A Study of the Skills Mastery Program Contained in the Houghton Mifflin Basal Reading Program


Regina Cowin

Date of Graduation

Spring 1975


Master of Science in Education in Literacy


Reading, Foundations, and Technology

Committee Chair

James Layton


The purpose of this study was to determine whether there was a statistically significant difference in sixth grade students' reading abilities in a specific basal reading text and ability to successfully perform the exercises in the accompanying workbook. The subjects were sixth grade students who could successfully read in the Houghton Mifflin Reading Series, Level 12. The Informal Reading Inventory published by Houghton Mifflin was administered to each student and resulted in grade level reader placement. Although the IRI implemented placement in readers, it was also the basis for skills placement. A Student-t test was used to determine whether a statistically significant difference existed between (1) the level of basal text and the corresponding level of workbook skills performance, and (2) the scores obtained for the three major subarea tests (decoding, comprehension, and reference skills). Further analysis of individual scores included: l. The range of proficiency using composite scores. 2. Deficient subtest scores which were below proficient composite scores. 3. Frequencies of weakness below the students' levels of proficiency. 4. Subtest weaknesses between the area of proficiency and the present level of placement (Level 12 workbook). The Student-t test comparison indicated a statistically significant difference between proficiency in reading comprehension and in workbook skills. As a group, the students could not perform in the workbook which accompanied the basal reader. The skills learned in the new basal series along with skills transferred from previous learning(s) may show diverse results in skills knowledge gained in the new series.

Subject Categories

Other Education


© Regina Cowin