choices in the variations such that the smallest
number of persons are undistracted.

Nevertheless, John Simon would warn against this trend in 1977:

As of "i be," 'you be,' 'he be,' et cetera,
which should give us all the heebie-jeebies,
these may indeed be comprehensible but they
go against all accepted classical and modern
grammars and are the product not of a language
with roots and tradition but of ignorance of
how language works. It may be a regrettable
ignorance, innocent and touching, one that
unjust past social conditions cruelly imposed
upon people. But it is ignorance, and bowing
down to it, accepting it as correct and perhaps
even better than established usage is not going









to help matters. On the contrary, that way lies
chaos. The point is that if you allow this or
that departure from traditional grammar, every-
thing becomes permissible as indeed, it has
become, which is why we-are in the present
pickle. (Simon, 1977, p. 69)


A 1977 Gallop Poll indicated that 47 percent of the adults with

no children in school and 55 percent with school-attending children

believed public education could be improved by devoting more

attention to the basic skills (Wise, 1978). The thrust of the

competency test movement started as an urban-based questioning of

the competencies of high school graduates. As of March 15, 1978,

there-were 29 states which had legislation or Department of Public

Instruction regulations on minimum competency testing. The diversity

of actions was great and an attempt to indicate direction would be

premature (Kepner, 1978). An intense interest in minimum competency

testing suggested that its advocates hoped to solve two profound

problems:

A minority of students fail to acquire the
basic skills; a minority of teachers fail
to teach the basic skills. (Wise, 1978, p, 596)


Theoretical Positions


Arthur E. Wise in examining educational trends which promoted

improved instruction, pointed out that scientific rationality had

been applied to education for some time. In the past, the implicit

focus of research was likely to be the individual, the classroom,

or the school. In recent years, as higher levels of government

have endeavored to solve some educational problems, research has









focused upon school systems--iocal, stFae, ana national. It would


macroscopic level i

the conditions of !

Peirce, an AmericE

ways of knowing, or

p. 18): "The metl

S method&of a prior;

world itself there

S Cf the two views, 1

: connected concept;

research. The basi

A theory
specifyir
to what \
related,
to predi(
certain (
p. 9).

The function (

supported by most

practicality is.pr<

It can b(
research
by this

In terms of ir

Bobbitt (1918) their

planning. He percc

of things which ch

of developing abil


in faces at least as great a chi

it does at the microscopic le'

;ientific rationality (Wise, 19

philosopher, said that there

as he put it "fixing belief"

id of tenacity, the method of al

and the'methdd of science."

re two broad views of science

ie heuristic'view emphasizes the

schemata which are beneficial

Saim of science is theory:

explainss a phenomenon by so
what variables are related
iriables and how they are
hus enabling the researcher
From certain variables to
:her variables (Kerlinger, 1973


science, to improve man's lot

iymen and many scientists. The

:minent here:

argued that most educational
las been and is now dominated
ew (Kerlinger, 1969, p. 1144).

roving instruction of a practi

rized an activity analysis appr,

ved that the curriculum should

dren and youths must do and ex

:ies to do the things well that


el in meeting

8). Charles

re four general

uchler, 1955,

thority, the

In the scientific

Conant, 1951).

ory and inter-

for further












seems to be

criterion of








al nature,

ach to curriculum

be a '. . series

erience by way

make up the


I I










affairs of adult life; and to be in all respects what adults should

be" (Bobbitt, 1918, p. 42). W. W. Charters (1923) added more detail

to the activity of analysts for improving instruction, and later

the behavioral objectives movement in this country emphasized not

only the statement of instructional objectives but the use of tests

as measures of the desired outcomes of instruction (Popham and Baker,

1970).

Many educational policies of the 1960s and 1970s shared a common

set of assumptions about schooling (Wise, 1978, p. 598):

1. While many goals of education are imaginable,
society must find a limited set upon which
agreement is possible. The emerging consensus
appears to be that the purpose of schooling is
to provide the student with basic and career
skills. Establishing limited goals for schools
is thought to facilitate goal attainment.

2. The goals must be put in a form that will
permit assessment of the extent to which they
are attained. Most effort has been given to
defining the basic skills of reading and
arithmetic. Such definition is thought to
facilitate goal attainment.

3. Tests are then devised to assess performance.
When the scores are available they can be
compared with other scores -- district
wide, state wide, or nation wide. Such
comparisons are thought to facilitate stu-
dent, teacher, program, and school evaluation
and improvement,

Florida's accountability laws were born in a period when many

states developed accountability statutes or policies. In Florida,

however, the legislature did not pass a law or two and then forget

the issue:


The lawmakers, with help from Florida educators
and the Department of Education staff, adjusted










the educational accountability statutes from
session to session ,. finally legislating
the 1976 Educational Accountability Act (House
of Representatives, 1976).

It was decided that the Florida Statewide Assessment Program

would become the focal point for accountability by determining

student,mastery of the basic skills and functional literacy.


Experiences, Practices, and Principles


Daniel Kelly concluded his review of teachers' experiential

backgrounds, teaching practices, and teaching principles through 1966

with the following observations (Kelly, 1966, p. 19):

1, Quantity of writing and degree of teacher
evaluation do not mean better writing.

2. Functional instruction in composition is
necessary.

3, .Some new approaches of teaching English are
meeting with apparent success.

4. .High school students tend to depend more
upon teachers to get them to do good work in
school than do students in elementary schools.

5. English is a relatively well-liked subject,
especially among girls and college-oriented
students of the upper intellectual and socio-
economic classes.

Kelly's own research revealed the following discriminating

factors relating to overachievement in English in Florida high

schools (Kelly, 1966, p. 55):

1. Teachers in overachieving schools tended
to be over 40 years of age, married, and to
have more than six years of teaching experience.

2, They took additional semester hours in English
language, literature, English methods, subjects
relating to English, and education after they
began full-time teaching.











3, They completed college education courses within
the past five years and earned additional degrees
after they began full-time teaching.

4, They attended state meetings of English teachers
and were members of their local English associations
of the Florida Education Association.

5. They were certified in Junior High School English
and English, grades 7 through 12.

6, They had traveled extensively in the United
States.

7.. They regularly read or skimmed The English
Journal and read more and different nonprofessional
magazines, particularly in the areas of social studies,
fine arts, and useful arts.

8. They waited longer to confer with students
after compositions were written.

9. They felt more successful in teaching literature
and less successful in teaching composition and
literature.

10. They employed the small group teaching method
and used student presentations more frequently and
used audio visual aids less frequently.

11. They used student selection of writing topics
and maximum participation of students in classroom
activities and gave their students opportunities to
speak to small groups,

12. They showed less interest or placed less value
in traditional grammar.

13. They considered language textbooks, movie pro-
jectors, tape recorders, television, and lay readers
to be less important, but considered movable class-
room furniture to be more important.

14. They spent more of their time each week in
correcting students' papers, and attending faculty,
departmental, and other meetings.

Concurrent with Kelly's study, Squire (1966) and Applebee (1966)

used 168 high schools, selected on the basis of their high state or










national reputations, to study composition or grammar instruction.

Squire suggested the following:

. more should be done to teach writing or
better to teach composing, rather than to pro-
vide writing activities alone and assume that
students will necessarily learn from practice.
(Squire. 1966, p. 284)

Accordingly, Applebee advised that ". . imaginative writing,

especially the writing of poetry and fiction, can serve an important

role, among other things to help give students . a unique under-

standing of literary forms and styles" (Applebee, 1966, p. 280).

They found that many of the better schools, had abandoned the formal

study of English grammar and had little more than ". a haphazard

offering of sporadic usage drills determined solely by errors in

students' speech or writing" (Applebee, 1966, p, 274). The

survey also noted an extensive practice ". . the tendency of

many schools to impose strictures on the language program through

large scale, system-wide adoption of single textbooks and a tendency,

where this is done, of teachers seldom or never to use these language

books with their classes" (Applebee, 1966, p. 275). Their study also

indicated that administrators and English teachers alike were devoting

little attention to students in the lower tracks.

To date only three demographic and background variables have

yet appeared in teacher studies: teacher age, sex, and years of

experience.

On the one hand, some demographic and formative
experiences are likely either to have left a
significant impact on teachers or to cause a
continuing, differential response to teachers
and pupils, Age, sex, race and ethnic background











exemplifies such variables, and we ignore
factors such as these at our peril when
constructing theories of teaching. (Dunkin
and Biddle, 1974, p. 412)

In terms of .teacher preparation and educational background, much

descriptive literature claims that college teacher preparation is

inadequate, and is, therefore, the principal reason for the decline

in students' writing ability, "Too few teachers are trained in

logic, well read in the philosophies of language, or themselves

constant and competent writers of expository and persuasive prose"

(Baum, 1976, p. 32). "The teachers who are grossly unprepared to

teach language pose a major threat to the entire system . and

systems preparing teachers that emphasize the reading and criticizing

of literature at the exclusion of basic composition courses handicap

high school English teachers" (Buckman, 1972, p, 100). Teachers

who will eventually teach writing need work in rhetoric and basic

composition above the freshman level where it is usually offered

(Larson, 1969). "If teachers of English received the sort of

training that would enable them to operate as professional people,

they could rely upon their judgments" (Larson, 1969, p. 170), In

addition, Baum has taken the following position:

Teachers might teach composition much more
willingly and effectively if they had. come
during their training to a better understanding
of the art of composition and of the why and.how
of teaching it. Such an understanding they
could obtain in a special course of writing
tailored to the.distinctive needs of prospective
teachers. (Baum, 1976, p, 36)

In terms of learning style and teaching style research, Robert

Bauman pointed out that it is the complex device known as the









instructor that offers the greatest hope for improvement of teaching,

providing we can understand what he is doing well and poorly (Bauman,

'1974), In terms of improving high school English, Dubin and Taveggia

S(1968) revealed that when a teacher's style is didactic, and Baird's

(1973) and Broudy's (1972) research support the position that most

teachers use didactics as the dominant paradigm of instruction,

student learning was usually measured by final examination

instruments. If and when the student has passed the final

examination, the teacher and those who control the purse strings

can demonstrate accountability; certainly, much more so with a test

score than in other areas like critical thinking and creativity

and attitudes. The point remained that research predicted that

teaching styles will not produce ". . a measurable difference

in student learning, as measured by final examinations" (Dubin and

Taveggia, 1968, p. 47).

Baird concluded his research with the following observations:

.it would be useful if the current
research could lead to studies that develop
independent measures of the teaching-style
and student-rating variables . and .
useful studies would relate styles to such
criteria as gains in achievement and other
changes among students . the interaction
between student characteristics and the
influence of the styles should be studied.
(Baird, 1975, p. 21)

It appears that the difficulty with trying to measure good

teaching is that it is ephemeral: it is an event of the moment and

the class period, rather than something that gets recorded, and later

on studied and analyzed. It is evident from the research that an

instrument for evaluating teaching styles based upon student










perceptions is not valid or reliable: "The instructor judged by

one student may be rated poor by another student, or at another

time, or in another course" (Bauman, 1974, p. 289). Nevertheless,

teachers inevitably must deal with skeptics prone to 'tough talk'

about accountability. The present state of teaching indicates

that.teaching styles vary from one situation to another: .

that different sequences of teaching acts are more or less appropriate

to different kinds of teaching situations and can provide a logical

step in research linking process and product variable" (Kerlinger,

1969, p. 1144). To insure the public of the State of Florida that

English teachers are prepared to teach practical communication skills,

the 1978 legislature recommended to the governor that teacher

testing be required in order to test prospective teachers on their

grasp of basic skills ("Tallahassee Tally',' 1978),


Working Conditions and Facilities


Research related to working conditions and facilities for

improving high school English instruction up to 1966 could be

summarized as follows (Kelly, 1966, p. 19);

1, Outstanding English departments tended
to have certain common attributes.

2, Very little, if any, progress has been
made to reduce the size of English classes
and teachers' loads.

3. English teachers' working hours are
excessively long.

Daniel Kelly's research (1966, p. 57) concluded that working

conditions and facilities in Florida public high schools where










students consistently achieved beyond their expected potential in

English had the following characteristics:


1. The English faculty
each day.

2. The English faculty
teaching of English.

3. The English faculty
of students each day.

4. The English faculty
libraries available.


taught fewer classes


was restricted to the


taught a smaller number


had larger professional


5. The English faculty had smaller size classes.


6. The English faculty
for students.

7. The English faculty
unabridged dictionaries
classrooms.


had several English tracks


had a larger number of
available in English


In summarizing the present state of research concerning classroom

working conditions, Dunkin and Biddle (1974, pp. 410-411) made the

following observations:

As we know, only a few conditions associated
with classroom teaching conditions have been
featured in research on teaching to date,
Most of these have been associated with
classrooms, including grade level, subject
matter, multigradedness, use of computer-
assisted instruction, and experimental
curricula. Many 'obvious' classroom variables
have not yet received much attention, however,
including class size, physical properties
of the classroom, other educational media,
equipment in the room, or self-directed
and 'open' classrooms . so far ignored
are such variables as the social structure
and size of the school, the use of inspectors,
the effects of matriculation examinations,
and so forth .. as yet little is known
concerning the functions of these variables
in theories of teaching . .









The Florida Legislature (1978) attempted to upgrade the

overall situation by budgeting remediation money for students not

passing the test: "The Legislature appropriate $10 million for

compensatory education and promised an additional $26.5 million"

(Webber, 1978, p. 2C).

Survey Research

In the majority of educational survey studies, the ones from

which most pertinent information was derived appeared to be those

using the ex post facto research technique. It means, rather,

that the most important social, scientific, and educational research

problems do not lend themselves to experimentation, although many

of them do lend themselves to controlled inquiry of the ex post

facto kind (Campbell and Stanley, 1968). "If a tally of sound

an important studies in the behavioral sciences and education

were made, it is possible that ex post facto studies would outnumber

and out rank experimental studies" (Blalock, 1961, p. 5). A great

deal of work, especially in education, has been and is being done

on the study and analysis of causal relations in ex post facto

research.

Despite its evident potential value in helping to solve

theoretical and applied educational problems, scientific survey

research has not been used to any great extent by educators. Its

distinctive educational usefulness, moreover, seems not to have

been realized. Obviously, survey research is a useful tool for










educational fact-finding. An administrator, a board of education,

or a staff of teachers can learn a great deal about a school system

or a community without contacting every child, every teacher, and

every citizen. In short, the sampling methods developed in survey

research can be very useful (Fox, 1953, and Kerlinger, 1973).


Summary


Historically, a definite set of universally accepted standards

for practical communication skills has not evolved. State systems

for secondary public education have been influenced by standardized

national tests, by media, and by political and socio-economic

pressures; however, much leeway remains within school districts

and within individual high schools as to the priority given the

teaching of practical communication skills. Public concern for

a set of practical communication skills to be taught in every public

high school has been reflected in legislative action. It seems

important, therefore, that English educators take a more involved

and influential role in determining the guidelines for practical

communication skills curricula; otherwise, those directives might

come from sources with ulterior objectives.

In order for secondary English educators to take a leadership

role, it appears imperative that they analyze and synthesize the

influences that experiential background, teaching practices, and

teaching principles have on the effective teaching of practical

communication skills. A historical perspective reveals that even

when research of this nature has been done, it has not affected











improvement in English programs to a significant degree. English

teachers, therefore, must become more sensitive to the research

being done in this area and, thereby, realize that English education

is a continuing commitment. Colleges preparing English teachers,

likewise, must better prepare teachers for teaching practical

communication skills.

Those people directing secondary English education guidelines

should also be aware that working conditions and facilities contribute

positively or negatively to the atmosphere in which learning can

take place. Research supports the thesis that some conditions and

facilities are more conducive for teaching communication skills

than others. In order to create and maintain the best possible

conditions and facilities for effective English programs, states

must provide sufficient money for schools to budget for the

essentials.

To analyze the essentials for teaching practical communication

skills, the Florida system of secondary public education lends itself

to experimentation through controlled inquiry (survey research) of

the ex post facto kind. Survey research of this nature is one of

the best ways to discover factors which discriminate an effective

English program from an ineffective English program.















CHAPTER III
DESIGN AND PROCEDURES


Introduction


This chapter presents the design of the study, including the

scope and limitations of. the study, the procedures, and the study's

participants.

Scope and Limitations of the Study


The study concentrated on the identification of discriminating

factors in terms of English department working conditions and

facilities and in terms of English teachers' experiential background,

teaching practices, and teaching principles in Florida public high

schools during the 1977-1978 academic year. While it is anticipated

that the findings of this study will have present and future implica-

tions for programs of high school English education throughout the

State of Florida and elsewhere, the data were collected from twelve

Florida public high schools with 500 or more grade eleven students,

and application to other high school programs should be approached

only with qualification.


Procedures


Using a causal-comparison design (Kelly, 1966), the purpose

of this study was to establish likely causes of differences between

comparative groups. The comparison made was between two groups of










schools, one of which performed below the state mean (92) for English

communication on the first Statewide Grade Eleven Functional Literacy

Test and one of which performed above the state mean (92) in English

communication on the first Statewide Grade Eleven Functional Literacy

Test. The source of data for the selection of the two groups was

the computer printout of "Percent Passed Comparison Tables" of the

communication section of the Grade Eleven Functional Literacy Test

made available through the Florida Department of Education Office of

Student Assessment, Dr. Thomas H, Fisher, Administrator. The mean

on the communication section for the 115,964 grade eleven students

who took the test was 92. This meant that of all the .grade eleven

students throughout the 67 public school districts in the State of

Florida, 92 percent passed the communication section by answering

correctly at least 70 percent of the 117 items on the test along

with at least 50 percent of the 24 skills on the test. For the

purposes of this study, high school programs with means below the

state mean were considered low performers and those with means above

the state mean were considered high performers. The selection

process for schools to be included in the study was as follows:

1. Florida public high schools, each having a minimum

of 500 grade eleven students who took the test in

October 1977, formed the initial population for

the study.

2. High schools must have been accredited by the

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools for

the academic year 1977-1978.










3. Express written permission of'the district

superintendent of public education and the high

school principal must have been given.

4. High schools were grouped on the basis of the data

available from the State Department of Education

for the percentage of students who passed the

communication section of the Literacy Test.

5. Two groups were selected: low performers with

a mean of 82.5, and high performers with a

mean of 98.3


To effectively gain the complete freedom of scientific inquiry

for this study, it was necessary to guarantee many of the districts

and the high schools within the districts that they would not be

identified. For that reason, none of the eight districts, twelve

high schools, twelve chairpersons, 247 English teachers, or the 8,008

eleventh grade students will be identified.


Data Collection


Schools were not included in the selection process unless the

district superintendent and the principal approved in writing. In

several instances, a study of this nature was not welcomed by some

of the high performing and some of the low performing high schools

in the state. In many instances the district superintendent asked

the author to have the study approved by a staff member. In other

instances superintendents allowed the decision to be made by the

high school principal. In two cases, the high school principal











allowed the English chairpersons to decide if the school would

participate in the study. Appendixes A, C and D are examples

of correspondence involved in the school selection process, It

was also necessary to insure that inconvenience would be minimal

and that disruption would not occur. Once approved, the author

made contact with the principal of each school and the chairperson

of the English department of each school in order to arrange for

data collection. Visits of two to three days were made to each

school to collect data relative to the hypotheses to be tested.

Objective data were collected by three instruments;

1. Two questionnaires for individual English teachers--

Part I and Part II.(Appendixes F and G respectively).

were filled out by teachers instructing at least one

English class per day in grades ten, eleven, or

twelve. The purpose of these questions was to

discover experiential background and teaching practices

and teaching principles.of English teachers in the

high schools participating in the study.

2. An interview was held with each English department

chairperson and a questionnaire (Appendix H ) was

filled out. The purpose of this inquiry was to

discover working conditions and facilities with

which the English faculty worked in each school.,


The teacher questionnaire, Part I, was transcribed to punch

cards and then tabulated into frequency distributions by school










and groups of schools. Teacher questionnaire, Part II, and the

English department chairperson questionnaire were analyzed for

significance of differences. Because of the wide variety of

questions used to collect information, several different statistical

tests of significance were used--analysis of variance and 2 x C

chi square analysis using contingency tables (Snedecor and

Cochran, 1973).


Summary


A causal-comparison design was used to discover factors

related to public high schools performing below or above the

state mean for the communication section of the first Statewide

Grade Eleven Functional Literacy Test. Two groups of schools were

selected, six in each group, on the basis of the percentage of grade

eleven students who passed the Literacy Test. One was designated

as low performing schools; the other was designated as high performing

schools. Three questionnaires were used to collect data in each of

the twelve participating schools. Electronic data processing equip-

ment was used to tabulate frequency distributions, and tests for

significance of differences between the two groups by the appropriate

statistical procedures were applied.















CHAPTER IV
ANALYSIS OF DATA AND FINDINGS


Introduction


The objective of this study was to identify discriminating

factors which were related to high performance and low performance

in English on the Grade Eleven Functional Literacy Test. To

identify discriminating factors, quantitative comparisons were made

which would reveal statistically significant differences between

the two groups of teachers and their working conditions and

facilities. The statistical criterion of significance accepted

for this study was a P (level of competence) of at least .05.


Analysis of Data and Findings


Responses to Part I of the teacher questionnaire (Appendix F)

are displayed in Table 1. Part I of the questionnaire consisted of

those questions designed to measure the teachers' perceptions of

the administrative environment at the school. When comparing the

responses of the teachers from low performance schools with the

responses of teachers from high performance schools, all those

questions were successful in discriminating between the two groups

of schools.

Faculty from high performance schools were.much more likely to

consider as very important the responsiveness of the administration














TABLE 1


RESPONSES TO TEACHER QUESTIONNAIRE (PART I) AND CHI SQUARE LEVELS
OF SIGNIFICANCE BY TEACHERS FROM LOW AND HIGH PERFORMANCE SCHOOLS


Teachers in Schools
Low High
Question/Response Performance Performance X2 P df _


1. Responsiveness of the.
administration to the
ideas of the teachers
at the school

a) great importance.......... 13 79
b) some importance .......... 69 12 88.34 .005 3
c) little importance ........ 4 8
d) no importance............. 0 0

2. Classroom observation and
counseling of teachers

a) great Importance........... 32 12
b) some importance .......... 42 13 73.10 .005 3
c) little importance ......... 11 74
d) no importance............. 1 0

*degrees of freedom.















TABLE 1 Continued

RESPONSES TO TEACHER QUESTIONNAIRE (PART I) AND CHI SQUARE LEVELS
OF SIGNIFICANCE BY TEACHERS FROM LOW AND HIGH PERFORMANCE SCHOOLS


Teachers in Schools
Low High
Question/Response Performance Performance X2 P df*

3. Departmental meetings at
which theories and methods
of teaching are discussed

a) great importance ........ 16 18
b) some importance ......... 56 38 41.00 .005 3
c) little importance......... 12 34
d) no importance.... ........ 2 0


*degrees of freedom.










to the ideas of the teachers at the school. Teachers from low

performance schools considered this to be of only some importance

(X2 = 88.34, P <.005 with 3 degrees of freedom). Faculty from

low performance schools felt that classroom observation and counseling

of teachers was of great or moderate importance; teachers from high

performance schools felt such observation or counseling was of little

importance (X2 = 73.10, P <.005 with 3 degrees of freedom). Teachers

from low performance schools felt that departmental meetings at which

theories and methods of teaching were discussed were of great or

moderate importance. Faculty from high performance schools regarded
2
this factor to be of some or little importance (X = 41.00, P <.005

with 3 degrees of freedom).

Teachers from both groups of schools were asked to record their

preferences for non-professional reading. The teachers recorded their

preferences on a partial list from the Library of Congress Classifi-

cation System. The summary of their responses is recorded in Table 2.

Examination of the table will show that the categories of sports and

games, marriage and family, education, fiction, horticulture, hunting,

arts and crafts, and domestic science made up for 78 percent of the

total number of responses by both groups of schools. A total of 502

responses were recorded for the low performance schools and 539

responses were recorded for the high performance schools.

An analysis of variance was performed to test for any significant

difference between the two groups on the total number of responses (502

versus 539) and for any differences between the types of books selected













TABLE 2

CLASSIFICATION OF NON-PROFESSIONAL BOOKS READ BY RESPONDING TEACHERS
FROM LOW AND HIGH PERFORMANCE SCHOOLS


Low High
Classification Performance Performance


Philosophy
Religions, Mythology ........................ 4 2
Judaism ..................................... 1 0
Islam ...................................... 3 1
Christianity ................................. 3 2

History
Archeology...................... .............. 1 0
Genealogy .. ..................... ............ 8 12
Biography.. ........................... ....... 5 2
British .................................... 0 2
African..................................... . 1 2
American .................................... 1 3

Geography
Anthropology ................................ 0 1
Sports and Games ............................ 12 17














TABLE 2 Continued

CLASSIFICATION OF NON-PROFESSIONAL BOOKS READ BY RESPONDING TEACHERS
FROM LOW AND HIGH PERFORMANCE SCHOOLS


Low High
Classification Performance Performance

Social Science
Statistics................................... 0 2
Sociology .................................. 2 3
Marriage and family ........................ 49 43
Societies .................................... 12 17

Political Science............................. 0 2
Law........................................... 2 4
Education.............. ..................... 63 80
Musical instruction.......................... 4 5

Fine Arts
Architecture............................... 12 11
Sculpture ............ ...................... 2 6
Painting.................................... 5 1















TABLE 2 Continued

CLASSIFICATION OF NON-PROFESSIONAL BOOKS READ BY RESPONDING TEACHERS
FROM LOW AND HIGH PERFORMANCE SCHOOLS


Low High
Classification Performance Performance

Language
French, Spanish, Italian................. 7 6
English.................................. 2 1
German................................... O I

Literature
Classical .................. .............. 0 4
General .................................. 8 6
English.................................. 2 7
American.................................. 5 4
Fiction................................. 151 169

Science
Astronomy................................ 0 1
Geology.................................. 1 3















TABLE 2 Continued
CLASSIFICATION OF NON-PROFESSIONAL BOOKS READBY RESPONDING TEACHERS
FROM LOW AND HIGH PERFORMANCE SCHOOLS


Low High
Classification Performance Performance

Agriculture
Horticulture............................ 26 20
Fish culture ................. ........... 5 3
Hunting................................. 17 11

Technology
Arts and crafts......................... 48 31
Domestic science........................ 34 40

Navigation................................ 5 6



TOTAL... 502 539










by both groups combined. The results are shown in Table 3. There

was no statistical difference between the two groups on the total

number of responses. However, there was a strong preference in

both groups for the eight types of books mentioned in the preceding

paragraph. There was no evidence of any interaction between types

of books and performance group.

Table 4 shows the teachers' response to the items from the

experiential portion of the questionnaire (Part II) that were able

to discriminate, as shown by significant values of chi square,

between background characteristics of teachers from low performance

schools and high performance schools. The raw frequency (number of

teachers) is shown for all possible responses of each significant

item. The chi square statistic (X2), the level of significance (P),

and the degrees of freedom (df) are shown for each item.

Teachers from high performance schools were characterized by

the following: an older age, more teaching experience, more teaching

experience in their present school, Rank III certification, greater

incidence of undergraduate work in a private university or liberal

arts college, a very high likelihood of an undergraduate English

major (liberal arts) rather than English education, less chance of

an undergraduate minor, and a total professional workweek of

51-60 hours.

Conversely, teachers from low performance schools had the

following characteristics: a younger age, fewer years of full-time

teaching, fewer years of full-time experience at the same high

school, often a higher certification rank, a state university

education, an English education major rather than an.Engli.sh















TABLE 3

ANALYSIS OF VARIANCE UPON BOOK TYPES REPORTED
FOR NON-PROFESSIONAL READING BY TEACHERS
FROM LOW AND HIGH PERFORMANCE SCHOOLS


Sum Degrees
of of Mean
Source of Variation .Squares Freedom Square F value


Between schools................ 11.55 1 11.55 <1.0
Between book types.............. 61025.15 38 1605.93 92.88*
Residual....................... 656.95 38 17.29


TOTAL........... 61693.65 77


* P <.005













TABLE 4

RESPONSES TO EXPERIENTIAL PORTION OF TEACHER QUESTIONNAIRE
AND CHI SQUARE LEVELS OF SIGNIFICANCE BY TEACHERS FROM
LOW AND HIGH PERFORMANCE SCHOOLS


Teachers in Schools
Low High
Question/Response Performance Performance X2 P df*


1. What is your age?

a) Under 26................. 9 12
b) 26-30.................... 13 12
c) 31-35................... 29 ii 34.75 .005 4
d) 36-40.................... 23 13
e) 41 or older.............. 12 51

4. How many years have you taught
full-time prior to this year?

a) Under 3............ ...... 9 4
b) 3-6...................... 12 18
c) 7-10 ..................... 38 26 11.93 .025 4
d) 11-14 .................... 20 37
e) 15 or more............... 7 14

*degrees of freedom.














TABLE 4 Continued


RESPONSES TO EXPERIENTIAL PORTION OF TEACHER QUESTIONNAIRE
AND CHI SQUARE LEVELS OF SIGNIFICANCE BY TEACHERS FROM
LOW AND HIGH PERFORMANCE SCHOOLS


Teachers in Schools
Low High
Question/Response Performance Performance X2 P df*

5. How many years have you
taught full-time in this
school prior to this year?

a) Less than 3............. 29 6
b) 3-6.................... 30 12
c) 7-10.................... 14 38 48.19 .005 4
d) 11-14 .................. . 10 32
e) 15 or more.............. 3 11

6. What is your certification
rank?

a) Rank I.................. 0 0
b) Rank II ................ 39 27
c) Rank III ................ 37 68 13.05 .025 4
d) Rank IV ................ 0 0
e) Not certified .......... 10 4

*degrees of freedom.














TABLE 4 Continued


RESPONSES TO EXPERIENTIAL PORTION OF TEACHER QUESTIONNAIRE
AND CHI SQUARE LEVELS OF SIGNIFICANCE BY TEACHERS FROM
LOW AND HIGH PERFORMANCE SCHOOLS


Teachers in Schools
Low High
Question/Response Performance Performance X2 P df*

9. In what kind of school did
you do most of your under-
graduate work?

a) State university.......... 36 24
b) Private university ........ 17 34
c) State college ............ 20 18 17.72 .005 5
d) Liberal arts college...... 7 20
e) Teacher's college ........ 4 0
f) Other ......................... 0 0

10. What was your undergraduate
major?

a) English .................. 36 72
b) Speech ................... 0 4
c) Speech therapy ........... 1 1 26,62 .005 4
d) Journalism ............... 4 3
e) English education ....... 43 17

*degrees of freedom.















TABLE 4 Continued


RESPONSES TO EXPERIENTIAL PORTION OF TEACHER QUESTIONNAIRE
AND CHI SQUARE LEVELS OF SIGNIFICANCE BY TEACHERS FROM
LOW AND HIGH PERFORMANCE SCHOOLS


Teachers in Schools
Low High
Question/Response Performance Performance X P df*

11. What was your minor?

a) English ................ 0 0
b) Speech .................. 45 16
c) Speech therapy ......0.. 0 1 10.49 .005 4
d) Journalism .......... .. 34 2
e) English education ...... 0 0

17. Professional work week
(in hours)?

a) Less than 40 ........... 0 0
b) 41-50.................... 67 37
c) 51-60 .................. 19 54 28.12 .005 4
d) 61-70 .................. 0 3
e) More than 70............ 0 0

*degrees of freedom.










major, a minor in speech or journalism, and a 41-50 work

week.

The teachers' responses to the significantly discriminating

questionnaire items about teaching practices are displayed in

Table 5. Seven questionnaire items about teaching practices were

found to discriminate between teachers from low performance and

high performance schools.

Teachers from low performance schools required written work

less often from the students, critically evaluated that work more

often, conferred with their students somewhat sooner after submission

of written work, tended to emphasize grammar rather than organization

of content, tended to assign slightly less written homework, suggested

a wider variety of sources of other books, and tended to spend the

summer period in relaxation or teaching school.

The faculty from high performance schools assigned written work

in class more often, made critical evaluations of the work less often,

conferred a day later with students about their written work, emphasized

organization and content in the evaluations, always assigned one to two

hours of written homework a week, used the school or classroom library

almost exclusively, and spent their summers either teaching or attending

school.

The only question about additional certification that discriminated

between the low and high performance schools was the one dealing

with speech certification. Teachers from low performance schools

were more likely to have additional certification in speech. These

results are shown in Table 6.













TABLE 5


RESPONSES TO TEACHING PRACTICES PORTION OF QUESTIONNAIRE
AND CHI SQUARE LEVELS OF SIGNIFICANCE BY TEACHING
FROM LOW AND HIGH PERFORMANCE SCHOOLS


Teachers in Schools
Low High
Question/Response Performance Performance X P df*

18. How often do you require
your English classes to
write or compose at least
several sentences?

a) More than twice per week 20 70
b) Twice per week ........... 38 23
c) Once per week ........... 18 4 53.55 .005 4
d) Three times per month.... 0 0
e) Twice per month or less.. 10 0

19. How often do you personally
make critical evaluations of
student writing?

a) More than twice per week 34 2
b) Twice per week .......... 30 34
c) Once per week ........... 14 61 62.46 .005 4
d) Three times per month ... 2 0
e) Twice per month or less.. 3 0

*degrees of freedom.













TABLE 5 Continued


RESPONSES TO TEACHING PRACTICES PORTION OF QUESTIONNAIRE
AND CHI SQUARE LEVELS OF SIGNIFICANCE BY TEACHING
FROM LOW AND HIGH PERFORMANCE SCHOOLS


Teachers in Schools
Low High 2
Question/Response Performance Performance X P df*

20. How soon do you confer?

a) Immediately................ 2 0
b) Same day.................. 13 0
c) One day later............. 41 71 28.56 .005 4
d) Several days later ....... 21 24
e) A week or more later.-.... 6 0

21. What is emphasized in your
critical evaluation?

a) Grammar..................... 48 10
b) Organization............... 14 45 48.61 .005 3
c) Content .................. 18 40
d) Other..................... 0 0
22. Writing homework?

a) None ..................... 23 0
b) One to two hours ......... 60 97
c) Three to four hours....... 0 0 12.67 .005 5
d) Five to six hours ........ 0 0
e) Seven or more hours....... 0 0

*degrees of freedom.














TABLE 5 Continued

RESPONSES TO TEACHING PRACTICES PORTION OF QUESTIONNAIRE
AND CHI SQUARE LEVELS OF SIGNIFICANCE BY TEACHING
FROM LOW AND HIGH PERFORMANCE SCHOOLS


Teachers in Schools
Low High 2
Question/Response Performance Performance X P df*

S24. Book resources?


School library...........
Public library ..........
Classroom library........
Paperbacks...............
College library .........
Other ...................


27. Summer activity?


12.87 .05 5


Other employment ........
Teaching school..........
Attending school.........
Travel ..................
Relaxation ..............
Other ..................


16.3 .01 5


-degrees of freedom.














TABLE 6 ,


RESPONSES TO ADDITIONAL (NON-ENGLISH) CERTIFICATION QUESTIONS IN
EXPERIENTIAL PORTION OF TEACHER QUESTIONNAIRE AND CHI SQUARE LEVEL
OF SIGNIFICANCE BY TEACHERS FROM LOW AND HIGH PERFORMANCE SCHOOLS


Teachers in Schools
Low High 2
Question/Response Performance Performance X P df*



31. Are you certified in
Speech?

a) Yes .................- 39 24 9.12 .005 1
b) No .................. 47 75

*degrees of freedom.










Student participation practices differ greatly between the two

groups of teachers. As shown in Table 7, teachers from high

performance schools were more likely to require that students give

formal speeches before the class, to have students speak in.small

groups, to allow students to select writing topics, and to encourage

maximum student participation.

In contrast, teachers from low performance schools were not

as likely to encourage student participation, selection of writing

topics, small group speaking activities, or formal speeches before

the class.

Teachers from high performance schools had many more academic credits

earned after starting to teach. These results are shown in Table 8.

A majority of teachers from low performance schools had ten or more

credits in literature earned after they had started teaching. Teachers

from low performance schools had fewer than 10 hours in literature

earned after they started to teach. A greater proportion of the high

performance teachers had had ten or more hours earned in teaching

methods since their teaching careers began; low performance teachers

were very likely to have had nine or fewer hours.

Over half of the high performance teachers had ten or more hours

in other education courses earned since starting their careers while

fewer of the low performance teachers had earned additional hours in

other education courses.

There were marked differences between the two groups regarding

the other professional activities of the teachers. As shown in Table 9,

high performance teachers as a group, attended more meetings

for English teachers, completed college education courses, took part














TABLE 7


RESPONSES TO STUDENTS PARTICIPATION QUESTIONS FROM TEACHING PRACTICES
PORTION OF TEACHER QUESTIONNAIRE AND CHI SQUARE SIGNIFICANCE LEVELS BY TEACHERS
FROM LOW AND HIGH PERFORMANCE SCHOOLS


Teachers in Schools
Low High
Question/Response Performance Performance X P df*

33. Students give formal speeches
before groups?

a) Yes................... 57 87 12.45 .005 1
b) No...................... 29 12

35. Students speak in small groups?

a) Yes................... 54 91 23.06 .005
b) No ....... .., ....... 32 8

37. Student selection of writing
topic?

a) Yes.. .. ,... ...., .... 52 75 5.00 .05
b) No. . . .... .... ... 34, 24

'*degrees of freedom,














TABLE 7 Continued

RESPONSES TO STUDENT PARTICIPATION QUESTIONS FROM TEACHING PRACTICES
PORTION OF TEACHER QUESTIONNAIRE AND CHI SQUARE SIGNIFICANCE LEVELS BY TEACHERS
FROM LOW AND HIGH PERFORMANCE SCHOOLS


Teachers in Schools
Low High 2
Question/Response Performance Performance X P df*


38. Maximum student
participation

a) Yes ................... 52 89 72.01 .005 1
b) No..................... 34 10


*degrees of freedom.













TABLE 8


RESPONSES TO QUESTIONS ABOUT EXTRA ACADEMIC WORK
STARTING TO TEACH AND CHI SQUARE LEVELS OF SIGNIFICANCE BY
AND HIGH PERFORMANCE SCHOOLS


TAKEN SINCE
TEACHERS FROM LOW


Teachers in Schools
Low High
Question/Response Performance Performance X2 P df*

39. Hours in literature since
began teaching?

a) Nine or less .......... 37 11 23.39 .005 1
b) Ten or more ......... 19 43
43. Hours i'n teaching methods.
since began teaching?

a) Ni:ne or less ........... 41 46 5.21 .025
b) Ten or more ........... 15 39

46. Hours in other education
courses since began teaching
(ten hours are more)?

a) Yes ................. 0 35 37.50 .005 1
b) No .................. 86 64

*degrees of freedom.












TABLE 9

RESPONSES TO QUESTIONS ABOUT OTHER PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES AND CHI
SQUARE SIGNIFICANCE LEVELS BY TEACHERS FROM
LOW AND HIGH PERFORMANCE SCHOOLS


Teachers in Schools
Low High 2
Question/Response Performance Performance X P df*

48. Attended a meeting of
English teachers?

a) Yes ................. 63 85 4.57 ..05 1
b) No ... .. ...., 23 14

50, Completed a college education
course?

a) Yes............... 50 85 17.94 .005 1
b) Never ..,,-,..., -,, 36 14

51, Taken part in English
workshop?

a) One or two .......... 62 73 6.69 .01 1
b) Never ........,...... 21 8


*degrees of freedom.













TABLE 9 CONTINUED

RESPONSES TO QUESTIONS ABOUT OTHER PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES AND CHI
SQUARE SIGNIFICANCE LEVELS BY TEACHERS FROM
LOW AND HIGH PERFORMANCE SCHOOLS


Teachers in Schools
Low High 2
Question/Response Performance Performance X P df*

52. Conferred with
English specialist?

a) Yes ................... 22 66 31.15, .005
b) No .................... 64 34

53. Currently subscribe to
professional journal?

a) Yes ................... 12 37 12.97 .005
b) No .................... 74 62

*degrees of freedom.










in more English teacher workshops, conferred more often with English

specialists, and were currently subscribing to professional journals.

Additional questions that were asked about teaching practices

are displayed in Table 10. These questions were found to be

effective in discriminating between teachers from low and high

performance schools.

Teachers from high performance schools made infrequent use of

the lecture method of instruction, made very frequent use of the

Socratic method of instruction, and frequently required individual

silent work of the students.

Teachers from low performance schools, by comparison, made

frequent use of the lecture method, infrequently used the Socratic

method, and did not use as much individual silent work.

Teachers from high performance schools regarded other areas of

school instruction as being instrumental in aiding the overall level

of English instruction. As shown by Table 11, high performance

instructors felt that spelling instruction and listening instruction

were very important; teachers from low performance schools did not

view these subjects as being very important in aiding English

instruction. Ten of the high performance English teachers felt art

instruction was important while two of the low performance teachers

viewed art instruction as important.

The last portion of the questionnaire was intended to measure

the importance that the two groups of teachers attributed to various

supporting resources and materials at the school. High performance

teachers felt that a class set of anthologies was important, a class














TABLE 10

RESPONSES TO QUESTIONS ABOUT TEACHING PRACTICES AND CHI SQUARE
SIGNIFICANCE LEVELS BY TEACHERS FROM LOW
AND HIGH PERFORMANCE SCHOOLS


Teachers in Schools
Low High 2
Question/Response Performance Performance X P df*

61. Use of lecture
method?

a) Frequently ........ 61 32 27.45 .005
b) Infrequently ...... 25 67

62. Use of Socratic method?

a) Very frequently.... 38 89 44.69 .005
b) frequently ........ 48 10

63. Individual frequent
silent work?

a) Yes ............... 42 74 13.20 .005
b) No ................ 44 25

*degrees of freedom.












TABLE 11


RESPONSES TO QUESTIONS ABOUT ADJUNCT (NON-ENGLISH) SCHOOL INSTRUCTION
AND CHI SQUARE SIGNIFICANCE LEVELS BY TEACHERS
FROM LOW AND HIGH PERFORMANCE SCHOOLS


Teachers in Schools
Low High 2
Question/Response Performance Performance X P df*

71. Art instruction seen
as very important?

a) Yes .............. 2 10 4.59 .05 1
b) No ............... 84 89

77. Spelling instruction seen
as very important?

a) Yes ............. 62 92 18.27 .005
b) No............... 24 7

78. Listening instruction seen
as very important?

a) Yes ............ 38 58 3.83 .05
b) No ............. 48 41

*degrees of freedom.









set of plays, novels or biographies, a classroom library, a handbook

on language reference for study and use, a filmstrip projector, a

motion picture projector, a display table of periodicals, and access

to a duplicating machine were important (see Table 12).

In contrast, teachers from low performance schools felt that

workbooks with student drills were essential, central service was

absolutely essential, and a teaching manual was absolutely essential.


Summary


Two teacher questionnaires were used to test hypothesis one

of this study. Teacher questionnaire (Part I) consisted of eight

questions pertaining to the first .hypothesis. Teacher questionnaire

(Part II) was made up of 108 objective-answer questions, 104 of which

related to hypothesis one. A total of 185 teachers responded to the

two questionnaires.- The analysis of their responses indicates

support for the first hypothesis that, "Florida high schools where

students performed above the state mean on the Grade Eleven Functional

Literacy Test differ from Florida high schools where students performed

below the state mean in terms of experiential background, teaching

practices and teaching principles of English teachers."

Hypothesis two was tested by questions on teacher questionnaire

(Part II) and on the English chairperson questionnaire. Several of

the questions on the teacher questionnaire produced significantly

different responses between the two groups of schools. These data

indicate support for the second hypothesis that, "Florida high












TABLE 12

RESPONSES TO QUESTIONS ABOUT MATERIAL RESOURCES AND CHI SQUARE
SIGNIFICANCE LEVELS BY TEACHERS FROM
LOW AND HIGH PERFORMANCE SCHOOLS


teachers in Schools
Low High
Question/Response Performance Performance X2P df*

83. Class set of
anthologies absolutely
essential?

a) Yes .............. 7 18 3.97 .05 1
b) No ................ 79 81

84. Class set of plays, novels,
biographies absolutely
essential?

a) Yes ............. 6 18 5.12 .025
b) No .............. 80 81

85. Classroom library
absolutely essential?

a) Yes ............ 14 34 7.81 .01 1
b) No ............. 12 65


*degrees of freedom.













TABLE 12 Continued

RESPONSES TO QUESTIONS ABOUT MATERIAL RESOURCES AND CHI SQUARE
SIGNIFICANCE LEVELS BY TEACHERS FROM
LOW AND HIGH PERFORMANCE SCHOOLS


Teachers in Schools
Low High
Question/Response Performance. Performance P df*

89. Workbooks with drills
absolutely essential?
a) Yes............... 41 24 11.08 .005
b) No................ 45 75

91. Handbook on language for
reference absolutely -
essential?
a) Yes.............. 0 6 5.39 .025
b) No................ 86 91

94. Filmstrip projector
absolutely essential?
a) Yes............. 4 13 3.96 .05 1
b) No.............. 82 86

*degrees of freedom.














TABLE 12 Continued

RESPONSES TO QUESTIONS ABOUT MATERIAL SOURCES AND CHI SQUARE
SIGNIFICANCE LEVELS BY TEACHERS FROM
LOW AND HIGH PERFORMANCE SCHOOLS


Teachers in Schools
Low __ High
Question/Response Performance Performance X P df*

95. Motion picture projector
absolutely essential?
a) Yes............... 14 53 27.67 .005
b). No... .............. 72 '46

96. Tape recorder absolutely
essential?
a) Yes............... 0 6 5.39 .025
b) No................ 86 93

99. Display table of periodicals
absolutely essential?

a) Yes ............... ., 2 15 9.06 .005
b) No................ 84 84

*degrees of freedom.













TABLE 12 Continued


RESPONSES TO QUESTIONS ABOUT MATERIAL RESOURCES FROM CHI SQUARE
SIGNIFICANCE LEVELS BY TEACHERS FROM,
LOW AND HIGH PERFORMANCE SCHOOLS


Teachers in Schools
Low High 2
Question/Response Performance Performance X P df*

103. Clerical service
absolutely essential?

a) Yes................. 68 43 25.35 .005
b) No.................. 18 56

105. Duplicating machine
absolutely essential?

a) Yes................. 59 99 26.40 .005
b) No................... 29 0

107. Teaching manual
absolutely essential?

a) Yes................. 57 45 8.06 .005 1
b) No................. 29 54

*degrees of freedom.






66




schools where students performed above the state mean on the Grade

Eleven Functional Literacy Test differ from Florida high schools

where students performed below the state mean in terms of working

conditions and facilities."
















CHAPTER V
SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, AND IMPLICATIONS


Summary


Using Dr. Kelly's study (1966) as a frame of reference, this study

employed a modified version of three of his instruments (Appendixes F,

G and H ) to identify discriminating factors relating to high performance

and low performance in English in selected public high schools. To

identify factors, the following hypotheses were tested in Florida's

public high schools where students' performance on the Grade Eleven

Functional Literacy Test was above the state mean differ from Florida

public high schools where students' performance was below the state

mean in terms of:

1. Experiential background and teaching practices

and principles of English teachers.

2. English department working conditions and facilities.


In the course of reviewing trends and patterns for competency-

based testing, current concerns expressed by researchers and informed

observers provided the foundation for testing this study's hypotheses.

A panel of experts representing high school English teachers, community

college English teachers, university English teachers, and educators

in general, examined and modified three of Kelly's questionnaires for

the purpose of this study. A variety of statistical methods was

used to test the significance of difference between the two groups











of schools. The level of competence used for accepting significant

differences between the groups was five percent.


Conclusions


The statistically significant differences between the groups of

high schools warranted the acceptance of this study's hypotheses.

The statistical methods employed for this study also generated

discriminating factors related to high andlow performance on the

Grade Eleven Functional Literacy Test. The specific identified factors

were categorized by their relationship to hypothesis one or to

hypothesis two.

Hypothesis One

In terms of significant differences, the tests revealed that

teachers in English programs where grade eleven students performed

above the state mean on the Grade Eleven Functional Literacy Test

tended to differ from teachers in English programs where grade

eleven students performed below the state mean on the Functional

Literacy Test. Compared to the teachers in the low group, the

high group teachers:

1. Had more teaching experience, were older, had more teaching

time in their present schools, and more of them held

only Rank III certification.

2. Had a greater incidence of undergraduate work in private ,

universities or liberal arts colleges.

3. Had a greater likelihood of an undergraduate English 7

major rather than the English education major, and less

chance of an undergraduate minor.










4. Had assigned written work in class more often, made

critical evaluations less often, emphasized organization

and content in their evaluations, and always assigned one

to two hours of writing homework a week.

5. Were likely to require that students give formal speeches

before the class, have students work in small groups,

have students select writing topics, and encouraged

maximum student participation.

6. Made very frequent use of the Socratic (questioning)

method of instruction, and frequently required individual

work of their students.

7. Felt that listening instruction was very important and

that other areas of school instruction should support

English objectives.

8. Continued to take graduate credit courses in literature,

teaching methods, and other education courses since

beginning their careers.

9. Took part in English teacher workshops, conferred often

with English specialists, and were currently subscribing

to professional journals.

10. Spent their summers either teaching or attending school.


Hypothesis Two

In terms of significant differences, the test revealed that

working conditions and facilities for English programs where grade

eleven students performed above the state mean on the Grade Eleven






70

Functional Literacy Test tended to differ from working conditions and

facilities in English programs where grade eleven students performed

below the state mean on the Functional Literacy Test. Compared to

the working conditions and facilities available to the low group,

the high group:

1. Considered their work week to be longer--51-60 hours.

2. Used the school or classroom library almost exclusively

to other libraries.

3. Did not feel that workbooks with student drills, teaching

manuals, and clerical service were absolutely essential.

4. Were likely to consider very important the responsiveness

of the administration to their ideas.

Implications

These conclusions have implications for educational policy makers,

educational administrators, teacher educators, English teachers, and

educators in general. If educational policies are enacted into laws

with the intention of guaranteeing students equal opportunity to

acquire practical communication skills and with the intention of

holding the educational system accountable for students' acquisition

of these skills, then the legislature must commit itself to follow-

through programs and research, such as this study, for all of the

ramifications such a commitment entails. Administrators looking

to improve the practical communication skills of their students may

look for teachers with qualifications that can be associated with

high performance programs. Teachers desiring to improve their ability










to teach practical 'marketplace' communication skills can evaluate

their experiential background, their teaching practices, and the

teaching principles they embrace in terms of those that this study

found to be discriminating for high performing English programs.

English teacher educators may use many of the insights.rendered

in this study to evaluate their own approaches to teacher education

programs. Educators in general may further explore and identify

communication skills and ways to test for them that are valid and

reliable; they may, as well attempt to understand the most

advantageous teaching practices for the various students' learning

styles.

In terms of improving practical communication skills, it appears

that teachers may improve their ability by taking English teaching

methods courses, communication courses, and reading courses. They

may also update their methods by attending workshops, using the

knowledge of specialists, and reading the professional journals.

They should recognize that frequency of writing and an emphasis on

grammar do not, in themselves, improve writing skills. The class

environment should be such that the teacher relies less on the

lecture method of teaching and more on class participation in oral

presentations, small group work, and work on assignments in class.

Administrators and curriculum planners need to implement instruments

to evaluate the teaching practices of English teachers and, thereby,

set up in-service workshops and programs for teachers. Where

administrators do not have the time or, more commonly, the expertise,

experienced educators should be consulted. In terms of recruiting










and hiring teachers, administrators must become more sensitive to

the experiential background and teaching practices of potential

teachers; better applicant screening should, therefore, be implemented

in terms of demonstrable ability to teach practical skills. An input

from English teacher educators will be vital to the successful

development and implementation of a valid qualifying test for

English teachers.

Some of the general areas concerning working conditions and

facilities suggest that English teachers in the low performing schools

need more administrative support, especially, in the areas of discipline

and more teaching tracks for students. The conditions and facilities

which are most conducive for teaching and learning practical communica-

tion skills still beg for more research and support from the general

public for research of this nature.










































APPENDIXES















APPENDIX .A
SAMPLE LETTER SENT TO COUNTY SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENTS



College of Education
University of Florida
Gainesville, Florida 32611

Date_




Superintendent of Public Instruction
County

Florida

Dear

Mr. Charles L. Wilson, a doctoral student at the University of Florida,
and I are undertaking a research project aimed at the improvement of
English instruction in Florida public senior high schools. We are
conducting the investigation with the belief that a study of the
characteristics of English teachers, English department working
conditions and facilities in our senior high schools will provide
data that will suggest the means by which Florida senior high schools
may attain more effective English programs. One of the schools we
would like to study is __High School.

Before we may include any school in the project, we will meet three
conditions;

1. We will attain the express written consent of the
county superintendent.
2. The school principal and English faculty must
volunteer to participate.
3. We will attain the express written consent of the
school principal.

May we have your consent on the enclosed form? Please sign and retain
one copy for yourself and return the original one directly to us.
We will then contact the principal.

If you and the high school principal agree to take part in the study,
you may do so with the assurance that all data collected will be






75




handled confidentially and that no person, school, or county will
be identified in any way. Data will appear in summary form only,
and you will be informed of the results of the study.

Sincerely yours,



Vincent McGuire
Professor of English Education

Enclosure















APPENDIX B
AUTHORIZATION FORM TO CONDUCT RESEARCH


Date


Authorization to Conduct Research in Specified Schools--Under
Specified Conditions



I hereby grant permission to Charles L. Wilson and Dr. Vincent

McGuire to conduct a research study in the following schools under

the conditions listed below:









Conditions

1. The study will be concerned with ways to improve the senior
high school English program. Research will be completed by
May 30, 1978.

2. The identity of all schools in the student (twelve throughout
the state) will not be revealed in any way to any person.

3. The results will be made available to participants.


Charles L. Wilson
Doctoral Student


Dr. Vincent McGuire
College of Education
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611


Superintendent of Public Instruction


Principal, High School


County School District















APPENDIX C
SAMPLE LETTER SENT TO SCHOOL PRINCIPALS


College of Education
University of Florida
Gainesville, Florida 32611

Date


Principal

High School


Florida


Dear

My purpose in writing is to ask your permission to include your
school in a research project that will attempt to develop some
concrete suggestions for improving English instruction in Florida
senior high schools. Your school is very important to our study,
and we are exceedingly hopeful that you will agree to participate.

The objective of this research is to come up with some specific
answers for improving English education.

Our plan is to have our project director, Charles L. Wilson, visit
each school for approximately three days. I hope to accompany him
in his visits. His schedule would work around your school routine
but is intended to follow this pattern:

First Day Conduct informal interview with English depart-
ment chairperson (or the administrator to whom
English teachers are responsible if there is
no designated chairperson). Distribute individual
English teacher questionnaires.

Second Day Collect questionnaires, visit the library, the
English planning room (if one exists), talk
informally with teachers, students, and
administrators.











Follow-up Day Complete any part of the above that has not been
taken care of previously.

All of the data collected will be handled confidentially, and teachers
will be asked to respond anonymously. No school nor any teacher will
be identified in any manner in our project report.

May we have your consent on the enclosed form which your county
superintendent has already approved? Please sign and retain one copy
for yourself and return the original to us.

If you agree to participate, will you please inform us of any weeks
when you would prefer that we did not visit your school? Or, if it
would be more suitable for you, perhaps you would like to suggest some
specific week or weeks that would be best for visiting your school.
We need this information as soon as possible so that a schedule of
visits may be arranged for all the schools included in the study.

Sincerely yours,



Vincent McGuire
Professor of English Education
College of Education
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611


Enclosure
















APPENDIX D
SAMPLE LETTER SENT TO ENGLISH CHAIRPERSONS



College of Education
University of Florida
Gainesville, Florida 32611

Date


English Chairperson


High School



Florida


Dear

My purpose in writing is to ask you to help us in a research project
that will attempt to develop some concrete suggestions for improving
English instruction in Florida senior high schools. Your school is
very important to our study.

The objective of this research is to come up with a valid solution
for a problem voiced by Florida high school English teachers: "What
are the things that happen and the conditions that exist in high
schools having effective English programs?" We believe this project
can go a long way toward furnishing an answer to that question.

Our plan is to have our project director, Charles L. Wilson, visit
each school for approximately three days. I hope to accompany him
in his visits. His schedule would work around your school routine
but is intended to follow this pattern:

First Day Conduct informal interview with English department
chairperson (or the administrator to whom English
teachers are responsible if there is no designated
chairperson). Distribute individual English teacher
questionnaires.











Second Day



Follow-up Day


Collect questionnaires, visit the library, the
English planning room (if one exists), talk with
teachers, students, and administrators.

Complete any part of the above that has not been
taken care of previously.


All of the data collected will be handled confidentially,
will be asked to respond anonymously. No school nor any
be identified in any manner in our project report.


and teachers
teacher will


Would you please allow some time or
for an informal interview.

Thank you.


Sincerely yours,



Vincent McGuire
Professor of English Education
College of Education
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611















APPENDIX E
SAMPLE LETTER OF APPRECIATION





College of Education
University of Florida
Gainesville, Florida 32611

Date


,Principal

, High School


Florida


Dear

We are extremely pleased that you and your faculty have agreed to
participate in our English research project. Your school is to be
visited during the week of

Sincerely,



Vincent McGuire
Professor of English Education
College of Education
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611

















APPENDIX F
QUESTIONNAIRE (PART I)


Questionnaire for Individual English Teacher (Part I)


Please answer the following questions with brief statements. If further
space is needed for your comments, other pages may be appended. This
form is not to be signed.

1. Please list below the titles of any nonprofessional magazines
you regularly read.









2. List below the most significant books that you have read during
the past year.










3. Approximately how many books (all types) do you have in your
person library?

Books

List in their appropriate order of importance things or conditions
that, in your opinion, should be:

4. Eliminated in order to improve your school's English program

la.

2b.













3c.

4d.

5. Changed in order to improve your school's English program

la.

2b.

3c.

4d.

6. Added to improve your school's English program

la.

2b.

3c.

4d.

7. Added to improve your English teaching

la.

2b.

3c.

4d.

8. Changed at the administrative level (school, district, or state)
to improve your school's English program

la.

2b.

3c.

4d.















APPENDIX G
QUESTIONNAIRE (PART II)



Questionnaire for Individual English Teacher (Part II)


This questionnaire is part of a study of Florida senior high schools
that attempts to describe the programs and practices that characterize
English teaching in our state. We are happy that your school has agreed
to participate in this project, and we want to assure you that we value
the contribution you will make to the project in completing this form.

Since this particular form solicits data and judgement from all of
the English teachers in each participating school, information obtained
by it is important to the entire study. Its purpose is simple and
straightforward to record the experiential background and teaching
practices and principles that characterize you as a teacher of English.

This questionnaire is not to be signed. Responses will be tabulated
at the University of Florida, and data will appear in summary form
only.



DIRECTIONS FOR QUESTIONS 1-27: Selectione choice for each question
and circle it.

1. What is your age?

(1) Under 26 (4) 36-40
(2) 26-30 (5) 41 or older
(3) 31-35

2. What is your sex?

(1) Male (2) Female

3. What is your marital status?

(1) Single (4) Widow
(2) Married (5) Widower
(3) Divorced










4. .How many years have you taught full time prior to this year?

(1) Less than 3 (4) 11-14
(2) 3-6 (5) 15 or more
(3) 7-10

5. How many years have you taught full time in this school prior
to this year?

(1) Less than 3 (4) 11-14
(2) 3-6 (5) 15 or more
(3) 7-10

6. What is your certification rank?

(1) Rank I (4) Rank IV
(2) Rank II (5) Not certified
(3) Rank III

7. What is your certification status?

(1) Not limited (3) Temporary
(2) Provisional (4) Not certified (as indicated in #6)

8. What was your highest level of preparation when you began full-
time teaching?

(1) Less than a bachelor's degree
(2) Bachelor's degree
(3) Master's degree
(4) Specialist's degree
(5) Doctoral degree

9. In what kind of school did you do most of your undergraduate work?

(1) State university (4) Four year liberal arts college
(2) Private university (5) Teachers college
(3) State college (6) Other (describe)

10. What your undergraduate major in college?

(1) English (4) Journalism
(2) Speech (5) English-Education
(3) Speech therapy

11. What was your minor?

(1) English (4) Journalism
(2) Speech (5) English-Education
(3) Speech Therapy










12. What is the highest additional degree you have earned since you
began full-time teaching?

(1) Bachelor's (4) Ph.D.
(2) Master's (5) Ed.D.
(3) Specialist's (6) None

13. What degree are your currently (planned program) working on?

(1) Bachelor's (4) Ph.D.
(2) Master's (5) Ed.D.
(3) Specialist's (6) None

14. How many classes do you teach each day? (Do not include home-
room and study hall assignments)

(1) One or two (4) Five
(2) Three (5) Six or more
(3) Four

15. How many of your classes are English classes?

(1) One (4) Four
(2) Two (5) Five
(3) Three (6) Six or more

16. How many students do you currently teach a day? (Do not include
homeroom and study hall assignments)

(1) 125 or less (4) 176-200
(2) 126-150 (5) 201 or more
(3) 151-175

17. Approximately how many hours do you consider your average
professional workweek to be, including all school time plus
additional time required to meet your school responsibilities?

(1) Less than 40 (4) 61-70
(2) 41-50 (5) More than 70
(3) 51-60
18. How often do you require your English classes to write or compose
at least several sentences?

(1) More than twice per week
(2) Twice per week
(3) Once per week
(4) Three times per month
(5) Twice per month or less










19. How often do you personally make critical evaluations of student
writing? (Individual discussion with students or written comments
on papers)

(1) More than twice per week
(2) Twice per week
(3) Once per week
(4) Three times per month
(5) Twice per month or less

20. With regard to question #19, how soon do you usually confer
with students after they have written?

(1) Immediately (4) Several days later
(2) Same day (5) A week or more later
(3) One day later

21. With regard to your critical evaluations, what do you emphasize?

(1) grammar (3) content
(2) organization (4) Other

22. How much homework requiring student writing do you usually
assign per week?

(1) None
(2) One to two hours
(3) Three to four hours
(4) Five to six hours
(5) Seven or more hours

23. During the course of a school year, do your English students study
the history and derivations of words, e.g., foreign derivative,
etymologies from dictionaries, prefixes, suffixes, and roots?

(1) No
(2) Yes, for one or two days
(3) Yes, for several days
(4) Yes, for a week
(5) Yes, for more than a week
(6) Other

24. In encouraging your students to read books, which one of the
following resources do you emphasize most?

(1) School library
(2) Public library
(3) Classroom library
(4) Paperbacks purchased by students
(5) College or University library
.(6) Other










25. With.which aspect of teaching English do you feel most successful
in your present circumstances?

(1) Composition (2) Literature (3) Language (4) Other

26. With which aspect of teaching English do you feel least successful
in your present circumstances?

(1) Composition (2) Literature (3) Language (4) Other

27. What has been your most typical summer activity over the last
five years (or since you began teaching)?

(1) Employment not relating to teaching
(2) Teaching summer school
(3) Attending summer school
(4) Traveling
(5) Relaxing personal and/or family recreation
(6) Other


DIRECTIONS FOR QUESTIONS 28-38: Indicate your response by circling
Yes or No.

28-32. Indicate if you are or are not certified in the following areas.

28. English junior high school (1) Yes (2) No
29. English grades 7 12 (1) Yes (2) No
30. Journalism (1) Yes (2) No
31. Speech (1) Yes (2) No
32. Speech therapy (1) Yes (2) No

33-35. Do your English students have opportunities to speak to groups?

33. In formal classroom speeches (1) Yes (2) No
34. In informal classroom discussions (1) Yes (2) No
35. In small group work (1) Yes (2)

36-38. Do you use the following in your English classes?
A lot A little None
36. Student-teacher cooperative planning (1) Yes (2) Yes (3) Yes
37. Student selection of writing topics (1) Yes (2) Yes (3) Yes
38. Maximum participation of students
in classroom activities (1) Yes (2) Yes (3) Yes







89



39-45. List to the side of each question the appropriate choice that
indicates the number of quarter hours (figure 1.5 times semester
hours) you have taken in each area since you began full-time
teaching.

KEY LIST
(1) None (4) Ten to fifteen
(2) One to three (5) Fifteen or more
(3) Four to nine

39. Literature

40. Literature written after 1930

41. English language

42. Composition

43. Methods of teaching English

44. Subjects relating to English (journalism, speech, library,
reading)

45. Other academic subjects

46. Education (other than teaching methods)

47. Contemporary problems


45-53. List to the side of each question the appropriate choice that
indicates how many years it has been since you have taken part
in the professional activity stated in each of these items
(exclude work completed before you began teaching).

KEY LIST
(1) One or less (4) Six or more
(2) Two (5) Never
(3) Three to five

46. Completed a college English course

47. Attended a state meeting of English teachers

48. Attended a local or regional meeting of English teachers

49. Attended an annual meeting of NCTE

50. Completed .a college education course

51. Taken part in a voluntary English work shop











52. Conferred with a specialist on English or the teaching
of English

53. Subscribed to a professional journal such as English Journal
or Media and Methods.


54-60. List to the side of each question the appropriate choice that
indicates how many hours of your professional time are spent
during an average week on each of the items. (Include all
school time plus additional time beyond the school day
required to meet school responsibilities).


KEY
(1) Fewer than 1
(2) 1-8
(3) 9-16


LIST
(4) 17-24
(5) 25 or more


54. Teaching classes

55. Correcting papers

56. Preparing for classes

57. Conferring with students

58. Attending faculty or department meetings, etc.

59. Attending to school routines (include study hall, homeroom,
etc.)

60. Advising student activities


61-70. List to the side of each question the appropriate choice
that indicates the frequency with which you employ the
teaching methods in each item when you are teaching a
typical English class.


KEY L IST
(1) Very frequently
(2) Frequently (


3) Infrequently
4) Never


Lecture

Socratic method (thought-provoking questions)

Recitation


Team teaching


61.

62.

63.

64.




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