The Joplin Reading Program in Historical Perspective


Pamela Ses

Date of Graduation

Spring 1975


Master of Natural and Applied Science in Agriculture


College of Agriculture

Committee Chair

Mark Rushefsky


During the 1950's there was a loud outcry that, "Johnny Can't Read." During this time the ideas for the basis of the Joplin Reading Plan formed in the mind of Mr. Cecil Floyd. The plan started in 1953 at the urgence of Roi S. Wood, Joplin's superintendent of schools.The Joplin Reading Plan received attention in the 1950's and was widely accepted as an organizational plan of teaching reading which enabled the students to reach their reading potential. The plan was mentioned in many books. However, the researcher was unable to find in the literature the exact procedures which were used to develop the Joplin Reading Plan. Because of the deficiency in the literature, the researcher contacted the original people involved in the Joplin Reading Plan in order to determine the exact procedures followed for developing the Joplin Reading Plan. This study was designed to investigate factors related to the questions: What procedures were used to develop the Joplin Reading Plan and why was the Joplin Reading Plan implemented in Joplin, Missouri? Historical research, to be useful, requires the collection of as much primary data as possible. This study has attempted to obtain information from the originator and other educators who aided in the development of the Joplin Reading Plan. The review of literature concerning the Joplin Reading Plan follows a sequential outline containing the beginnings of the plan, its implementation, its advantages and disadvantages, and the literature related to its acceptance. The primary source data were analyzed and the reasons for the implementation of the Joplin Reading Plan ascertained. The major reasons were: l. Floyd wanted to develop a reading program that would be more individualized for students' varying ability levels. 2. There was an extremely wide range of students' reading levels in grades four, five, and six in the schools of Joplin, Missouri. This study supports that the steps in implementing the Joplin Reading Plan were developed mainly by Floyd and that the reasons for the plan's origination were due to Floyd's desire to provide for the individual reading needs of students.

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© Pamela Ses