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Study techniques of Los Angeles junior high school pupils

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STUDY TECHNIQUES
OF LOS ANGELES JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL PUPILS
A Thesis
Presented to
the Faculty of the School of Education
The University of Southern California
In Partial Fulfillment
of the Requirements for the Degree
Master of Science in Education
hy
Enid Evelyn McCoy
June 1941
UMI Number: EP54075
All rights reserved
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a note will indicate the deletion.
Dissertation:Publishing
UMI EP54075
Published by ProQuest LLC (2014). Copyright in the Dissertation held by the Author.
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T h is thesis, w r it t e n u n d e r the d ir e c t io n o f th e ^ '^ fjjjl
C h a ir m a n o f the cand ida te’ s G u id a n c e C o m m itte e
a n d a p p ro v e d by a l l m em bers o f the C o m m itte e ,
has been presen ted to a n d accep ted by the F a c u lt y
o f the S c h o o l o f E d u c a t io n in p a r t i a l f u l f i l l m e n t
o f the re q u ire m e n ts f o r the degree o f M a s t e r o f
Science in E d u c a tio n .
.........
Guidance C om m ittee
D. Welty Lefever
C hairm an
1. E. Wagner
0. R. Hull
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER
I.
PAGE
THE PROBLEM A HD IMPORTANCE OF THE STUDY . . .
The problem
1
.....................
Statement of the problem
I
. . . . . . . .
1
Importance of the s t u d y ......... ...
II.
2
...................
4
.Literature on the subject . . . . . . . . .
4
PROCEDURE
Questionnaire . . . . .
...................
4
Form I. Questionnaire on study techniques
III.
REVIEW OF PERIODICAL L I T E R A T U R E ......... ..
.
9
Controversy over value of study instruction
10
Suggestions for courses in rTHow To Study11 .
14
Good study habits .
General notes on study
IV.
5
.......................
20
...............
BOOKS AND BOOK REVIEWS . . . . . . .........
26
29,.
Directing Study Activities in Secondary
Schools • • • • • . . . . . • • ..........
29
StudentTs Guide To Efficient Study . . . .
31
Studying Efficiently . . . . . . . . . . . .
35
Directing Learning . . . . . . . . . . . .
36
How To Study Handbook . . . . . . . . . .
38
How To Study
.....................
40
The Children's Book On How To Use Books And
L i b r a r i e s .........................
41
CHAPTER
V.
PAGE
How To Study Effectively . . . . . . . . .
4£
Learning How To L e a r n ...................
43
Independent Study At Stanford . . . . . . .
44
Best Met Rods Of S t u d y ..........
47
Directing Study Of High School Pupils
49
RESULTS OF IHVESTIGATIOH . . . .
............’
Skill in use of text "books .. . . . . . .
Skill in use of a library
......... ..
54
.
66
Skill in note-taking techniques . . . . .
79
Skill in outlining
84
Vocabulary building
............
89
Instruction given in study techniques . . .
vi.
53
conclusions a h d r e c o m m e h d a t i o h s .
Conclusions
93
........
io?
............................ 107
Demands made by s i t u a t i o n .................... 108
More rigid standards in upper grades . . .
109
Individual teacher demands ............... - 110
Comparison with previous class . . . . . .
Recommendations
Articulation
110
.
............
Ill
Ill
Specific standards ........
Ill
Agreement on d e t a i l s .....................
Ill
Instructional techniques .................
Ill
B I BLIOGRAPHY.......................
113
LIST OF TABLES
TABLE
I.
II.
.
Tally on Study Habits Recommended in Periodicals
55
Frequency Distribution of Teacher Responses
Regarding' Pupil Skill in the Use of a Library
IV.
2£
Frequency Distribution of Teacher Responses
Regarding Pupil Skill in the Use of Textbooks
III.
PAGE
6?
Frequency Distribution of Teacher Responses
Regarding Pupil Skill in Hote-taking Techniques 80
V.
Frequency Distribution of Teacher *Responses
Regarding Pupil Skill in Outlining Techniques
VI.
Frequency Distribution of Teacher Responses
Regarding Pupil Skill in Vocabulary Building
VII.
85-
90
Frequency Distribution of Teacher Responses
Regarding Instruction Given in the use of
Textbooks. .
VIII.
....................
94
Frequency Distribution of Teacher Responses
Regarding Instruction Given in the use of
a Library
IX.
..........
9?
Frequency Distribution of Teacher Responses
Regarding Instruction Given in Hote-taking
Techniques
..............
100
TAB JjE
X.
PAGE
Frequency Distribution of Teacher Responses
Regarding Instruction Given in Outlining
T e c h n i q u e s ..........
XI*
103
Frequency Distribution of Teacher Responses
Regarding Instruction Given in Techniques
for "Vocabulary Building • + • • • • • • •
105
CHAPTER
I
THE PROBLEM AND- IMPORTANCE OF THE STUDY
During the past several years there has he on much
discussion, in educational circles, as to the most effective
ways of learning*
The value of study as a way to effective
learning has recently received a reaffirmation*
The question
of what capacity junior high school pupils have for study is
frequently raised*
I.
THE PROBLEM
Statement of the problem*
It was the purpose of this
investigation (1) to summarize the recent (1935-1940) litera­
ture on study techniques in the secondary schools.
further purposes of the study were:
The
(E) to determine the
concensus of Los Angeles city teacher opinion as to the extent
certain study techniques, generally approved by authorities,
have been acquired by Los Angeles city school pupils by the
time they enter junior high school and the gains made in
mastering these techniques during the junior high school
period;
(3) to determine the extent of the instruction given
in the sixth to tenth grades of the Los Angeles school system
in connection with these particular study techniques; and
(4) to mafce recommendations based on the result of this study.
£
II.
IMPORTANCE OF THE STUDY
Importance of the Study,
Educators, aware of the im­
possibility of predicting exactly what items of knowledge
will be essential in an uncertain future, recognize that a
valuable contribution of the school to its pupils is to dedelop in them an ability to learn with the greatest possible
economy of time and effort.
Whatever their future problems
may be, the pupils now in school will need to recognize their
problems, find pertinent information, evaluate and organize
findings and reach solutions.
In brief, they will need to
know how to study.
Although educators are aware of the importance of an
ability to study, schools are a constant target for criticism
by those who assert that pupils do not learn as much as they
should in the time spent in school.
High school and college
instructors allege that an inability to study, or the employ­
ment of study techniques wasteful of time and effort, cause
many of•the failures in the upper secondary level.
Pupils,
too, often charge their scholastic short-comings to a lack
of knowledge of how-to-study.
Teachers on all levels charge
their pupils with an "inability to study", but there is
little agreement among teachers as to exactly what is meant
by "ability to study" or as to when, where, and how this
ability should be acquired.
However authorities on study techniques have agreed
on some of the effective ways to study,
therefore, this
investigation into the extent to which some of these effec­
tive study techniques-have been presented to and acquired by
pupils of the aforementioned grades of the Hos Angeles schools
has been considered worthwhile.
CHAPTER II
PROCEDURE
The purpose of this investigation was to determine:
(I) the study techniques generally recognized as effective
by educational authorities;
(E) the extent to which the abil­
ity to use these techniques has been acquired by Los Angeles
junior high school pupils; and (3) the grades in which par­
ticular emphasis was placed on the acquisition of the specif­
ied techniques.
Literature on the subject.
Articles listed under the
topic of study in the Reader *s Guide to Periodical Literature
or in the Educational Index
were considered in the review of
periodical literature on the subject.
This material is pre­
sented as Chapter III.
After consulting book reviews of books on study and
study techniques, twelve of the books which were considered
by educators to be most authoritative were given careful study.
Critiques of these books are included in Chapter IT,
*
Questionnaire. Items in the questionnaire (see Form I
on following page) were selected from those stressed by ed­
ucators whose findings on this subject have been published
in recent years, either in educational magazines or in book
form.
FORM I
5
QUESTIONNAIRE ON STUDY TECHNIQUES
The purpose of this questionnaire is to discover what study techniques
Los Angeles pupils have mastered by the time they enter junior high school;
and what additional mastery takes place during the junior high school
period.
teach.
Instructions:
Please fill in the space indicating the grade you
If you teach in more than one grade, please consider the skills of
one grade only in filling out this questionnaire.
Each item should be checked once in COLUMN I
once in COLUMN II
once in COLUMN III
I
On entering grade
I.
II
III
On leav- Instruction
ing grade given
SKILL IN USE OF TEXT-BOOKS
Bo the majority of your pupils
evidence an acquaintance with
and a satisfactory skill in the
use of:
r~l
H
•
H
+S3f H3
C? r-H
- & r-i
£* O r-f
1.
The Index?
2.
The Table of Contents?
5.
The Appendix? ________
4.
The Preface?
5.
Topic Headings?
6.
Footnotes?
7.
Graphs, Charts, Tables, etc?
■S CO
ffljt«D
^
'Cf CEf
<—f 3
®
CQ t?
03
as
XS -H
<D 'H
CJ O
O
H
C3
(D
p,
CO
6
On entering grade
II.
SKILL IN THE USE OF A LIBRARY
Do the majority of your pupils
evidence an acquaintance with
and a satisfactory skill in
the use of;
A. Reference works
H
•
H
<~~i
CO
+3 O
g ***
® ti ®
<p © ,ra
B.
III.
^ CO P
8.
A Dictionary?
9.
An Encyclopedia or world-book?
10.
The World Almanac?
11.
The Readers Guide?
12.
The Card Catalogue?
Books on Shelves
. ____
Do your pupils:
13.
Distinguish between fiction
and non-fi ct ion?
14.
Know that fiction is shelved
by author? _______________ .
15.
Know that non-fiction is
shelved by subject?
NOTE TAKING
Do the majority of your
pupils evidence ability to:
16. Evaluate material and select
pertinent information? ________
17.
Summarize (Express ’gist* of
article in a few brief
sentences)?
___
18.
Select key words, and phrases?
19.
Select main thoughts of
paragraphs?
20.
Use bibliography cards?
21.
Use abbreviations?
II
III
On leav- Instruction
ing grade given
f
0b UO r(-|J
<D © 03
r? CO fc>
C/ 'H
ro 'H
0 ■H O
& O 0
a a
£ h co
7
I
On entering grade
* II
III
On leav- Instruction
ing grade given
'f
*rf
w
IV.
OUTLINING
Do the majority of your
pupils evidence an ability to:
22
Fill in simple skeleton outlines?
,
V.
25.
Select and rephrase main thoughts
of paragraphs? _____________ ____
24.
Organize main points in terms of
a general plan?
.
_____ ______
25,
Eliminate irrelevent points?
, $
h
^
O H
, § 3—f
f-i O I
(D TJ Of
<D T1 CO
r-1
&
( D O W
& CO fc>
VOCABULARY BUILDING
Do the majority of your pupils:
26. Attempt to get meaning from
content?
27.
Look for familiar parts of
unfamiliar words?
28.
Understand meaning and use of
common prefixes and suffixes?
29.
Know how to divide words into
_____
syllables?
■
30.
Kuo?/ how to use diacritical
markings as pronunciation aids?
Grade taught
r -i
pi
( D O W
CO fc>
IS
o
©
u
*8 t-f
©. ’*H O
0 2 <1)
,9 ^ pi,
^ H CO
These questionnaires were then sent out to A6 teachers,
and to teachers of English, Social Studies, and Social Living
in grades 7, 8, 9, and BIO.
Inasmuch as results were to /be
in terms of teacher opinion the schools to which the question­
naire was sent were carefully selected so that the results
would incorporate a sampling of the currents of opinion from
every part of the Los Angeles school district.
Twenty-eight
elementary schools, twenty-nine junior high schools, and
thirty-four senior high schools were asked to participate in
the study.
The tabulated results incorporate the opinions
of twenty-five experienced teachers for each grade represent­
ed in the study.
Teachers from twenty elementary schools,
twenty-two junior high schools, and twenty-one senior high
schools participated in the study.
A detailed report of the findings from this question­
naire can be found in Chapter V.
General conclusions and recommendations are presented
in Chapter VI.
CHAPTER III
•REVIEW OF PERIODICAL LITERATURE
All articles published between January, 1935, and
March, 1940 which were listed under the topic of "Study" in
the Reader *s Guide to Periodical Literature or in the
Educational Index have been considered in preparing this
review of periodical literature.
The "Success1* referred to
where recommendations are made for study habits which result
in success, is an academic success.
The study techniques considered in this literature
are not limited to concern for the junior high school period
but deal generally with study from the fourth grade through
the college or university period.
One article deals with
the establishment of a correct background to be laid in the
early primary years, for study habits which should be ac1
quired in later grades;
Over forty different articles on some phase of study
have found their way into print during this five year period
This fact testifies to the interest in study techniques.
1 Ryan Dudley Dessalee, "Learning to Study in Early
Grades,11 Educational Method, 17:378-81, May, 1938.
I. CONTROVERSY OVER VALUE OR STUDY INSTRUCTION
Tlie absence of agreement, on the part of educational
authorities, as to the value of instruction in study
techniques, is apparent in the literature on the subject.
The ratio, based simply on the numbers of published articles
is about 10 to 1 in favor of teaching, pupils how to study.
In attempting to arrive at a solution to this problem on a
basis more defensible than sheer personal opinion, a good
many experiments have been made to determine the value of
such instruction.
Experiments resulting in a showing of value in
instruction. An experiment conducted at Miami University
questioned whether an emphasis on **how-to-learn1* would
affect the amount of learning,
(1) in the course where
S
applied, and (g) in other school work.
The conclusions
were that students who had been given instruction in study
techniques made more improvement both in the courses where
the instruction was applied and in other courses.
The
**evidence of improvement1* was the school marks given.
In an experiment to ascertain the value of instruct­
ion in study techniques applicable to the special field of
& R* W. Edmiston, **The Effects of Emphasizing *How
To Learn* Upon Knowledge of Course Content and School Marks,
Journal of Educational Psychology, 40:371-9 * January, 1940.
11
history it was concluded that "the instructed group showed
3
distinct growth over the uninstrueted group”.
4
Rachel Salisbury reports as her conclusion after exper­
imenting with instruction in the specific study techniques of
outlining that outlining, if thoroughly taught at the junior
high school level, will hring valuable dividends in improving
general scholarship in certain fields, also in reading and
5
in reasoning.
Another authority reports that bright, young,
and superior pupils have 17$ more of the habits listed by
6
authorities as good study habits than do other pupils.
A three-weeks how to study course given to college
freshmen who had been in the lowest quintile of high school
scholastic achievement resulted in materially lessening the
gap between the lowest quintile students and the more suceess7
ful students.
3 Hettie J. McKinnon and William H. Burton, "An Evalu­
ation of Certain Study'Procedures in History,11 Elementary
School Journal, 40:371-9, January, 1940.
4 Rachel Salisbury, "Some Effects of 'Training in Out­
lining," English Journal, (college edition), 24:111-116,
Fe brua r y , ’1935.
5 hoc* c it•
6 Hoel B. Cuff, "Study Habits in Grades Four to Twelve,"
Journal of Educational Psychology, 88:295-301, April, 1937.
7 Ruth E. Eckert and Edward S. Jones, "hong-Time
Effects of Training College Students How to Study," School
and Society;1 42:413-415, September 15, 1935.
IS
Experimenters who conducted a how to study course for
high school pupils found that they got definitely better
results from the trained pupils than from the control group
of random pupils.
The trained pupils made more units of
credit, with better grades, and fewer of them dropped out of
8
.
school.
S. Experiments resulting in a showing of minor or
negative value in instruction. Conclusions of other experi­
menters in the how to study field have been either that this
type of instruction was not needed, or that it was ineffect­
ive.
C. W* Seeder of Ohio State University reported that he
could find very little correlation between study habits and
scholastic success.
He concludes, " a study habit that means
success to one is evidently a means of failure to another.
The exact techniques that make for a successful study-habit
9
pattern remain pretty much unknown."
Another educator ex­
presses the view that, "A study habit may be good for some
10
though usually bad. "
.
8 Maj&ie Earle Wagner and Eunice Strable, "Teaching
High-School Pupils How To Study", School Research, 43: 57789, October, 1935.
9 C. W. Reeder, "Study Habits", School and Society,
42:413-415, September 21, 1935.
10 Hoel B. Cuff, ££. cit.
13
After a lengthy and exhaustive Investigation at
Stephen1s College, Columbia, Missouri, the investigator re­
ports the conclusion that assuming an adequate l;Q., successfull study is mainly a matter of attitudes.
Aside from a
few general and basic study principles such as advice as to
frequency and regularity, this investigator does not favor
f,how to study” courses on the grounds that they are not
adapted to individual differences*
He soms up,‘ thus:
(There are nine and sixty ways of constructing
tribal lays,
And every single one of them is right.1
11
Another investigator reported that, although he
approves of instruction in how to study courses, having found
that instructed students did better work, the improvement
resulting from the instruction gave little evidence of being
permanent.
Records made a year after the instruction ceased
showed only a slight margin in favor of the instructed
students*
Some small lasting improvement was apparent,
12
however, even by the end of senior year.
A study made in Minnesota results in the conclusion
11 Hoy Ivan Johnson, ”The Problem of 'How (To Study,”
School Review, 45:577-84, October, 1937*
12 R. W. Edminston, ”The Effects of Jftnphasizing 'How
To learn1 Upon Knowledge of Course Content And School Marks,”
Journal of Educational Psychology, 28:371-81, May, 1937.
14
that within any given small range of I.Q., there are little
material differences in average high school marks between
those who had different practices with respect to the study
13
techniques involved;
The apparent differences in study
methods are not of primary importance in making marks.
II. SUGGESTIONS FOE COURSES IN "HOW TO STUDY"
Need of knowledge of best techniques or practices in
the use of these techniques. In considering the organization
of "How To Study" courses it is essential to reach a con­
clusion as to whether the pupils already know what study
techniques are best but have not acquired the habit of using
them, or are they unaware of the existanee of good study
habits.
From test results Henry C. Mills of the University of
Buffalo concluded that,
apparently a course in how-to-study designed for
last year high school may assume on the part of aver­
age and superior students a fair knowledge of what
constitutes a good study technique.
The value of
how-to-study courses are that they give an opportunity
to turn knowledge into habit.
They bridge the gap
between theory and practice.
14
13 Harl R. Douglass and Harold C. Bauer, "The Study
Practices of Three Hundred Ninety Five High-School Pupils,"
Journal of Educational Psychology, 39:36-43, January, 1938.
14 Henry C. Mills, "What Do High School Pupils Khow
About How To Study?” Journal of Educational Research, 44;
184-93, March, 1936.
15
On the contrary, C, O* Matthews and Nora Toepfer, who
say, "Academic success Is largely dependent on the skill with
which a person handles the techniques of study,” found that
a test of knowledge of effective study showed that in only.
58fo of the situations was the hast alternatives solutions
(best according to authorities) known by these high school
pupils.
In 21 fo of the instances the best response was the
one usually employed.
In 17, 8$ of instances the pupils em­
ployed the procedure they think best.
From this they.con­
cluded that many principles of effective study were not used
by the high school pupils tested,
Good pupils used more of
16
the principles than the poor pupils did.
Faced with this uncertainty*— is teaching how to study
a matter .of acquainting pupils with the best techniques or so
directing their study that they form the habit of employing
the best techniques; one educator conducted two test groups.
One of these groups was operated on the direct method of
telling pupils how to study and teaching them how to apply
certain of the more technical techniques, such as outlining.
3?he other group, conducted by a more indirect method* consist­
ed chiefly in practice on certain techniques but the pupils
15 C, 0. Matthews and Nora foepfer, Comparison of
Principles and Practices of Study” , School Heview, 44: 18492, March, 1936.
-------------16 hoc, cit.
16
were not always aware that they were learning study habits*
The same techniques were stressed with both groups*
The re17
suits were slightly in favor of the indirect method only.
Most of the authorities have apparently acted on the
assumption that a combination of the two methods— direct in­
struction and instruction combined with provisions for habit
formation— would be most effective*
P a n e l s F. Powers feels
that, flStudents profit to a very limited extent from long
abstract discussions of study techniques."
Learning to study
is chiefly a matter of learning to read effectively which
implies a mastering of vocabulary difficulties.*
To this end
he finds formal grammar a valuable adjunct to effective study.
"Grammar is the skeleton of language and language is the medi18
um of thought*" There is also a disciplinary element in a
correct study technique*
This must come to be a self-dis-
eipline*
Strong Emphasis on Disciplinary Element*
of self-discipline is made by many authorities.
This point
To study
effectively one must want to learn sufficiently to exercise
17
Values of
Habits in
December*
J. L. Naden, "£n Experimental Study of the Relative
a Direct And an Indirect Method of Teaching Study
Science," School Science and Mathematics, 35: 970-6,
1935.
18 Francis F. Powers, "Observations on Teaching How To
Study," School Review, 46: 485-8, September, 1938.
self-discipline*
In the face of countless enticements to
fritter away time, the successful studier must have what it
takes to get at the task, and to keep at it.
Several writers
have concluded that self-discipline is the key to Success in
study;
In almost every discussion of study it was stressed
in one way or another,
That the most effective of all study-
aids is a complete desire to learn was mentioned ten times
in some thirty-five articles; and in eight more were the com­
mands; "Discipline yourself", "Ignore distractions", "Concen­
trate".
This feeling for the self-ooersion essential to
successful study also found expression in the injunction to
have a definite time for study, and when that time came to
allow nothing short of a genuine emergency to interfere.
Over and over the student is warned to "begin promptly",
and "get lessons done" before stopping.
This oft-repeated
conclusion was summed up by the assertion that success in a
scholastic life, always assuming a background of adequate
mentality, is more dependent on a "right attitude" than on
any other one thing;
Techniques of study are tools; they
are not self operating but must be applied
by one who wants
to use them if they are to be effective.
Skills.
Educational authorities are in considerable
agreement as to what general skills should be emphasized in
how to study courses.
Study involves; besides adequate
18
mental ability, a desire to learn, and conducive physical
surroundings;
(1) knowledge of sources, reference works, and
library facilities;
(2) ability, to apply the mind— to concen­
trate, to read, and to remember;
(3) ability to take careful
notes and to organize material into useful form;
(4) a digest­
ive process of thinking and comparing; and (5) the ability to
apply what has been learned to the solution of problems pre19
sehted in lessons or in life*
How to study courses are designed to open the way so
that students may acquire those abilities 3ust listed*
One
of these abilities— note-taking, and outlining— seems to be
acknowledged to be the particular responsibility of the
junior high school period.
Elementary pupils are considered
too immature to deal with the abstractions of the outline but
the mechanics of outlining can approach mastery with eighth
ZQ
grade pupils.
The same authority notes the carryover of
ability from one subject field to another when outlining has
been thoroughly taught. In the instance quoted the skill was
taught in a history class.
Teachers of both English and
science reported definite improvement in detailed and accurate
19 Doris Holt Flinton, "Bridging the Gap Between Second
ary School and College Methods of Study , n Education, 57: 6414, January, 1937..
20 Hettie J. McKinnon and William H. Barton, "An Eval­
uation of Certain Study Procedures in History," Elementary
School Journal, 40:371-9, January, 1940.
19
comprehension in reading, a greater freedom of expression,
more orderly organization of material, and marked improve­
ment in sentence construction, sequence of ideas, selection
21
of relevant material and exact statement of facts* JRachel
22
Salisbury, points to a particular improvement in the ability
to solve reasoning problems*
She attributes this to a trans­
fer of training, and concludes; flOutlining if thoroughly
taught at the Junior high school level will bring valuable
dividends in improved general scholarship in content subjects,
33
also reading and reasoning*"
Unsolved Problems*
There remain some basic problems
in the teaching of study which need further analysis.
authority has summed them under five headings*
One
(1) There is
need for investigation into the attitudes, interests, motives,
and purposes of children who are studying*
(2) Scientific
investigations should be undertaken to determine what types
of study, procedures, and what habits can be developed at
what age levels*
(3) There is need for a thoroughly analyzed
treatment of the skills needed for learning in each content
21 McKinnon, loc* cit.
22 Rachel Salisbury, "Some Effects of Training in
Outlining," English Journal,college edition, 24:111-116,
February, 19337
23 hoc, cit*
ao
field*
(4) Investigations should be made into the study
habits and integrated habit patterns of specific value in
study, and,
(5) An attempt should be made to determine what
;
34
can be done to teach perseverenee and concentration.
III. GOOD STUDY HABITS
Study and its Purpose.
Study is an "activity which
proceeds from the purpose of the student and is directed to35
ward the solution of a problem”. Indeed, one of the major
functions of a school is to furnish the student with an
environment favorable to the development of wholesome atti­
tudes toward intellectual tasks and advantageous habits of
36
mental work.
Children’s study has a two-fold purpose:
(1)
37
to acquire learning, and (3} to acquire good study habits.
Tally on Study Habits.
While there is indeed an amaz­
ing diversity of opinion as to what actually constitutes good
.study habits it soon becomes evident that seme items are being
stressed over and over again while others are mentioned only
occasionally.
A
tally was made on the educator’s recommend-
34 G. A. Yoakam, ’’The Improvement of Reading and Study
Habits,” Elementary School Journal, 26:175-84, November, 1935.
25 Ryan Dudley Dessalee, "Learning to Study in Early
Grades,” Educational Method, 17:378-81, May, 1938.
26 Doris Holt Flinton, "Bridging the Gap Between Second­
ary School and College Methods of Study,” Education, 57:641-4,
January, 1937.
87 Edwin H. Reeder, "Directing Children’s Study of
Geography,” Educational Method, 17:382-6, May, 1938.
21
ations and the study suggestions organized. Only those recommend­
ations which were made "by five or more authorities were re­
tained in the final tally, which is presented in Table I.*
on the following page.
Physical background for Study.
A place that one
associates with study, with adequate space, good light* and
a comfortable but work-suggesting chair is considered help­
ful to the student who is desiring to establish study habits;
This place should, if possible, be apart not only from the
other members of the family but from the student’s friends
and associates*
Time*
Would-be students are strongly urged by au­
thorities to work out a daily or a weekly time budget speci­
fying definite time for all the activities needed in a well
rounded life.
Time should be allotted, not only for work,
but for recreation, adequate sleep, meal times, etc.
Once
decided upon, the time allotted for study should be used for
study— which implies getting at the j o b on the dot, and .
keeping at it for the duration of the allotted time.
Materials.
All the materials needed for study--items
such as plenty of sharpened pencils, ink, dictionary, paper,
erasers* and maps^-should be collected before the study period
begins.
Getting up to get some needed study aid wastes time
TABLE I
-.TALLY -ON.STUiar HABITS. RECOMMENCED IN PERIODICALS'
Times
Re c ommended
Physical Conditions for Study
1.
2.
3.
4.
Have a definite place.
Have a definite time and begin promptly.
Select a favorable environment.
Have all needed materials athand
5
13
7
6
Attitudes
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Desire to learn.
Concentrate.
Study alone.
Expect to recall.
Co beyond minimum requirements
13
10
5
5
8
Study Activities
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
Get task clearly in mind.
Review previous work.
Skim first and reread slowly
Read charts, graphs, and tables.
Master each topic.
Take notes and use outlines.
Underline and annotate.
Write summaries.
Use study aids.
Recite immediately
Interpret work in some way.
9
9
18
5
b
9
12
6
5
9
1-8
General
1.
2.
3.
4.
Build vocabulary.
Master library skills.
Learn to memorize.
Use complete sentences.
12
11
5
7
23
in addition to breaking the continuity of thought.
Attitudes^
On this point there is both extraordinary
agreement and emphatic emphasis— nthe most effective of all
study aids is a desire to learn11.
Agreeing that a desire to
learn is half the battle, the student is further commanded to
exercise self discipline in the matter of keeping to a study
schedule, ignoring distractions, and perservering at a task
until mastery results.
Study, the experts agree, is an individual matter, to
be undertaken in physical solitude if possible, certainly in
complete intellectual independence.
A matter of attitude stressed by the authorities, in
addition to beginning with the desire to learn* and studying
alone with regularity and concentration, is to study with the
expectation of recalling the material studied.
Authorities
also advise the students to be generous in preparation.
Successful students, more often than not, form the habit of
voluntarily exceeding the minimum requirements.
Study Activities.
What does a student actually do
when, in desirable physical surroundings and with impeccable
attitude, he sits down to study?
a clear idea of M s
He should begin by getting
immediate task in mind,
The second step
is to make a brief review of previous work and consider how
the new assignment ties in with the whole subject.
These
B4
might he called the preparatory steps.
He should hegin the
mastery of the new material by reading over the whole assign­
ment rapidly once, and then go hack and reread it slowly and
in detail*
If there are questions to answer or study-aids for
use, this is the time to attack them;
If none are specified
in the assignment it is wise to take a few clear notes, work
out a brief outline, or annotate the important points*
In
this matter of re-reading, authorities stress master of the
meaning of all charts, graphs, or illustrations included in
the material.
Each topic should he mastered before leaving
it.
Hesitation.
Considering the processes described above
as study the student is warned and rewarned that the essential
next step is some form of recitation.
This self-recitation
should come immediately after study and may take any one of
a myriad of forms.
The important thing is to so cover the
points studied as to clinch them.
devices suggested are,
Simple and to-the-point
(1) list the important points covered
with a hrief hut complete statement for each,
(8) write a
short concise summary of each topic, or (3) write a set of
questions to cover all.the important points.
Mental Synthesis.
Study, after all, is for the purpose
of bringing about some mental change.
Before material that
has been studied and factually mastered can he incorporated
S5
into the mental’make-up of the student it must he digested
and absorbed, without which the whole goal of education is
thwarted.
Mo other part of the study* process has so baffled
educators.
The mental digestive process is a piece of mental
synthesis, undoubtedly a part of the comprehension complex.
But how to assure the transformation?
Many authorities,
feeling that no matter how devoutly-to-be-wished-for this
final step in comprehension is, its achievement is pretty
much a matter of mystery, perhaps best left on the laps of
the gods.
Others, less confident of the salutary effect of
a chance technique, feel that something definite should be
done to at least give the mind a shove in the right direction.
Their advice is that the student should postulate and work
out individual examples to Illustrate the rules and princi­
ples learned; or should in some other way interpret the work
done.
Listing of likenesses and differences, comparisons,
and analysis of cause and effect were advised as aids to the
interpretation of the materials learned*
He ca pi tula t i onw
The students of a freshman Orientat­
ion class at the Anaheim Union High School, Orange County,
California, have compiled a set of five rules for study which
represents an excellent recapitulation of current thought on
how to study.
Their rules are:
86
1. Pat year self in a right condition for study;
2. Consider titles, and ask 1Twhat shall I learn?!f
3. Read rapidly once*
4. Read slowly once.
5. Do something about it.
The studentTs list of 11suggestions” under the rule to
1fdo something about it” include taking notes, listing import­
ant facts, discussing the lesson with someone else, making an
outline, looking up something interesting about it, writing
28
a summary, and, writing a set of questions about it.
IV. GERERAL
rotes
Textbook and Library Aids.
or
study
A skillful use of the
library is an essential prerequisite to academic success.
The student should be acquainted with the library set-up;
should know how to use such aids as the card catalogue, and
Reader *s Guide To Periodical Literature; and should know the
shelving system so that desired books may be located on the
shelf without depending on a librarian every step of the way.
It is necessary also to be familiar with the make-up of text-
28 Royal C. Marten, ”Tools of Study,” Sierra Education­
al Dews, 35:28, March, 1939.
a?
books.
The student should have free access, not only to the
table of contents and the index, but, also to the* preface,
appendix, and footnotes.
He should also be so well acquainted
with the standard reference works that he will turn to them
freely and frequently.
Both educational authorities and
successful students agree that a mastery of library skills
is an essential tool for successful study.
A further behest
to the would-be successful student— handmaiden of the in­
junction to be generous in preparation— is to do collateral
reading.
The good student does collateral reading in liberal
amount whether or not such reading is required.
Vocabulary.
The pupil who would study successfully would
pay particular attention to the problem of building his vocab­
ulary.
He should be alert to catch the unfamiliar term
whether used in lectures, or conversations, or found in print.
Ho means of getting at the meaning of new words should be
scorned by the student.
He should make the habit of showing
curiosity about words— frank inquiry is often the quickest
way to get at the peculiar connotation of a word.
The diction­
ary habit should be established firmly, and at as early an
age as possible.
Educators also strongly urge students to
train themselves to attempt to deduce the meaning of new
words by noting how the Word is used in context.
This practice
is essential when dictionary aid is resorted to for otherwise
£8
there can be no assurance that the meaning selected from a
possible several will bear any relation to the meaning the
author intended.
The use of diacritical markings as an aid
to correct pronunciation should be familiar to the student.
Memorization.
This is an intregal part of study and
the pupil will need some facility in this art.
He should
experiment to find what memorization technique is most effi­
cient for him.
Educators are not in agreement as to the
merits of various memorization proeeedures.
It seems probable
that individual differences provide a variable which makes
it extremely difficult to apply standard measuring to this
skill.
Upon two things educators are agreed:
one, the
ability to memorize increases under practice; and, two, some
kind of logical association is an efficient memorization aid
for many people.
Complete Sentences.
By far the greater number of
successful students report that they habitually write complete
sentences when taking notes, or writing summaries or outlines**
Educators agree that this is a particularly valuable practice
as it tends to compel clear and logical thinking.
CHAPTER
IT
BOOKS AHD BOOK REVIEWS
This chapter consists of twelve critical book reviews.
All books published on study or study-techniques -which were
given favorable reports by educational journals were consider
ed in making the selection of books to be reviewed here.
The
books finally selected were those which this investigator
believed to be the most instructive for the purpose of this
study.
1
Study Activities in Secondary Schools. This
is a comprehensive treatise on the educative process, with
special emphasis on the theory of education which tends to
shift responsibility more and more upon the pupil himself.
It is designed, not for pupils, but for teachers and admini­
strators; and would make an excellent broad general text for
a general methods course centered around the notion that the
school must make its pupils self-directing, self-initiating,
.
2
and self-reliant.
”Study” is defined as 11the concentration of attention
1 W. G. Brink, Directing Studs?- Activities.in Secon­
dary Schools. (Hew YorW: Doubleday, Doran and Co.~T93TJ 738 pp.
2 A. H. Lass, Review of ”W. G. Brink, Directing Study
Activities in the Secondary School” , High Points, 21:76,
March, 1939.
"
30
upon a series of activities for the purpose of satisfying a
3
felt need." Education is conceived of as a cooperative en­
terprise with the teacher regarded as a director of study,
who, as such, must possess an intimate knowledge of both the
teaching and learning process if he is to discharge his func­
tion with the skill that society expects of him.
Part I of this volume deals fully and concretely with
the illustration and application of the principles underlying
4
the whole mysterious matter we call learning.
Part II treats with the integration of the instruct­
ional program around educational guidance.
Especial attention
is given to the library, and the part the librarian plays in
developing effective study habits.
Teachers in the special
fields of English, social studies, foreign languages, science,
mathematics, the fine arts, and practical arts will find much
valuable material here, indicating at great length how they
can best guide student activities.
Part III presents a discussion of integration.
This
portion of the book is particularly note-worthy for its
attempt to show how techniques can be taught and objectives
gained.
This honest try at the synchronization of the philo-
3 W. G-. Brink, Ibid, p. 11
4 A. H. Lass, Ibid, p. 76.
31
sophie and scientific aspects of education gives the book a
5
rare quality.
The whole book is devoid of stuffiness or pretension,
realistic in outlook, and acutely aware of the difficulties
of the classroom teacher in attempting to be at once, guide,
6
model, and inspiration.
7
Studentys Guide to Efficient Study
is a very useful
manual which, while designed primarily for the use of college
students, would be equally valuable in the hands of a high
school student who was sufficiently mature to take an independ­
ent interest in developing efficient study habits.
After interviewing and observing college students, good,
poor, and ordinary, the authors, two women professors, have
8
codified the usages of the successful workers.
They have
put these into simple positive terms with the psychological
principles made clear.
This is no nstudy made easyfl; it is
5 J. J. Pugh, Review of flW. G. Brink, Directing Study
Activities in the Secondary Schools/1 Educational Research
Bulletin, 18:37, January* 1937.
6 Lass, op. cit.
7 Luella Cole and Jessie Mary Ferguson, Studentfs Guide
Efficient Study, (New York: Farrar and Rinehart,' Inc. 1935)
^8 pp.
8 Loe. cif
3a
instead a rigorous prescription-— with the implication that
the student who is not practicing good mental habits is a
9
fat-head and ought to cure himself.
The authors advise the
student to check:, on their list-, the rules they violate, with
a double check against the three or four they neglect most
conspicuously— and then drive hard at retraining themselves,
This is a stimulating little book, at once encourag­
ing and practical.
The student who sticks to the directions
is assured of the delightful experience, as he marks off the
bad practices which have practically disappeared, of a deep
satisfaction in feeling that he has so sharpened the edge of
his mind that it will cut clearly into any new problem that
comes along.
The thirty-four rules for effective study are in the
form of positive directions, arranged under appropriate
chapter headings.
Chapter I
PLASHING YOUR WORK
Rule
1: Make a schedule and stick to it.
Rule
2: Develop a good study environment.
Rule
3; D o n ft attempt too many kinds of activity.
Rule
4: D o n ’t loaf on your job.
9 W. McAndrew, "Student’s Guide to Efficient Study,11
Book Review.
School and Society, 42:484-5, October 5, 1935.
03
Chapter II
M A R K I N G TO CONCENTRATE
Rule 1:
Start studying the minute you sit down at
your desk.
Rule 3:
If your mind continually wanders stop and
analyze yourself to find out why.
Rule 3:
Find an interest in every subject you take.
Chapter III
READING AND STUDYING
Rule 1:
Make a preliminary survey before reading a
chapter in detail.
Rule B:
Notice carefully the type in which (text­
book) headings are printed.
Rule 3:
Do not skip graphs, drawings, or tables.
Rule 4:
Watch carefully for technical words and be
sure you know their meaning.
Rule
After you have made a preliminary survey
and you have read your lesson carefully
once, recite to yourself to see how much
you remember.
Chapter IV NOTE TAKING
Rule 1:
-Rule 2:
Rule 3:
Chapter V
Rule 1:
Rule 3:
Rule 3:
Use an outline form for all notes.
Do not copy the words of an author and do
not try to write down the words of the in­
structor in class.
Keep the notes on one subject together.
REVIEV/S AND EXAMINATIONS
Set aside one hour each week for each sub­
ject for review.
Review selectively (work on items not
clearly understood, or forgotten).
Do not sit up late during examination v/eek.
34
Rule 4:
At tlie examination hour remember to read all
the questions before "writing on any.
Rule 5:
At the examination hour remember to write
legibly, and to outline your answers before
you begin to write.
Glia pter VI
MEMORIZING
Rule 1:
ho not memorize whatever is more efficiently
learned by association.
Rule 3:
Don’t be afraid of learning word-for-word,
whatever is more efficiently learned this
way.
Rule 3:
If you feel that certain subject matter
should be memorized, do not try to do it
all at one time.
Rule 4:
If the material to be memorized is to be
used later as a unit, learn it as a unit;
if it is to be used later as separate
elements, do not learn it as a unit.
Rule 5:
D o n ’t use artificial memory devices.
Chapter VII
DEVELOPING CORRECT GENERAL HABITS
Rule 1:
Analyze your work for your particular
difficulties.
Rule 3:
Apply everything you learn as early and as
often as possible.
Rule 3:
When in class pay keen attention to what is
going on.
Rule 4:
Co-operate with your teachers.
Glia pter VIII 'PREVIOUS PREPARATION
Rule 1:
It is desirable to check your entire prep­
aration either before you enter college or
immediately after your entrance.
Rule 3:
Be sure you read fast enough and well enough
to keep up with your assignments.
35
Bale 3:
Be sure you know enough elementary school
arithmetic and simple algebra to solve
problems in; the sciences.
Buie 4:
Be sure‘your technical vocabulary is
adequate.
Buie 5:
Be sure you can produce legible handwriting
rapidly. .
Rule 6: • Be sure you have mastered the elementary
skills in English composition.
10
Studying Efficiently is aptly keynoted by the following
quotation by Robert M. Hutchins, which stands, unsupported
by comment, as the foreword to this book.
A University is a community of scholars.
It is
not a kindergarten; it is not a club; it is not a
. reform school; it is not a political party; it is
not an agency of propaganda.
A University is a
community of scholars.
Studying Efficiently is presented as a practical manual
for college students, and indeed would be helpful for any fair-
11
ly mature and intelligent seeker after academic learning.
There are chapters on orientation to college work, planning a
work schedule, reading effectively, note-taking and the use
of notes* attention and concentration, learning and memorizing,
examinations, and grades, and the motivated effort and .educat­
ional values.
The chapters on planning a work schedule, and
K)
L. Crawley, Studying Efficiently,
Prentiee-Hall, inc. , 1936)’ 95 pp/
(Hew York:
11 W. Me Andrews, "Crav/ley, S* L. , 1Studying Efficient1y ,,,» School and Society, 44: £5, July 1, 1936.
36
attention and concentration are especially fine.
The chapter
on memorizing contains some worthwhile comments.
Throughout
the hook, the learner is encouraged to keep those little per­
sonal bents which have developed a significance for him in
IE
successful study.
13
Directing Learning. In the first paragraph of the pre­
face the authors say:
nAmong
the possible products of the
classroom the ability to continue to learn effectively through­
out life is frankly regarded in this book as the most import­
ant. ff Throughout the book the author’s purpose to engender
study skills, procedures and attitudes which will function all
through life, as well as in ’’getting lessons” is clearly in­
dicated.
This book is written for teachers, administrators
and supervisors, and is intended for use by teachers in train­
ing or in service.
Emphasis is placed on learning in the
junior high school.
The book is divided into three parts.
Part I deals
with the processes of learning and study, and was probably
14
written by Ragsdale.
This part presents the psychology of
learning, including comments on motivation, and a refreshing
12 Crawley, op. cit. , p. vii.
13 Robert W. Frederick, Clarence E. Ragsdale, and
Rachel Salisbury, Directing Learning, (New York: D. AppletonCentury Co. Inc. 1938), xvi a n d .527 pp.
Review,
14 R. T. Gregg, Review of ’’Directing Learning,” School
47:228-9, March, 1939.
37
insistence on tlie, transfer of learning,
The emphasis is on
principles *rather than devices.
It is psychologically sound
15
and progressive.
There are chapters on directing the edu­
cational process, nature of study and learning, conditions
of learning, motivation of learning, study, and performance,
efficiency and study, and utility of the products of learning.
16
Part II, probably written by Frederick,
school and direction of study.
±s
on -^he
It has critical chapters on
recitation, and various administrative plans for the direction
of study.
The unit laboratory plan of instruction is suggest­
ed for ideational subjects, and the self directive practice
plan for operative subjects.
The chapter on the initiation
of a program of directed study should be helpful to a princi­
pal who wished to introduce such work.
Part III, ifhich takes up some two-fifths of the book,
17
and was probably written by Salisbury,
is directed to the
classroom teacher and is the best part of the book.
It is"
called directing Study in the Class-room” , and deals with
various study techniques, giving, valuable suggestions for the
practical teacher!
It is most useful as a reference on
15 Gregg, loc. cit.
I«oc. cit.
17 Loc. cit.
38
18
methods of teaching.
The book as a whole attempts to do four things.,
(1)
show the place and importance of study and learning power in
the total school program,
ing process,
(2) describe the nature of the learn'
(3) outline and illustrate directed learning,
with special reference to the development of independent
learning power, and (4) indicate procedures which will assistpupils and teachers to work satisfactorily.
The emphasis is
upon the processes of problem-solving thinking; and the bold
plea for training in the generalized attitudes and skills of
thinking, and the insistence that these, elements of thinking
are transferable when properly taught are distinctly refresh19
ing.
How To Study Handbook.
20
The How To Study Handbook is
written from the standpoint of the pupil and in a style ad­
mirably adapted to the junior high school.
The book is well
suited for use any place from grade Y to grade XII,
uses are:
Suggested
a textbook in courses on how to study, the basis
for the f,Home Roomn program, background for part of an orien-
18 Walter S. Monroe, Review of "Directing Learning,"
Journal of Educational Research, 32:538-9, March, 1939.
19 Frederick, loc. cit. , p. viii.
20 Robert If. Frederick, How To Study Handbook, with
editorial assistance of William"l[7 Bur Yon (Hew York': D.
Appleton-Century Co., 1938), 442 pp.
39
tation program, a basis for guidance -work, or as a reference
for pupils.
Well suited to any of tbe above, the book would
be of very great value to the regular subject teacher from
day to day.
There are two challenging introductions.
One for the
teacher gives the purpose of the book and suggestions for u s ­
ing it, and one for the student emphasizes the importance of
21
good study habits.
-
Study helps are given on a wide variety
of subjects under the general topics of reading, listening,
using libraries, writing, outlining, meeting examinations,
thinking, and concentrating.
Each discussion is followed by
suggestions of activities in which pupils may engage.
The
book contains an unusual amount of illustrative material such
as graphs, maps, sample pages from reference books, cartoons,
and figures.
Outlines are used frequently and each topic is
22
subdivided to facilitate quick reference.
A detailed index,
and a "self-scoring studentship scale" are included in the
make up.
The author has adapted the book for use in either
a conventional sehool situation, or in a progressive school
where activities are emphasized.
21 William G. Brink, "A Manual of Study for Pupils,"
The School Review, 46:710-11, Hovember, 1938.
22 Loc. cit.
40
Scholastic success depends, according to Frederick, on
S3
ability, effort, and efficient methods of work.
The Handbook
treats of the latter topic, and i s f r a n k l y addressed to the
student who already possesses a reasonable amount of the
first, and is willing to put forth adequate quantities of the
second.
The fact that effective study habits are developed
through long continued practice is emphasized throughout the
book.
Every abstract principle is followed by explicit direct­
ions for utilization by pupils in real study situations.
S4
How To Study. In the preface of this book the author
makes the flat statement:
uThis book on how to study sets
forth the best methods of study.rT He backs up his assertion
by explaining that the prineipleslisted have been culled from
a much larger number, have been tried out experimentally,
and have proved their worth.
The book is divided into four chapters— Why Study?
How to Study, Reading, and Studying the Various Subjects.
The heart of the book is*ccntained in the last of these which
is the longest (43 out of 97 pages), and the most important.
53 Dewey B. Stuit, Educational Abstract, S:796.
54 A. M. dordon, How To Study, (Boston: The Christ­
opher Publishing House, 193677 97' pp.
41
In it detailed instructions are given for attaching lessons in
English, foreign languages (Latin and French), social studies,
mathematics (algebra and geometry), and science.
25
The Childrens Book On How To Use Books And Libraries.
In these days when wide departures are made from the use of
one textbook for each subject, an intelligent use of books
26
and libraries is not only a desirable but a necessary ability.
Teachers and librarians who are concerned with the systematic
training of children in the use of books and libraries will
find this a valuable aid.
to VIII.
It is adapted to use in grades IV
The text is well planned and organized with clear
phrasing, easy vocabulary, and with plentiful and apt illus27
trations.
Lessons on the care of books; tables of contents;
maps; how to make a bibliography; use of such aids as encycl­
opedias, indexes, dictionaries, and atlases; and a short dis­
cussion of the Dewey Decimal System of Classification are in­
cluded*
Pictures of the cartoon-type made by the children of
the William Land Elementary School, Sacramento, California,
where the material was tried out before publication; lend
25 Carolyn Mott, and Leo B. Baisden, The C h i l dre n s
Book On How To Use Books and Libraries,
(Hew York':" Charles
Scribner Ts Sons, 1937 ) £Q7~pp.
26 Educational Abstract, 2:361.
27 Ruth E. Seeger, tfThe Children’s Book On How To Use
Books and Libraries,’1 A review, Educational Research Bulletin
18:86-7, March, 1937.
42
interest and visual reinforcement to the ideas presented in
28
the text.
An inexpensive practice hook, ftThe Childrenfs
Library Lesson Book,” is available for use with this text.
29
Effectively. Students just entering upon
^
their college careers were in the mind of the .author of this
study manual, and it was prepared primarily for their benefit.
Those who come to college with a real desire, to succeed in the
new experience, and who, in spite of their expectations, fail;
generally do so, according to Parr, because they do not know
how to study.
In setting up a how-to-study program three
major objectives were stressed;
toward oneTs work;
(1) proper and healthy attitudes
(2) intelligent understanding of the princi­
ples and techniques of learning and studying; and (3) desirable
habits and a high degree of' skill in the performance of learn­
ing activities.
This manual was built out of activities select­
ed in the belief that they would insure the realization of the
above goals.
The manual is organized into ten units, presented in
the following order:
getting the right start, investing time
wisely, increasing reading efficiency, building a vocabulary,
28 Evangeline. Colburn, f,The Children’s Book On How To
Use Books and Libraries,11 A review, Elementary School Journal,
39:314-15, December, 1938.
29 Prank W. Parr, How To Study Effectively (Hew York:
Prentice-Hall, Inc. 1938) pp xv and 2337
43
learning to concentrate, preparing assignments; making good
notes, using the library, preparing reports, and preparing
for and taking examinations.
or divisions:
Each unit contains four sections
(1) a list of purposes showing what value should
"be derived from the unit;
(2) a selected list of references
in which the student is to find the information needed in
filling out the study outline;
(3) a study outline; and (4)
an assignment to he prepared and handed in to the instructor,
The. manual is a combination of a syllabus and a work-book,
with a detailed progress record section,
30
Learning'How To Learn has a different approach to the
problem of training young people of school age in the art of
learning.
Outlined on the basic assumption that good funda­
mental habit formation plus an ability to read well will equal
the ability to learn effectively the authors have worked out
the strategy of training in all of these abilities as part of
the regular English course.
especially stressed are:
The habits they believe should be
(1) concentrating,
broader relations among facts,
(2) grasping.the
(3) selecting items relevant
to onefs purpose, and (4) reflecting upon new facts in the
light of all that one has previously learned.
30 Walter B. Pitkin, Harold C. Newton, and Olive P.
Langham, Learning How To Learn, (Hew York and London: McGrawHill Book Company, Inc. 1935) pp vii and 194.
44
The authors are of the opinion that young Americans
are notoriously undertrained in this respect;
llAmong them,
learning is not a lost art; it is an art that has never been
31
found. n
The hook is divided into six units; one each de­
voted to self-understanding, systematized living, interests,
self-mastery, efficiency in reading, and o n e ’s vocational
goal.
Each unit is followed by experiments which should, if
done, clarify the basic principles and clear the way to further
practice.
The text is addressed to the student, and is in
very simple vocabulary.
Used as the authors intended, it
should be very helpful to any secondary school pupil.
32
Independent Study At Stanford.
Early in 1931 funds
were placed at the disposal of Stanford University by the
General Education Board for development of independent study
in Lower Division courses.
The University Committee on the
Independent Study Plan, which had guided the development of
Independent Study,in the Upper Division since 1925 were asked
to supervise.
The work was begun in the fields of English and the
31 Ibid,' p ,v.
33 Edgar Eugene Robinson, Independent Study at Stanford,
Independent Study in the Lower Division at Sta"nford-TJniVersity
(Stanford University: Stanford University Press and London:
Humphrey Milford Oxford University Press. 1937) pp 90.
‘45
Social Sciences.
Each department developed independent work
in its own way.
The plan was designed for superior students only, how­
ever the discovery of the superior students proved to he far
less simple than the faculties of the various departments had
34
at first assumed it would he.
The instructing staff generally
share the view that the promising student can he detected hest
in regular class work.
The selection of students privileged
to participate in the plan was based on aptitude, record, in­
terest, character, and maturity.
Vigilance on the part of the *
part of the instructor "in detecting that flicker of interest
which may he developed into an abiding intellectual curiousity"
35
is an important element in the selection.
The aim of the Independent Study plan has been and is
to stimulate superior students to do more and better work than
they would do otherwise.
are emphasized.
Heading, writing, and oral expression
The reading involves the intelligent and
purposeful use of books, and includes the critical comparison
of books, and reading books in their entirety.
The writing
33 W. A. Stumpf, Independent Study In The lower Division
At Stanford University. UA review. Bdu'catiohaI"Tbstract &: 54~7
34 H; F. Fletcher, "Independent Study in lower Division
At Stanford University," A review. Journal of Higher Education,
9: 466-7, Hovember, 1938.
35 Stumpf, ^oc. cit.
46
becomes the direct reaction of students to facts and ideas
encountered in reading.
dividual sort.
It is critical writing of an in­
Oral presentation of ideas is encouraged in
small selective group discussions.-
The plan is essentially
an individual curriculum, with each student working with a
special faculty advisor who functions as a tutor. The course
culminates in a comprehensive examination.
In considering results of the plan, records and opin­
ions of .the participating students, and the opinions of their
instructors are presented as evidence.
The primary effect of
independent study has been greatly increased activity.
In­
structors believe these students do from two to five times as
much reading, and a greatly Increased amount of writing and
discussion.
All of these activities are carried on on a plain
markedly superior to the standards of the average university
student.
In the opinion of the instructors, characteristic
results of the plan are:
more rapid and individual growth,
greater intellectual maturity, more sustained interest, more
acute awareness of-the significance of the subject, and a
greater skill in the management of time.
The students reports emphasize the personal benefits
gained from closer contact with instructors, the development
of initiative, the advantages of a small selective discussion
group, and their enlarged acquaintance with books.
the source of not only facts but ideas.
Books are
Both students and
instructors feel that reading hooks in their entirety is the
basis for much of this change in opinion.
The students put
much stress on the fact that in regular class, or tinder in­
dependent study, there is no substitute for a good teacher.
26
Best Methods of Study
is a brief summary of study
suggestions immediately applicable to the needs of the college
freshman or high school senior.
The points that need greatest
emphasis in answering the student*s questions, fJ$?hat shall I
do?” , and ,?H o w .shall I do it?” , are presented.
The authors
state that the book could be used either as a text for a sy­
stematic course, or as a reference book, applicable to any of
the various regular courses.
There are chapters on efficiency;
reading; (anc|)underlining; note-taking; outlining, reviewing;
writing; the library and use of reference books; studying
English; minimum essentials of punctuation; studying the fine
arts; studying foreign languages; studying mathematics; study­
ing philosophy, religion, and psychology; studying the social
sciences; interpreting visual aids; and, concluding hints*
The purpose of aspiring to better methods of study is
to improve in efficiency.
The authors of this book hold that
the chief reasons for inefficiency in learning are carelessness
26 Samuel Smith, and Arthur W. Littlefield; with special
sections by Louis Shores and A. C. Jordon. (Hew York: Barnes
and Hoble, Inc., 1938) pp 132.
48
and ineffective habits of study.
Investigations have shown
that students can save from one-fourth to one-third of their
time if they systematize their efforts in accordance v/ith the
principles of learning.
proper study methods.
Speed is not the only advantage of
Effective methods help the student to
understand and remember what he is studying.
'The case for
37
efficiency is presented in a quotation from Harrison Emerson.
—
To be strenuous is to put forth greater effort; to
be efficient is to put forth less effort . . .Efficiency
brings about greater results with lessened 'efforts;
strenuousness brings forth greater results with ab­
normally greater effort.
38
This book is ^ust what it represents itself to be--a brief
summary of the high points.
It would be an inspiring and
helpful volume in the-hands of a mature and intelligent student.
The immature and unintelligent will need other guidance.
chapter opens with a pertinent inspirational quotation.
Each
A
definite purpose and goal is established at the beginning of
each new field— in this case, each new chapter'.
The very best
teachers establish such goals, but the student often has
suffered through several semesters of a "required subject"
before he finds a recognizable and personally acceptable goal.
The final chapter, on "Hints", takesa broad view and
37 Harrison Emerson, The Twelve Principles of Efficiency.
(Hew York: McGraw-Hill Book CJompahy]
38 Locw cit.
49
gives timely and practical hints for the student who must econ­
omize hut who-honestly desires to get the most out of his ed­
ucation.
The graduating college senior has discovered many
of these things for himself; the graduating high school senior
needs the information and seldom has access to it.
The key­
note of the entire hook; and particularly the concluding
chapter is:
"You must not only prepare to earn a living;
you must also live a life”.
39
Directing Study Of High School Pupils.
Pew teachers
today would deny that learning is an active process, or that
the pupils learning is proportionate to his active participat40
ation in that process.
In theory this doctrine has received
universal acceptance, yet an examination of instructional pro­
cedures in high schools of today reveal that although this
doctrine receives devout lip service, there are occasions
where it is executed with hut feehle indifference.
Under an
instructional plan of pupil participation the teacher becomes
a directer and planner who must provide guidance in study tech­
niques as well as in a choice of subject matter.
The pupil
39 M. U. Woodring, and C. W. Flemming Directing Study
Of High School Pupils (Hew York: Bureau of Publications ,
Teachers College, Columbia University. 1935. A reprint of
articles from Teachers College Records. Revised and enlarged
edition. } pp vi plus 253.
40 A. H. lass, Review of "Woodring, M. H. and Flemming,
C. W . , Directing Study of High School Pupils" High Points,
17: 69-71, Ifovemher, 1935.
50
rightly becomes the focal point— his attitudes, his diffi­
culties, and his problems, are as much a part of the teacherfs
job as the subject matter itself.
The teacher must be pre­
pared to help the student develop the skills, habits, and
attitudes which will enable him to function on a higher, more
41
conscious plane of personal and social efficiency.
Articles from Teachers College Record (Columbia
University) from 1928 to 1935, reprinted, with brief addition­
al notes, make up this monograph.
Unpretentiously issued,
and making no extravagant claims, this book has brought to­
gether a bibliography of study techniques and devices from
1917 to 1935, in addition to a thorough and sensible disaussion of the whole problem.
Those who want to made education
mean more to both student and teacher will find this volume
42
a mine of practical,'useful, and useable devices.
The book is divided into twelve chapters, of which
three (2, 6, and 11) are selected and annotated bibliographies.
The first of the three, 28 pages in length, covers the studies
up to 1928.
The second, of 18 pages, summarizes the litera­
ture from 1928 to 1932; and the third, covering 18 pages,
carries the bibliography to 1935.
41 Lass, loo. clt.
42 Loc. cit.
Chapter 1 presents an
51
analysis of problems in supervised study listed by two hundred
and thirty teachers engaged in junior high and senior high
instruction.
The problems arise.from inadequate knowledge or
skill on the part of the teacher, and from conditions which
directly affect the study activities of the pupil; e g . , home
conditions, physical conditions, capacity, attitudes and
interests.
Chapter three is a survey of studies to 1928
of methods and habits of study, and the use of study techniques.
A growing feeling is evident that attention must be given to
determining what procedures are applicable to all school sub­
jects, and what are peculiar to different subjects.
Chapter
four enlarges upon the fact that study Responses are a type
of learning activity, and that each is made up of different
processes and requires skillful guidance and adequate practice.
Chapter five emphasizes the place of reading as a study skill
common to all subjects.
Chapter seven, develops the thesis
that the assignment is the crux of the study problem on the
high school level, and proposes turning classrooms into study
laboratories.
Chapter eight is devoted to the school library.
Chapter nine discusses the beneficial results of remedial
instruction.
Chapter ten presents some of the more important
43 Educational Abstract 1:233.
( review of Woodring
and Flemming, Directing Study.Of High School Pupils)
5a
principles underlying the use of the interviewing method in
improving study.
Chapter twelve reviews some of the factors
in study which have received especial attention during recent
years.
44 Educational Abstract, loc. cit.
CHAPTER V
RESULTS OF IHVESTIGATIOH
The questionnaire technique was used in making this
investigation.
A questionnaire was compiled which asked for
teacherfs opinions as to whether or not the majority of pupils
on entering, and again on leaving, a specified grade evidenced
a satisfactory degree of skill in regard to thirty specific
study skills.
Teachers were also asked to indicate, in
respect to each of said skills, whether or not, in the grade
under consideration, instruction was given; and if so, whether
it was of an incidental or specific character.
Questionnaires were sent to teachers of English and
Social Studies in grades seven, eight, nine, and ten; and to
sixth grade classroom teachers; in schools carefully selected
so that the results would represent a sample of the currents
of opinion from every part of the Los Angeles city school
system, and from schools in every type of community represent­
ed in the Los Angeles city school system.
The results on each
item represent the opinion of twenty-five experienced teachers,
each of whom, at the time the opinion was expressed, was en­
gaged in teaching the grade about which the opinion was ex­
pressed*
In general the questionnaires were tabulated as they
54
were returned.
The first twenty-five, for each grade under
consideration were recorded in full except for such items as
had either been omitted, dr for which the response was not
clear.
Thereafter only such responses were incorporated as
were needed to insure twenty-five opinions for each item;
Teachers of the sixth grade were asked to report only upon
their opinion of the skills of pupils on finishing the sixth
grade; and teachers of tenth grade classes were asked for an
opinion of the skills of pupils beginning tenth grade.
Teachers of the seventh grade", eighth, and ninth grades were
asked to express an opinion of the skills of classes both on
entering, and on leaving* the grade;
All teachers were asked
to indicate, as for each of the thirty study skills, whether
any instruction was given in the grade for which they were
responding* and if so, whether it was intensive or only in­
cidental instruction.
I. SKILL m
USE OF TEXTBOOKS
Items 1 to 7 deal with skills in the use of textbooks.
The teacher’s responses are presented In Table II on the
following page.
The results of each item will be discussed
separately, with a general summary at the end of the section.
Use of the Index/
as follows:
Teachers reported their opinions
One teacher said that on leaving the sixth grade
55
TABLE II
FREQUENCY DISTRIBUTION OF TEACHER RESPONSES
REGARDING PUPIL SKILL IN THE USE OF TEXTBOOKS
Do the majority. of your
pupil's evidence an ac6th
quaintancy with and a
satisfactory skill in
* 1.
the use of:
7th
6«
8th
1.
e•
9th
1.
e•
10th
1.
e
a . Never
b. Seldom
c • Usually
0
1
24
0
10
15
0
1
24
1
8
16
0
2
23
2
5
18
0
1
24'
1
10
14
2. The
a. Never
Table of b. Seldom
Contents? c • Usually
0
1
24
4
7
14
0
4
21
0
12
13
0
2
23
1
5
19
0
2
23
1
8
16
3* The Ap­
pendix?
a. Never
b. Seldom
c • Usually
.2
9
14
9
14
2
2
11
12
8
11
6
3
11
11
2
13
10
1
7
17
4
18
3
4 • The
Preface?
a • Never
b • Seldom
c. Usually
3
14
8
8
12
5
2
11
12
10
11
4
2
9
14
6
13
6
0
10
15
3
20
2
5. Topic
a • Never
Headings? b. Seldom
c • Usually
0
3
22
3
17
5
0
6
19
1
16
8
0
5
20
1
9
15
0
1
24
2
13
10
6. Foot­
notes?
a. Never
b • Seldom
c • Usually
5
10
10
5
18
2
1
12
12
5
17
3
2
10
13
3
13
9
1
5
18
1
21
3
7. Graphs,
Charts,
Tables,
etc •?
a • Never
b • Seldom
c . Usually
0
5
20
2
15
8
0
7
18
1
17
7
0
10
15
3
12
10
0
3
22
1
195
1. The
Index?
# 1. denotes irLeaving”; e* denotes ,!EnteringM *
56
classes seldom gave satisfactory evidence of this skill while
twenty-five sixth grade teachers reported that they usually
did.
On entering the seventh grade ten teachers thought
satisfactory skills seldom achieved, while fifteen thought
it usual.
However, hy the end of the seventh grade, the vote
was exactly as it had heen at the end of the sixth grade;
twenty-four of the twenty-five teachers thought the skill
satisfactorily mastered.
classes the vote was:
teen "usually".
Concerning entering eighth grade
one "never” , eight "seldom", and six­
On leaving the eighth grade, however, a big
majority again believing that pupils have mastered the use
of the index, voted accordingly.
Only two of the twenty-five
dissented from this majority opinion, and registered votes in
the "seldom" column.
Two ninth grade teachers believed that
on entering the ninth grade the majority of pupils were
"never!1 able to use the index in a satisfactory fashion;
five found they "seldom" eould; while eighteen agreed that
they "usually" could.
were,
On leaving the ninth grade the opinions
again exactly as they were at the end of the sixth grade
--all but one teacher holding that pupils usually evidenced
a, satisfactory ability to use the index.
In spite of this
opinion; one teacher of entering tenth grade classes still
felt that the*majority of pupils never evidenced this skill
while ten others, only slightly dissatisfied, said they seldom
57
do,
Fourteen of the tenth grade teachers felt that entering
tenth grade pupils usually knew how to use the index.
The use of the Table of Contents.
Only one sixth grade
teacher felt that the majority of pupils on leaving the sixth
grade seldom evidence a satisfactory skill in the use of the
table of contents, while twenty-four thought they usually do.
The .seventh grade teachers report:
on entering— four "never” ,
seven "seldom” , and fourteen "usually” , and on leaving— four
"seldom” , and twenty-one "usually”.
Twelve teachers of enter­
ing eighth grade classes reported that pupils seldom were
able to use the table of contents satisfactorily, while only
one more thought they are usually able to do so upon leaving
the eighth grade the vote was up to twenty-three for "usually”.
Again at the end of the ninth grade twenty-three teachers
agreed that the majority of pupils could use the table of
contents in a satisfactory fashion.
Teachers of entering
tenth grade classes however, in answer to the same question,,
voted as follows:
one for "never", eight for "seldom", and
sixteen for "usually".
The use of the Appendix.
The appendix of a book is
not used nearly as frequently as either the table of contents,
or the index,
Many children, and indeed many adults seldom
or never turn to the appendix unless specifically instructed
58
to do so.
nevertheless, fourteen of the twenty-five sixth
grade teachers expressed the opinion that children leaving
the sixth grade evidence a satisfactory degree of skill in
the use of the appendix.
Perhaps they do; if little or no
skill is needed, then little or no skill is indeed a satis­
factory degree of skill.
Seventh grade teachers failed to
concur in this satisfactory analysis.
Only two voted that
classes, on entering the seventh grade usually made satis­
factory use of the index; and even at the end of the grade
only twelve teachers thought they usually evidenced satis­
factory skill.
The concensus of eighth grade teachers shows
a slight gain— nearly one 'fourth of such teachers felt that
entering classes are usually familiar with and skillful in
the use of the appendix, while eleven, still fewer than onehalf, held that view in regard to classes leaving the eighth
grade.
Ten of the ninth grade teachers voted that pupils are
usually skillful in this respect * while seventeen— just over
two-thirds— were content that pupils leave the ninth grade,
and that usually means junior high school as well, are satis­
factorily able to use the appendix of a textbook.
A
sharp _
variation of judgment is evident here for only three of the
twenty-five teachers of entering tenth grade classes express
the opinion that those classes usually evidence a satisfactory
degree of this skill, while eighteen said they, seldom are so
skilled, and four voted that they never are.
59
The rather sharp break apparent between the sixth and
seventh grades, and again between the ninth and tenth grades
probably has its roots in the term "satisfactory11*
It is
conceivable that a sixth grade pupil might satisfy the de­
mands made of him without ever having connected the name
f,appendixff with that supplementary, fact-laden, sort of a
final chapter to which he was occasionally directed to turn*
Seventh grade teachers begin to expect pupils to make some
voluntary use of available sources of supplementary informa­
tion, and find that the pupils are not habituated to any such
proeeedure*
The demand becomes stronger throughout each
succeeding grade, remaining constantly
degree of adjustments made by the pupils*
advance of the
This situation in­
dicates need for careful instruction in the purposes and uses
of the appendix.
Probably the seventh grade would be a suit­
able place for the intensive instruction, which should be
followed by spaced drills in the form of frequent assignments
requiring application of the instruction.
These drills should
be repeated at intervals throughout the junior high school
period until recourse to the appendix, has become part of the
study habit pattern of the student.
Use of the Preface.
The situation in regard to the
preface is similar to that of the appendix, discussed above,
with the exception that the dissatisfaction of the teachers
60
sets in earlier*
Sixth grade teachers indicated disapproval*
Only one-third considered that pupils use of the preface was
usually satisfactory, while fourteen thought it seldom satis­
factory, and a few said it was never so*
This dissatisfaction
continued in slightly abating proportions throughout each
succeeding grade level*
Twelve teachers of the seventh grade,
fourteen of the eighth grade, and fifteen of the .ninth grade
found pupils, upon leaving the respective grades, familiar
with and satisfactorily skillful in the use of the preface*
The tenth grade teachers* opinions, however, diverged
sharply from this view.
Only two considered entering tenth
grade classes satisfactory in this regard.
Six of the ninth
grade teachers considered classes satisfactory upon entering
the ninth grade, with four of the eighth, and five of the
seventh grade teachers holding a similar view.
Twenty of the
tenth grade teachers voted that entering grade ten classes
were seldom
so skilled, leaving three who felt that they
never were.
Teachers throughout the junior high school period are
aware of the advisability of pupils becoming more familiar
with the preface.
There is considerable consideration and
reason to believe that the more intelligent and inquisitive
pupils, once trained to refer to the preface * continue its
use.
Especially is this so when the preface is addressed to
61
the 3roung student, and is gaged to his interests and reading
abilities.
The marked discontent of the tenth grade teachers
might be occasioned by the fact that a great many high school
text books apparently proceed on the theory that the high
school pupils are mature individuals and no longer warrant
a preface addressed especially to them.
The vocabulary be­
comes as suddenly more technical, and the print smaller.
The
elementary and junior high school pupil has become habituated
to finding a simply worded and interest-seeking preface pre­
pared especially for him, and frequently a second preface
addressed to the adults who may handle the. book*
The high
school student, for the moment forgetting his claims to
maturity, often concludes after a hasty glance that there is
no preface— that is, none he is intended to read.
Such
students need to have it pointed out to them that as they
assume the rights, privileges, and perogatives of the more
nearly mature they must in turn put away childish things—
and cease to expect a preface nwritten down11 to them.
Instruction in the value and use of the preface should
begin far down in the grades.
Books written for very little
children often contain a preface.
Children should be led to
look for this introductory foreword and to recognize that
familiarity with it can enhance the flavor of the entire book.
Experience has shown that once conditioned to turn to the
62
preface for introduction and explanation, the habit will
persist with most students because of the essential satis­
faction involved.
The establishment of the habit should be
insured by frequent assignments, through all the grades,
calling for information which can be found only in the pre­
face.
Example is a powerful weapon,, and one which is parti­
cularly applicable here.
Whatever the grade— from kinder­
garten through university post-graduate courses— if all
teachers formed the habit of turning appreciatively to the
preface of new books as they came into their hands, many
pupils would follow the example.
Use of Topic Headings.
Twenty-two of the twenty-five
sixth grade teachers felt that the majority of pupils on
leaving the sixth grade display a satisfactory skill in the
use of topic headings;
nineteen seventh grade teachers,
twenty eighth grade teachers, and twenty-four tenth grade
teachers felt that pupils on leaving the grade under consider­
ation, manifest this skill.
Ten of the tenth grade teachers
agree that they come to the tenth grade able to use topic
headings satisfactorily, while thirteen find that they are
seldom able, and two express the opinion that the majority
of the class are never able to use topic headings in a satis­
factory fashion;
63
Use of footnotes*
Five of the sixth grade teachers
frankly acknowledge that on leaving the sixth grade the major­
ity of their pupils never show familiarity with, or ability to
use footnotes*
Another ten say they seldom do, while the last
ten assert that pupils usually display satisfactory skill in
the use of footnotes*
In the seventh grade two teachers felt
that the pupils displayed a satisfactory skill on entering,
and
twelve thought they did by the end of the seventh grade.
The
votes in the eighth grade went up one point, both for
entering and leaving pupils.
The ninth grade teachers took
a considerably more satisfied view of the situation; nine
voicing the opinion that pupils could use footnotes on enter­
ing the grade, and eighteen feeling that they could do so by
the end of the grade*
Again the tenth grade teachers dissent
with only three of the twenty-five voting that pupils usually
use footnotes satisfactorily and twenty-one maintaining that
they seldom exemplify this skill.
Inasmuch as it is difficult
to see why the use of foot­
notes in connection with use of a text book should be markedly
more difficult in the tenth grade than in the junior high
school period, the suspicion arises that the tenth grade
teachers* accustomed to more mature standards, may have been
somewhat influenced by entering tenth grade pupils inability
to use footnotes in their own written work.
Junior high
64
school teachers would not often expect such an ability*
Use of graphs, charts, and tables.
This problem seems
to have presented little difficulty to the sixth grade teachers
ias twenty of the twenty^five felt that it had been satisfactor­
ily solved by the end of the sixth grade.
Seventh grade teach­
ers were a little less sure about it; only one-third agreeing
that it had been mastered by entering classes, and, eighteen
content with the ability of classes leaving the seventh grade
to read and interpret graphic presentations.
Eighth grade
teachers were even more doubtful of their classes* abilities
in this respect--seven voting that incoming classes, and fif­
teen that leaving classes used graphs, charts, and tables
satisfactorily.
The ninth grade teachers, however, view the
problem with greater sanguinity*
Ten of the ninth grade
teachers even believed that entering classes displayed ability
to use the pictorial devices found in their textbooks in a
satisfactory fashion, while more than seven-eighths of them
believed that pupils leaving the ninth grade evidenced this
ability.
Again, the tenth grade teachers dissented.
votes indicated a belief that incomirg
Only a few
tenth graders made
satisfactory use of- the graphs, and charts in their textbooks,
with nineteen votes saying they 11seldom” could do so, and one
saying they Mnever” evidenced satisfactory skill in the use
of graphs, charts, and tables.
65
One trend is evidenced in these reactions--that the
type of pictorial presentations used in textbooks sharply
increases in difficulty as the junior high school type text­
book is substituted for the elementary text, and again as the
senior high school text supplants the less technical and less
difficult junior high school text.
Conclusions.
A fairly consistent "break*1 appears in
the standards set by teachers at the end of the elementary
period* and again at the end of the junior high school period.
At the end of the sixth grade* and again at the end of the
ninth grade, teachers appear to feel that the ends for which
they have been striving throughout the years a given class
has spent in that particular school level, have been fairly
well achieved.
But when the next section of the educational
system takes over, the judgment of the teachers there is that
the pupils are far from a satisfactory goal.
This judgment is not so much a criticism of the work
that has been done on the previous level, as it is usually
thought to be, as it is an indication that the teacher has
as her essential or final standard of satisfactory achieve­
ment, the standards which the highest grade in that particular
institution can reasonably hope to achieve.
There is not so
much an accepted sixth, seventh, or eighth grade standard, as
an elementary school standard, a junior high school standard,
and a senior high school standard.
This situation makes for
considerable confusion on the part of the pupil who has been
a source of pride to his elementary school teachers in that
he has been fairly approximate to the standards set for that
institution as he leaves the sixth grade; only to find as he
enters Junior high school that his achievements are looked
upon with considerable scorn as he is compared, to his de­
cided disfavor, with the ninth grade pupils.
By slow degrees,
over a three year period, he again gains in grade and leaves
the junior high school as one approved of by those in author­
ity; only to be thrown once more, with shocking effects upon
his self-esteemj to the foot of the class as he becomes an
"entering tenth grade pupil".
The results of this questionnaire indicate very clearly
that instead of there being any one time when a new textbook
study skill is introduced and mastered, each one of the tech­
niques is in use throughout each of the grades, with teacher’s
standards of what constitutes a "satisfactory" degree of skill
for any one particular grade surprisingly consistent.
II. SKILL IK THE USE OP A LIBRARY
The data concerning skill in the use of a library;
both in connection with the use of various reference works,
and in locating books on shelves is given in Table III..which
appears on the next page.
67
TABLE III
FREQUENCY DISTRIBUTION OF TEACHER RESPONSES
REGARDING- PUPIL SKILL IN THE USE OF A LIBRARY
Do the majority of your
pupils evidence an ac- - 6th
quaintance with, and a
satisfactory skill in
* 1.
the us e of s
7 th
©•
8 th
1•
e.
9 th
1*
e•
1*
10 th
e•
A. Reference Works?
S.• Never
b. Seldom
c. Usually
0
0
25
0
10
15
0
2
23
0
8
17
0
2
23
0
5
20
0
1
24
1
11
13
a. Never
b. Seldom
c • Usually
0
2
23
0
17
8
0
4
21
1
13
11
0
3
22
1
6
18
0
1
24
1
6
18
a. Never
10. The
World Al­ b. Seldom
manac?
c. Usually
8
12
5
7
17
1
3
14
8
11
11
3
1
17
7
4
18
3
2
9
14
4
18
3
a. Never
b • Seldom
c . Usually
17
18
7
0
6
17
2
15
10
0
4
12
9
7
14
4
1
7
17
4
17
4
7
14
4
3
1
21
4
14
7
1
5
19
0
10
15
0
1
24
1
9
15
0
7
18
0
1
24
0
5
20
8. A Dic­
tionary?
9• An Encyclopedia. or
Worldbook?
11• The
Reader1s
Guide?
12. The Card a. Never
Catalogue b. Seldom
c. usually
B.
8
0
3
8
14
Books on Shelves?
Do •your pupi1s :
13. Distin­
guish be-.. a. Never
0
b. Seldom
tween
3
c • Usually 22
fiction
« Snd non-fiction?
1. denotes a Leaving"; e. <
0
0
1
0
16'
1
7
2
9 24
17 23
>i_
11EnteringM ♦
68
TABLE III (continued)
FREQUENCY DISTRIBUTION OF TEACHER RESPONSES
REGARDING PUPIL SKILL.
THE USE OF A LIBRARY
6 th
* 1.
7th
©.
8 th
1.
e♦
9 th
1.
e.
10 th
1.
e.
Do your pupils:
14. Know
that
fiction
is
shelved
hy au­
thor?
a. Never
b. Seldom
c. Usually
3
8
14
3
15
7
0
1
24
2
6
17
0
2
23
0
6
19
0
1
24
1
10
14
Know
that non­
fiction a. Never
is
b Seldom
shelved c. Usually
hy sub­
ject?
5
7
13
4
15
6
0
1
24
2
7
16
0
2
23
1
7
17
0
2
23
2
9
14
.
* 1. denotes ’’Leaving” ; e. denotes '’Entering11.
69
Use of a Dictionary.. All twenty-five of the sixth
grade teachers felt that their pupils usually evidenced this
.skill on leaving the sixth grade; hut only fifteen of the
seventh grade teachers were of the opinion that pupils enter­
ing the seventh grade "usually" displayed a satisfactory skill
in this technique.
The other ten seventh grade teachers ex­
pressed the view that pupils entering the seventh grade
"seldom" used'the dictionary as weill as might be expected;
and two of them considered that even pupils leaving the seven­
th grade "seldom" evidenced this skill to a satisfactory de­
gree.
However, twenty-three of the seventh grade teachers
judged their pupils satisfactory in this skill by the time
they left the seventh grade.
The eighth grade teachers also expressed dissatisfact­
ion with the skill of pupils entering that grade.
Only
slightly more than two-thirds of the teachers found that
pupils entering the eighth grade displayed satisfactory skill
in the use of the dictionary, while the rest felt that pupils
evidenced an inadequate skill in this technique.
It is inter­
esting to note that the opinions of the eighth grade teachers
relative to
the skill of pupils leaving the eighth grade was
exactly the
same as the opinion of seventh grade
relative to
pupils leaving that grade.
The ninth grade teachers
judgment:
teachers
nearly concurred in this
five could agree that entering ninth grade pupils
70
were seldom satisfactory, while twenty agreed that they
usually displayed a satisfactory degree of skill in the use
of the dictionary*
A close parallel was disclosed between
opinions of the sixth and the ninth grade teachers' concerning
the skills of pupils leaving the two grades.
All twenty-five
of the sixth grade teachers believed that the majority of
pupils leave the elementary level skilled in the use of the
dictionary; and twenty-four out of twenty-five ninth grade
teachers believed the same of pupils leaving the junior high
school.
A similar close parallel existed between the views
of seventh and tenth grade teachers regarding the skill of
pupils just entering the junior high school and the senior
high school.
Ten of the seventh grade teachers were of the
opinion that pupils entering the junior high school seldom
use the dictionary adequately; while eleven of the tenth grade
teachers considered that pupils entering the senior high school
seldom evidenced such skill.
One tenth grade teacher said
that the majority of entering tenth grade pupils never show
such evidence, while only thirteen of the twenty-five, a
bare, majority, were of the opinion that skill in the use of
the dictionary is usual among entering tenth grade pupils.
Use of Encyclopedia or World-Books.
Two sixth grade
teachers expressed the opinion that pupils leaving their grade
seldom evidence a satisfactory skill in the use of an
71
encyclopedia or world-book, while twenty-three thought this
skill usual.
Less than one-third of the seventh grade teach­
ers, found it usual with pupils, entering the seventh grade.
The eighth grade teachers reported:
on entering, one "never",'
thirteen "seldom**, and eleven "usually"; and on leaving, three
"seldom", and twenty-two "usually11.
One ninth grade teacher
said that the majority of pupils on entering the grade "never"
evidence such skill, while six considered it "seldom" and
eighteen found that it was "usually" evidenced.
However, ninth
grade teachers were almost unanimously of the opinion that
pupils leaving the ninth grade and junior high school "usually"
evidence a satisfactory degree of skill in the use of an en­
cyclopedia or worId-book.
The reported opinions of tenth
grade teachers veered far from the opinion of ninth grade
teachers.
Concerning evidence of this skill on the part of
entering tenth grade pupils; only eighteen considered it
"usual", while six said it was "seldom" evidenced, and one
found the skill so rare among entering tenth grade pupils as
to be of the opinion that the majority of such pupils "never"
demonstrate it.
Use of the World Almanac.
The World Almanac is not
usually found on the shelves of the elementary school library.
This fact was reflected in the judgment of the sixth grade
teachers, eight of whom said that the majority of pupils
?a
leaving the eighth grade "never” evidenced acquaintance with,
and skill in the use of the World Almanac, while twelve others
considered that they "seldom" did, and only five were of the •
opinion that this was a usual skill.
Seventh grade teachers,
too, were uncertain of the proficiency of pupils in the use
of this reference work.
Only one felt that pupils entering
the seventh grade "usually" showed skill in its use, while
seventeen considered this skill "seldom" shown, and seven
were of the opinion that such skill is "never" evidenced by
the majority of pupils entering the seventh grade.
Eight of
these same seventh grade teachers, however, expressed the
view that skill in the use of the World Almanac was "usually"
a part of the. study equipment of pupils leaving the seventh
grade, although the majority continued to believe this desir­
able state very seldom achieved by the majority of such pupils.
Nearly half of the eighth grade teachers, were of the
opinion that the majority of pupils entering the eighth grade
"never" evidenced this skill, while another eleven "seldom"
find such evidence, and only three "usually" do.
Indeed, even
by the end of the eighth grade, only seven teachers expressed
the view that the majority of pupils have acquired this skill,
while seventeen found it "seldom" evidenced, and one"never".
The ninth grade teachers apparently found their pupils
were generally somewhat more familiar with this reference work
for while only four could say "never", eighteen said that they
73
"seldom" and
only
four said they "usually" evidence skill in
the use of the World Almanac on entering the ninth grade;
fourteen, for the first time a majority; considered it "usual­
ly" a skill on the part of pupils leaving the ninth grade.
Four of the teachers of entering tenth grade pupils agree
that the majority of pupils entering senior high school "never"
display this ability, while eighteen considered that this
skill had "seldom" been achieved, and only three voted that
acquaintance with and skill in the use of the World Almanac
was "usual" with pupils on this scholastic level.
IJse of the Reader*s Guide.
Sixth grade teachers, with
considerable emphasis, recorded negative views concerning
leaving sixth grade pupils’ skill in the use of the Reader’s
Guide.
Seventeen of the twenty-five teachers said this was
never a skill of the majority of such pupils, and the remain­
ing eight said it seldom was.
Seventh grade .teachers con­
curred; voting concerning pupils entering the seventh grade
as follows:
eighteen "never", and seven "seldom".
Only two
of the seventh grade teachers expressed the view that this
skill was usually mastered by the majority of pupils by the
end of the seventh grade.
Seventeen considered it seldom
adequate, and six, or nearly twenty-five per cent believed
that the majority had never acquired this skill.
Eighth grade teachers* judgment of pupil skill in the
74
use of the Readerfs Guide was as follows:
fifteen teachers
of entering pupils voted what indicated that pupils never
evidenced a satisfactory degree of this skill; ten voted that
they seldom did; and only one found that they usually did.
On leaving the eighth grade,, four teachers considered that
this skill was never evidenced "by the majority, twelve that
it seldom was, and nine that it usually was.
The majority
vote of the ninth grade, teachers concerning entering pupils
was in the "seldom” category* fourteen expressing that opinion
while seven said "never", and only four "usually”.
Seventeen
of the ninth grade teachers, however, believed that the major­
ity of pupils had learned how to use the Readerfs Guide before
leaving the ninth grade, and junior high school.
But the
majority of tenth grade teacher opinion swung back to the
"seldom” view; with four saying "never” , and four "usually".
Use of the Card Catalogue.
Teachers generally ex­
pressed greater confidence in the adequate preparation of
pupils regarding skill in the use of card catalogue.
Fourteen
sixth grade teachers believed that pupils on leaving the elem­
entary school usually have acquired this skill; and while an
equal number of seventh grade teachers found this seldom true
of entering seventh grade pupils, an even stronger majority,
agreed that on leaving the seventh grade pupils usually
evidenced skill in the use of the card catalogue.
Again in
75
the eighth grade the majority opinion of teachers concerning
the skill of pupils on entering the grade swung toward an
expression of doubt:
fourteen teachers considered this skill
seldom a part of the study equipment of entering eighth grade
pupils* with only half that number voting that it was usually
so.
nineteen eighth grade teachers, however, considered that
pupils have usually mastered this skill before leaving the
eighth grade;
Two-thirds of the ninth grade teachers agreed,
with fifteen voting that mastery of the technique of the use
of the card catalogue is usual with entering ninth grade
pupils.
Twenty-four— all but one— of the ninth grade teachers
expressed the opinion that pupils leaving the grade have
usually mastered this skill.
Tenth grade teachers, as usual, were less sure of this
mastery.
Fifteen of the tenth grade teachers found satis­
factory evidence of this skill on the part of pupils entering
the grade and senior high school, but nine felt it was seldom
evidenced* and one expressed the view that it was never an
acquired skill with the majority of pupils just entering the
tenth grade.
Summary concerning skill in the use of references.
The majority of sixth grade teachers believed that pupils have
mastered the use of the dictionary and the encyclopedia be­
fore leaving the elementary level; and ninth grade teachers
76
believe the same of pupils leaving the junior high school
level.
Teachers of entering classes in the junior high, and
in the senior high disagree with almost exact emphasis.
While
it is reasonable to assume that the standards considered
"satisfactory” are considerably more rigorous in a ninth grade
than in a sixth grade; and likewise in a tenth than in a seven­
th; it is still apparent that the gap of expectancy between
the sixth and seventh grades is almost equivalent to that
between the ninth and tenth grades— and in both cases consid­
erably greater than that between any other two grades.
Teacher opinion concerning skill in the use of the
World Almanac and the Reader*s Guide reflected the facts that
while these references are little used in elementary grades,
the junior high school introduces their use and is confident
that by the end of the ninth grade period the majority of
pupils have acquired considerable skill in their use.
The
senior high teachers are less sanguine of this.
An interesting point in the opinions concerning the use
of the card catalogue is that while the least confidence in,
the pupil achievement of this skill was shown by teachers of
pupils leaving the eighth grade, teachers of entering ninth
grade pupils displayed greater assurance tha)t pupils have
mastered use of the card catalogue than any other teachers of
an entering class.
77
Pi stinguishing 'between fiction and non-fiction.
On
all levels, teachers were of the majority opinion that pupils
make this distinction "before leaving the grade.
Confidence
in this matter on the part of teachers of pupils just enter­
ing the various grades, while in no instance as high a degree
as those of the teachers concerning pupils leaving the pre­
vious grade, increased on each grade level.
Only nine teachers
of entering seventh grade pupils felt pupils were usually able
to make this distinction, while seventeen eighth grade teachers
eighteen ninth grade teachers, and twenty tenth grade teachers
were of this opinion.
It is probable that these opinions re­
flect the increasing mental maturity of the pupils involved
as much as the acquisition of a skill.
Knowledge of how fiction is shelved.
The Dewey Decimal
system of library classification is in general use both in
school and in public libraries.
According to this system
fiction is shelved alphabetically according to the author !s
last name.
The majority of teachers in sixth, seventh, eighth,
and ninth grade pupils believed that this fact is generally
known by. pupils before leaving these grades. ■ Sixth grade
teachers were the least -unanimous in this view--only fourteen
felt it usual there.
Except in the seventh grade, where the
majority of teachers felt that this information was seldom
one of the study skills of entering seventh grade elasses^
78
the teachers of pupils entering the various grades were also
agreed that pupils usually know how fiction is shelved.
Knowledge of how non-fiction is shelved.
Teachers ex­
pressing views on this topic almost exactly duplicated the
opinions concerning pupil knowledge of the system of fiction
shelving.
Only thirteen sixth grade teachers believed that
pupils are usually acquainted with this fact on leaving the
elementary school.
Teachers of seventh, eighth, and ninth
grades believe that pupils leaving these grades are usually
possessed of this knowledge.
The majority of eighth, ninth,
and tenth grade teachers agree that the knowledge is usual
with entering classes, though with less unanimity than is ex­
pressed by the teachers of pupils leaving the grades;
Fewer
tenth grade teachers concur than either eighth or ninth grade
teachers;
Only the seventh grade teachers express the opinion
that entering pupils seldom know that non-fiction is shelved
by subjects*
It is obvious that knowledge of how both fiction and
non-fiction is shelved, together with the ability to distin­
guish between the two, is a basic necessity in developing
skill in independent use of a library.
Teacher opinions concerning the knowledge and skills
of pupils in handling the techniques involved in efficiency
in locating books off the shelves of libraries suggest that
79
the acquisition of library skills as such is quite incidental
throughout the elementary grades, but that pupils in the
junior high school, particularly in the seventh, are given
specific instruction in these techniques*
The apparent drop in skill between the junior and
senior high schools * is quite probably affected by the fact
that pupils just entering high school are confronted not only
with the necessity of locating unfamiliar material, but also
with the necessity of locating it in an unfamiliar library*
III. SKILL I H KOTE-TAKIKG- TECHNIQUES
The pattern of teacher opinion concerning pupils skill
in taking notes as given in Table IV; presents the probab­
ility that the conditioning factors are at work.
First, con­
siderably more difficult textbook material is used in the
junior high school than in the elementary school, and again
in the senior high school than in the junior high school.
This is, of course* entirely proper and legitimate.
Second,
teacher standards of acceptable performance becomes definitely
more rigorous on each advanced level.
This too is legitimate.
The only point that can be criticized is that in addition to
to the desirable gradual climb there is considerable evidence
pointing an abrupt step-up at the break between each two
levels.
There is not so much an eighth grade difficulty, or
acceptability, for instance* as there is a junior high school
80
TABLE IV
FREQUENCY DISTRIBUTION OF TEACHER RESPONSES
REGARDING PUPIL SKILL- IN NOTE TAKING TECHNIQUES
Do the majority of your
pupils evidence ability
to:
6th./'
1,
7th
e•
8th
1.
e•
9th
1.
e•
10th
1.
e
16 • Evaluate
material
and se­
a. Never
lect
b. Seldom
perti­
c. Usually
nent in­
formation?
1
9
15
8
16
1
0
17
8
7
12
6
0
8
17
3
15
7
0
5
20
1
20
7
a. Never
b. Seldom
c. Usually
2
6
17
7
17
1
0
16
9
6
15
4
1
11
13
3
15
7
0
9
16
2
19
4
Select
a. Never
b. Seldom
key
words and c. Usually
phrases?
5
9
11
8
15
2
0
18
7
8
14
3
2
12
11
6
14
5
1
10
14
1
21
3
H
CD
•
17. Summarize?
19. Select
main
thoughts
of para­
graphs?
a. Never
b. Seldom
c • Usually
0
4
21
3
18
4
0
6
19
4
10
11
1
6
18
2
14
9
0
2
23
1
20
4
20. Use bibliography
cards?
a.'Never
b. Seldom
c • Usually
13
10
2
16
9
0
11
12
2
13
10
2
10
10
5
10
13
2
5
12
8
7
16
2
21. Use ab­
brevia­
tions?
a. Never
b. Seldom
c. Usually
0
11
14
1
13
11
0
11
14
6
13
6
4
13
8
5
10
10
2
10
13
3
15
7
# 1. denotes "Leaving11; e. denotes "Entering" •
81
difficulty, or a senior high standard of acceptability*
Evaluation of material.
Three-fifths of the element­
ary teachers believed pupils usually evidenced ability to
evaluate material and select pertinent information on leaving
the sixth grade* while slightly less than one-third, consid­
ered this a usual skill of pupils leaving the seventh grade.
Hot till the end of the eighth grade did a majority again
vote that this skill was a usual one, while four-fifths of
the ninth grade teachers expressed this view concerning pupils
leaving the ninth grade.
Both seventh and tenth grade teachers
were emphatic in the view that this skill was seldom or never
prevalent among the majority entering these respective grades.
Ability to summarize.
The prevailing drift of opinion
on this item closely follows those expressed on the previous
question.
Sixth grade teachers are inclined to believe the
ability to summarize usual by the time pupils leave the sixth
grade.
Seventeen voted "usually” , six "seldom” , and two
"never" on this question.
The teachers of entering seventh
grade pupils flatly deny this:
only one found this a usual
skill, to seventeen who considered it seldom achieved, and
seven who say it never is.
Even by the end of the ninth
grade only sixteen teachers voted it usually a skill to nine
who say it is seldom evidenced.
82
Teachers of ninth grade pupils are less confident of
the ability of pupils on leaving the grade to summarize than
are teachers of the sixth grade.
The inference is clear that
either the material to be summarized presents considerably
greater difficulties, or that teachers demand a far greater
degree of skill in summarizing.
Probably both of these condi­
tioning factors have operated upon these expressions of opin­
ion*
There is again evidence of this in the expression of
tenth grade teacher opinion— nineteen of whom considered ade­
quate summarizing skill seldom evidenced by entering tenth
grade pupils*
Selection of key words and phrases.
Ho place from the
sixth to the tenth grade is the tide of teacher opinion
strongly of the view that the ability to select key words and
phrases is usually evidenced.
A bare majority of opinion is
achieved only once; by teachers of pupils leaving the ninth
grade; while more than two-thirds of the tenth grade teachers
considered it seldom ani achieved skill on the part of enter­
ing tenth grade pupils.
Selection of main thoughts of paragraphs.
The majority
of teachers of each grade were of the opinion that pupils
usually evidence ability to select the main thought of a
paragraph before leaving the grade*
In equal agreement, the
teachers of each grade, though by a less conclusive majority,
83
were of the opinion that this skill is seldom evidenced by
pupils oust entering the grade.
The seventh and tenth grade
•teachers are especially emphatic in this view— highlighting
once more the unwarrantable■J u m p ‘in.difficulty of material,
severity of standards, or both, which occurs in the break
between two levels of the educational system.
Instead of
a gradual increase in difficulty, and a tightening up of the
standards of acceptable achievement proper in view of advanc­
ing maturity and the cumulative effect of training, the trans­
fer from elementary school to junior high school or from junior
high school to senior high school is not so much a step up­
ward, comparable with the advance from, say a third to a fourth
grade, or a seventh to an eighth; but a leap from the shores
of the familiar and comparatively known, to the unfamiliar,
unknown, and often unfriendly.
Use of bibliography cards.
Sixth grade teachers agree
that pupils leaving the sixth grade seldom or-never evidence
ability to use-bibliography cards.
The expressed opinions
suggest that this ability increases steadily throughout the
junior high school period; the opinions gradually swinging
away from a never view, through seldom and toward usually,
nevertheless, nearly one-half of the ninth grade teachers
felt that this skill is seldom achieved by pupils before
leaving the junior high school.
84
Use of abbreviations^ Opinions of teachers of pupils
about to leave each of the. respective grades is only slightly
stronger in the view that ability to use abbreviations is
usually, a skill evidenced by such pupils than that it is
seldom evidenced.
Indeed more than one-half of the eighth
grade teachers are of the opinion that this skill is seldom
evidenced by pupils leaving that grade.
In every grade
teachers are of the opinion that the majority of pupils enter­
ing that grade seldom show ability to abbreviate adequately.
The junior high school apparently makes serious attempts to
teach the specific skills vhich add up to skill in note-taking.
Generally speaking, the junior high school teachers are far
from expressing any over-confidence that their attempts have
met with unqualified success,
IV-. SKILL IN OUTLINING
The teacher responses to inquiries concerning pupil
skill in outlining technique are presented in Table v. on
the following page.
Skeleton outlines.
Thirteen of the sixth grade teachers
responded "seldom11 to this inquiry, with eleven saying "usual­
ly" and one "never".
The same number of seventh grade teachers
say that pupils entering the seventh grade seldom can fill in
simple skeleton outlines, with the other twelve votes evenly
85
TABLE V
FREQUENCY DISTRIBUTION OF TEACHER RESPONSES
REGARDING PUPIL SKILL IN OUTLINING TECHNIQUES
©•
8 th
1.
e.
O
22. Fill in
simple
skeleton
out­
lines?
7 th
H
Do the majority of your 6 th
pupils evidence an
ability to:
# 1•
9 th
1.
e.
1.
e
1
a. Never
b. Seldom 13
c. Usually 11
6
13
6
1
11
13
11
12
2
2
12
11
4
15
6
0
8
17
3
16
6
23. Select
and re1
phrase
3
a • .Never
main
8
b* Seldom
thoughts c. Usually 14
of para­
graphs ?
6
15
4
2
16
7
4
17
4
1
1410
2
18
5
0
8
17
3
18
4
8
17
0
3
14
8
9
10
6
4
12
9
5
14
6
0
11
14
3
21
1
1
4
18 16
8
3.
4
19
2
0
12
13
1
22
2
24• Organ­
ize main
4
points in a . Never
terms of b. Seldom 14
a general c. Usually 7
plan?
2b. Elimi­
nate irrelevent
points?
5
a. Never
b . Seldom
8
c. Usually 11*
4
7
18 . 20
1
0
■I_
# 1. denotes l e a v i n g ” ; e. denotes ,!EnterIng,!•
86
divided between "usually” and "never”.
By the end of the
seventh grade only thirteen thought that the majority of
pupils usually evidenced an ability to fill in simple out­
lines.
Two.less, agreed that this was a usual skill with
pupils leaving the eighth grade.
Seventeen ninth grade teach­
ers considered that pupils leaving the grade could.usually
fill in such an outline; but only six of the teachers of
entering tenth grade pupils agreed, while a majority of six­
teen felt the ability was seldom evidenced.
The teacher con­
ception of a "simple*1 outline appeared to have increased more
rapidly than pupil ability to perform.
Selection and rephrasing of main thoughts.
Strangely
enough, fourteen of the sixth grade teachers considered that
this rather difficult technique is usually one of the skills
of pupils leaving the sixth grade.
Throughout the seventh
and eighth grades the majority of teacher'
votes for both
entering and leaving pupils expressed the view that the abili­
ty to select and rephrase main thoughts of paragraphs is sel­
dom or never achieved.
The ninth grade teachers, while con­
curring in the opinion that entering pupils are seldom skilled
in this technique, voted seventeen to eight, that pupils leav­
ing the ninth grade are usually able to select and rephrase
the main thought of a paragraph*
However, the tenth grade
teachers, by a larger majority, went back to the view that
87
this is seldom true of entering tenth grade pupils*
The abrupt advance in difficulty of material between
the levels of elementary and junior high school, and again
between the junior and senior high school is again indicated
in these responses.
Assuming the validity of the expressed'
opinions, a picture is presented of sixth grade pupils who
have become fairly successful in selecting the main thoughts
of paragraphs and rephrasing these thoughts, entering junior
high school where for the next two and more years they are
overwhelmed and defeated in the attempt to exercise this
technique by the greatly increased difficulty of the material.
By the end of the ninth grade most of them have again mastered
the technique; but on entering the senior high school they
are again faced with material of such increased difficulty
that few can evidence an adequate degree of skill in this
necessary technique.
Organization of main points;
supposes several abilities.
'This technique pre­
It is first necessary that the
pupil determine which are the main points.
Then, before he
can arrange them in terms of a. plan, he must be able to place
some evaluation upon them;
These abilities demand a consid^-
erable degree of mental maturity.
In view of this fact it is
not surprising that teachers of the sixth, seventh, and
eighth grades reported that the ability to organize main
88
thoughts in terms of a general plan is seldom evidenced by
pupils of those grades.
Only a slight majority of ninth grade
teachers considered it usually an acquired skill by the end of
the ninth grades
However, only one tenth grade teacher felt
that it is a usual skill with the majority of pupils entering
the tenth grade, while twenty-one considered it seldom'so,
and three said never.
Elimination of irrelevent points.
This ability, in
company with the abilities to select and organize main points,
is essential in the making of an efficient outline.
Sixth
grade teachers considered the ability to eliminate irrelevent
points more frequently evidenced than the ability to organize
main points, but did not consider it usual with pupils leaving
the sixth grade.
Teacher votes throughout the junior high
school period leaned heavily toward the opinion that this
skill is seldom achieved by junior high school pupils.
Educational authorities rate skill in outlining as
highly essential in successful study.
The consensus of teach­
er opinion is that the majority of pupils have not acquired
a satisfactory degree of this skill by the end of the junior
high school period.
89
V. VOCABULARY BUILDING •
The ability to build a vocabulary, independent of
direct teacher instruction is a valuable study technique*
The data concerning vocabulary building technique is given
in Table VI.
Meaning from content*
One of the ways in which students
who study successfully build their vocabularies is by con­
sciously looking to content for a clue to the meaning of un­
familiar words*
Teachers of all grades from sixth to the
tenth were of the majority opinion that pupils of these grades
usually make this attempt.
growth in this ability.
There would seem to be a steady
The fact that teachers felt that
pupils at the end of each grade were more successful in get­
ting meaning from content than at the beginning of each grade
probably is a healthy sign, indicating continuing progress.
Familiar parts of unfamiliar words.
thoughtful and conscious skill.
This is a detailed,
While two-thirds of the sixth
grade teachers believed that the majority of pupils leaving
the sixth grade usually look for the familiar parts of un­
familiar words, nowhere else until the end of the ninth grade
did teachers find this true*
Tenth grade teachers were over­
whelmingly of the opinion that pupils entering senior high
school have not established this habit*
90
TABLE VI
FREQUENCY DISTRIBUTION OF TEACHER RESPONSES
REGARDING PUPIL SKILL IN VOCABULARY BUILDING
Do the majority of
your pupils:
6th
^*"1*
26 . Attempt
to get
meaning
from
content?
7th
e•
8th
1#
e.
9th
1*
e.
10th
1*
e•
a. Never
1
b • Seldom
1
c. Usually 23
2
8
15
0
6
19
1
9
15
1
4
20
2
2
21
0
1
24
1
5
19
27. Look for
2
familiar £L• Never
7
parts of b. Seldom
c. Usually 16
unfamiliar words?
6
18
1
2
17
6
7
16
2
1
16
8
2
15
8
0
8
17
3
19
3
11
12
2
4
12
9
7
17
1
2
14
9
4
1
18 10
3' 14
2
19
4
3
15
7
1
2
19
4
0
11
14
4
16
5
0
9
16
18
1
10
15
0
2
17
11
10
6
4
3
10
12
8
15
2
28. Under­
stand
a* Never
1
meaning
b. Seldom 12
and use
c. Usually 12
of com­
mon p r e ­
fixes and
suffixes?
29. Know how a* Never
1
to divide b . Seldom
5
into syl­ C t Usually 19
lables?
•
o
CO
Know how
to use
diacri­
tical
mark­
ings as
pronun­
ciation
aids?
a. Never
4
Seldom 12
c • Usually 9
b.
9
15
1
8
16
4
15
6
# 1. denotes "Leaving**; e* denotes “Entering” •
6
It is difficult to understand why this skill, presumab­
ly established by the end of the sixth grade * and re-establish­
ed by the end of the ninth grade, should be abandoned upon
entering each new academic level, unless the vocabulary diffi­
culties presented by the new situation were in such profusion
that the pupils feel inadequate to attempt an orderly word by
word attack on them.
It is entirely possible that a careful
survey and adjustment of the advancing vocabulary difficult­
ies presented to pupils so that the load is never allowed to
become overwhelming might do much to establish and maintain
the study "skill of looking for familiar parts of unfamiliar
words.
Prefixes and suffixes. An understanding of the meaning
and use of common prefixes and suffixes is a valuable aid in
vocabulary building.
Nevertheless, only the teachers of pup­
ils leaving the sixth grade, and again of those leaving the
ninth grade were, by even a slight majority, of the opinion
that pupils usually have this understanding.
The consensus
of opinion throughout the junior high school period is that
pupils seldom evidence such understanding.
Divide words into syllables.
The majority opinion was -
that pupils leaving each of thegrades (six, seven, eight, and
nine) do know how to divide words into syllables; although in
no case was the opinion anything like a unanimous one.
The
92
opinion of teachers of pupils entering each of these grades
was, in each ease, that pupils are seldom .skilled in this tech­
nique,
The implication is that while pupils can demonstrate
this skill with familiar words that they are unahle to use it
when confronted with pronunciation difficulties, and with un­
certainty as to meaning.
This technique has little value as
a vocabulary building device unless it can be used to unlock
unfamiliar words.
Diacritical markings. Opinion;* on this question was con­
sistent from the sixth to the tenth grade, and was strongly
slanted toward the "seldom” or "never” responses.
Educational
authorities point out that independent mastery of pronunciat­
ion is practically impossible without this aid; and yet, lack­
ing this skill, throughout the entire junior high school period
the majority of pupils, in the opinion of teachers, remain de­
pendent upon others for pronunciation of unfamiliar words;
The attempt to get meaning from content is the only
technique for independent vocabulary building which teachers
felt was part of the study skills of junior high school pupils.
Aside from this pupils are judged to be, "in the majority
de­
pendent upon instruction for both meanings and pronunciations
of new words;
A careful investigation into each of the specif­
ic aids to vocabulary building, with recommendations as to
where and how these skills should be taught, would be a valu­
able contribution to education.
93
' TI.
INSTRUCTION G-IVEN IN STUDY TECHNIQUES
Column III. in the questionnaire gave each teacher who
responded, an opportunity to indicate what kind of instruction
is given in each skill,- in the grade for which she was voting.
Instruction given in the use of the index*
While the
majority of sixth, seventh, and eighth grade teachers reported
that they feave special drill in the use of the index, the major­
ity 'became steadily less with twenty-three out of twenty-five
sixth grade teachers, hut only fifteen out of twenty-five
eighth grade teachers making such a report.
The data concern­
ing this instruction is given in Table 1TII.
The majority of
ninth and tenth grade teachers said they gave incidental drill
but with a stronger tendency in the tenth than in the ninth to
have given special drill.
This correlated closely with the
opinion of teachers of pupils entering the tenth grade that
mastery of the use of the index is by no means completely
accomplished by the end of the junior high school period.
Instruction given in the use of the table of contents.
The results of this item tally exactly with those on item 1.
Sixth, seventh, and eighth grade teachers reported "special
drill" with steadily decreasing emphasis;
The ninth and ten­
th grade teachers said they gave "incidental" teaching only in
the use of the table of contents* but with a noticeable tend­
ency on the part of the tenth grade teacher to go back to
94
TABLE VII
FREQUENCY DISTRIBUTION OF.TEACHER RESPONSES REGARD­
ING INSTRUCTION GIVEN IN THE USE OF TEXTBOOKS
X. Textbook Skills
6th
7th
8th
9th
10th
1. The Index
a. None
b. Incidental
'c• Special drill
0
2
25
0
9
16
1
9
15
0
17
8
0
15
10
2. The Table
of Contents
a. None
b. Incidental
c. Special drill
0
1
24
0
10
15
2
9
14
0
20
5
1
13
11
5. The Appendix
a. None
b. Incidental
c • Special drill
2
9
14
4
12
9
4
13
8
1
14
10
2
17
6
4. The Preface
a. None
b. Incidental
c • Special drill
4
15
6
5
14
8
4
12
9
2
17
6
0
19
6
5. Topic
Headings
a. None
b. Incidental
c. Special drill
1
6
IS
0
11
14
0
12
13
0
10
15
0
8
17
6. Footnotes
a. None
b. Incidental
c. Special drill
4
19
2
3
18
4
5
10
10
1
18
6
0
15
10
7. G-raphs ,
Charts,
Tables, etc.
a. None
b. Incidental
c • Special drill
0
8
17
0
11
14
1
8
16
0
13
12
0
16
9
95
"special drill" on the subject.
Instruction given in the use of the appendix. In only
the sixth grade did the majority of teachers report giving
"special drill" in the use of the appendix.
The majority of
seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth grade teachers reported that
teaching of this subject was of an incidental nature.
Instruction given in the use of the preface.
The major­
ity of teachers from each grade indicated that instruction in
the use of the preface was "incidental".
Instruction given in the use of topic headings. The
majority of teachers of every grade reported giving "special
drill" in the use of topic headings, with the seventh, eighth
and ninth grade teachers showing a tendency toward."incidental"
teaching in this matter*
Instruction given in the, use of footnotes. In the sixth
and seventh, and again in the ninth and tenth grades, the
majority of teachers reported that the use of footnotes was
taught by "incidental" instruction; but in the eighth grade
marked differences of opinion crept in with ten reporting
"special drill", ten reporting that teaching was "incidental",
and five saying they gave no instruction in the use of foot­
notes*
96
Instruction given in the use of graphs, charts, tables,
etc,
A majority of sixth, seventh* and eighth grade teachers
said that "special drill" was given in the use of graphs,
charts, tables, etc. , in the grade for TAfoieh they reported.
The ninth grade teachers divided almost evenly between report­
ing "special drill" and "Incidental" teaching; while a major­
ity of tenth grade teachers said that in the tenth grade inst­
ruction in the use of these aids was "incidental".
Instruction given in the use of ja dictionary. The major­
ity of sixth grade teachers reported "incidental" instruction
in the use of a dictionary, but the majority of teachers of all
other grades said "special drill" was given on this subject in
the grade for which they were reporting.
Refer to Table VIII,
on the next page for data concerning instruction given in the
use of the library.
Instruction given in the use of an encyclopedia or
World Book.
In the sixth, seventh, and eighth grade, the major­
ity of teachers reported giving "special drill" in the use of
this type of reference work.
Hinth grade teachers were divided
almost evenly between those who gave, "special drill" and those
whose teaching in this matter was "incidental".
The majority
of tenth grade teachers reported that instruction was "inciden­
tal".
97
TABLE VIII
FREQUENCY DISTRIBUTION OF TEACHER RESPONSES REGARD­
ING INSTRUCTION GIVEN IN THE USE OF A LIBRARY
10th
6 th
7 th
8 th
9 th
a. None
1
b • Incidental
• 24
c. Special drill
0
0
7
18
1
4
20
0
11
14
0
9
16
II . Skill in the Use of a Library
A • Reference Works
8. A Dictionary
0
3
22
1
6
18
1
9
15
0
12
13
0
16
9
•
o
a. None
b. Incidental
c. Special drill
10
13
2
8
; 12
-5
5
14
6
1
17
7
5
15
5
a. None
b. Incidental
c. Special drill
21
4
0
13
9
3
3
14
8
0
7
18
2
4
19
a. None
b* Incidental
c. Special drill
9
6
10
2
4
19
1
8
16
0
10
15
0
7
18
13. Distinguish be­ a. None
tween fiction
b. Incidental
and non-fiction c • Special drill
2
12
11
0
6
19
0
11
14
3
11
11
1
15
9
14. Know that fic­ £1• None
tion is shelved b. Incidental
c. Special drill
by author
7
7
11
0
6
19
0
15
10
5
9
11
0
13
12
a. None
b. Incidental
c. Special drill
8
9
8
0
6
19
1
13
11
4
6
15
1
10
14
H
a. None
9. An Encyclo­
pedia or World- b. Incidental
c. Special drill
book
World Alma­
nac
11. The Reader*s
Guide
12. The Card
Catalogue
B. Books on Shelves
15. Know that non­
fiction is
shelved by
subject.
98
Instruction given in the use of the World Almanac, A
veryslight majority of the
sixth grade teachers said that
”ineidental11 teaching was given in the use of the World Alman­
ac, with almost as many frankly stating that no instruction
was given in the use of this reference work.
Throughout the
seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth grades the consensus is that
instruction in the use of the World Almanac is "incidental”.
Instruction given in the use of the Reader *s Guide.
In reporting on the type of instruction given in the use of
the Reader's Guide twenty-one out of twenty-five sixth grade
teachers said "none”.
The majority of seventh grade teachers,
though of a lesser majority, made the same report.
Eighth
grade teachers, in the majority; reported incidental teaching
in this technique; while most of the ninth and tenth grade
teachers reported giving special drill.
Instruction given in the use of the card catalogue.
Throughout the five grades from which a report was requested,
the majority of teachers said that special drill was given in
the use of the card catalogue.
This majority, while very
slight in the sixth grade, was quite strong in each of the
others.
Instruction given in distinguishing between fiction and
non-fiction.
Reports from the sixth and the ninth grade teach­
ers balanced between incidental teaching and special drill;
99
while from the seventh and eighth grades the majority reported
special drill, and most of the tenth grade teachers said,that
they gave incidental instruction in this subject;
Instruction given in how fiction is shelved; From the
sixth, seventhj and ninth grades, the majority of teachers
reported that "special drill" was given in this matter, while
a slight majority of eighth and tenth grade teachers reported
such instruction of an "incidental" nature.
Instruction given in how non-fiction is shelved. The
sixth grade teachers reports on what type of instruction was
given in this matter were evenly divided between "none", "in­
cidental" teaching and "special
drill". , A majority of seven­
th, ninth, and tenth grade teachers reported giving "special
drill", while the eighth grade teachers reports were divided
between "special drill" and "incidental" teaching, with a
slight majority for the latter expression*
Instruction given in the evaluation of material and
the selection of pertinent information*
A
heavy majority of
teachers from each of the grades reported giving "special
drill" on this subject.
Their responses, and others concerned
with instruction given in note'taking technique are given in
Table IX.
100
TABLE IX
FREQUENCY DISTRIBUTION OF TEACHER RESPONSES REGARD­
ING INSTRUCTION GIVEN IN NOTE TAKING TECHNIQUES
What type of instruction was
given in:
6th
7th
8th
9th
16. The evaluating a. None
1
of material and b. Incidental
4
c • Special drill 20
selection of
pertinent in­
formation?
0
6
19
1
4
20
1
0
24
0
8
17
17. Summarizing?
a. None
1
b. Incidental
5
c. Special drill 19
0
9
16
0
9
16
0
4
21
0
3
22
18. The Selection
of key words
and phrases?
a. None
4
6
b. Incidental
c • Special drill 15
2
11
12
2
8
15
1
10
14
1
10
14
a. None
19. The selection
0
of main thoughtsb. Incidental
0
c. Special drill 25
of paragraphs?
0
5
20
0
3
22
0
4
21
0
4
21
20. The use of bib­ a. None
13
liography eards?b. Incidental
8
c. Special drill 4
14
8
3
8
12
5
9
8
8
10
9
6
a. None
2
b • Incidental
11
c • Special drill 12
3
14
8
6
14
5
■5
16
4
3
18
4
21. The use of ab­
breviations?
10th
101
Instruction given in summarizing.
Although for every
grade the majority report was for "special drill" the seventh
and eighth grade teachers reported "incidental" teaching in a
number of cases.
Instruction given in the selection of key words and
phrases.
Again the majority of teachers from each grade re­
ported that special drill was given, with those reporting
incidental teaching maintaining a strong minority from the
seventh grade on.
Instruction given selecting the main thought of a
paragraph.
A strong majority from every grade reported
giving special drill.
Instruction given in the use of bibliography cards.
The majority of teachers from the sixth, seventh, and ninth
and tenth grades said they gave no instruction in the use of
bibliography cards.
In all four grades a considerable minor­
ity reported giving incidental teaching in the matter, while
in the eighth grade the majority reported giving incidental
instruction.
Instruction given in the use of abbreviations.
Through
out the grades, from the sixth to the tenth, the majority of
teachers reported that instruction in the use of abbreviations
was incidental.
lo a
Instruction given in filling out simple skeleton out­
lines.
A
strong majority of sixth grade teachers reported
giving special drill in this skill, hut the seventh grade
teachers, for the most part, reported that instruction was
incidental.
Tahle X gives this and all other data referring
to instruction given in outlining.
Eighth, ninth, and tenth
grade teachers, with steadily mounting majorities, reported
that they gave special drill in the filling out of simple
skeleton outlines.
Instruction given in rephrasing main thoughts4. In the
sixth, and again the ninth and tenth grade teachers reported
giving special drill in this outlining technique.
In the
seventh and eighth grades the majority reported incidental
instruction with a strong minority who said special drill
was givens
Instruction given in organizing main points.
Ihe
majority of sixth and eighth graded teachers reported incident­
al instruction* while the seventh, ninth and tenth grade
teachers reported a majority who give special drill.
Instruction in the elimination of irrelevent points.
In the sixth, seventh and eighth grades, the majority of
teachers reported that instruction in the elimination of
irrelevent points was incidental.
In the ninth and tenth
103
TABLE X
FREQUENCY DISTRIBUTION OF TEACHER RESPONSES REGARD­
ING INSTRUCTION GIVEN IN OUTLINING TECHNIQUES
6 th
7th
8th
9 th
a. None
b • Incidental
c. Special drill
1
5
19
1
18
6
4
8
13
0
10
15
0
4
21
23* Selecting and a. None
b. Incidental
rephrazing
main thoughts c. Special drill
of paragraphs?
3
8
14
3
13
9
3
11
11
0
10
15
0
6
19
What type of instruction was
given in:
22# Filling out
a simple
skeleton?
10th
24. Organizing
main points
in terms of
a general
plan?
a. None
b • Incidental
c. Special drill
4
14
7
4
9
12
3
13
9
0
7
18
0
2
23
25. Eliminating
irrelevant
points?
a • None
b. Incidental
c • Special drill
5
12
8
3
15
7
3
13
9
0
9
16
0
8
17
104
grades the majority reported that special drill was given in
this matter.
Instruction given in attempting to get meaning from
contents
Sixth, seventh, ninth, and tenth grade teachers,
with a majority from each grade, reported giving special drill
in this technique.
Hhese reports are given in Table XI, to­
gether with the complete data regarding instruction given in
vocabulary building.techniques.
The majority of eighth grade
teachers said that instruction was incidental, with a consid­
erable minority, saying that no instruction was given in the
matter. ,
Instruction given in looking for the familiar parts of
unfamiliar words,
throughout the grades reporting, the bal­
ance between reports of special drills and incidental teach­
ing was rather even,
the proponents of special drill attain­
ed a slight majority in the sixth, ninth, and tenth grades.
Instruction given in understanding meaning and use of
common prefixes and suffixes*
A g a in
the balance between in­
cidental teaching and special drill was closely maintained
throughout the grades reporting.
A slight majority of sixth,
seventh, and tenth grade teachers reported giving special
drill while the stronger tendency in the ninth grade was to­
ward incidental instruction, and the reports from the eighth
105
TABLE XI
FREQUENCY DISTRIBUTION OF TEACHER RESPONSES REGARDING
' INSTRUCTION GIVEN IN TECHNIQUES FOR VOCABULARY BUILDING
What type of instruction was
given in:
6th
7th
8th
9th
a. None
b. Incidental
c. Special drill
0
24
1
0
6
19
7
18
0
0
10
15
0
4
21
a. None
27. Looking for
familiar parts b • Incidental
of unfamiliar c. Special drill
words?
1
6
18
5
13
9
2
13
10
0
11
14
2
9
14
28. Understanding
meaning and
use of common
prefixes and
suffices?
a. None
b. Incidental
c. Special drill
2
11
12
4
10
11
1
12
12
2
14
9
0
9
16
29. Knowing how
to divide
words into
syllables?
a . None
b • Incidental
c. Special drill
1
3
21
1
6
18
0
8
17
1
12
12
1
8
16
30. Knowing how
to use dia­
critical
markings?
a . None
b. Incidental
c • Special drill
2
12
11
4
8
13
0
15
10
3
11
11
-5
5
15
26. Getting mean­
ing from
content?
10th
106
grad© struck a perfect balance, between the two degrees of
instructional intensity.
Instruction given in knowing how to divide words into
syllables*
Except in the ninth grade v fti er e an even number
of teachers reported giving special drill and incidental in­
struction, the majority reported throughout that they gave
special drill in syllabications
instruction given in the use of diacritical marks.
-Teachers from the sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth grades
reported special drill or incidental instruction in rather
evenly balanced numbers.
Only from the tenth grade did a
strong majority report that special drill was given in this
pronunciation aid.
CHAPTEH VI
COECLTJSIQKS AHD EEC OMME3JDATI OHS
The purposes of this investigation were:
(1) to
summarize the recent literature on study proeeedure and
techniques in the secondary schools in order to determine
which techniques are most generally recognized as effective
by educational authorities;
(S) to determine the extent to
which the ability to use these techniques has been acquired
by I»os Angeles junior high school pupils; and (3) to determine
the grades in which particular emphasis is being placed on
the acquisition of the specified techniques.
The first of these goals was attained by a thorough
perusal of the literature on the subject.
Periodical litera­
ture, books, and book reviews on study and study techniques
were given careful study.
The second and third objectives
were approached by the questionnaire technique.
Details con­
cerning the preparation and circularization of the question­
naire are presented in Chapter II.
The agreement existing between teachers o f 'the variousgrades concerning the skills evidenced by pupils on entering
the various grades, or concerning the skills evidenced by
pupils on leaving the various grades, is marked.
A lack of
108
agreement "between teachers of pupils leaving one grade and
the teachers of pupils entering the next higher grade is
equally apparent,
These seemingly contradictory views have
led certain critics to assert that there is' little or no
validity to teacher opinion concerning pupil achievement.
The popular expression is that teachers never "believe pupils
•have learned much "before they enter their classes; hut they
are always quite sure that they know a great deal when they
leave.
A
cursory examination of the teacher’s opinions
tabulated in this study might holster such a prejudice.
A
careful analysis of the expressed opinions together with a
thoughtful evaluation of the resulting implications, however,
reveals several possible contributing explanations of this
apparent contradiction.
Demands
of the
made by
outward lack
the word satisfactory.
ory skill?
fy the
stationary^
of
The clue to onecause
agreement between teachers liesin
What degree of skill is a satisfact­
Obviously, a degree of skill sufficient to satis­
demands made
of skill.
the situation.
It
by
the situation is a satisfactory degree
is the demands of the situation that are not
For example, a sixth grade pupil might very weLl
be able to satisfy the demands upon him by locating a clearly
specified topic in the index, and possibly noting a page while a
109
ninth or tenth grade pupil might need to display considerable
imagination and discrimination in considering what to look
for in the first place, and once found, what to eliminate.
The tenth grade pupil, though displaying a great deal more
ability in the use of the index than the sixth grade pupil,
might still be unable to evidence a satisfactory skill, while
the sixth grade pupil could evidence skill entirely satisfact­
ory to the situation.
The teacher in the lower grade may be entirely accurate
and objective in saying that her pupils meet the demands made
upon them in a satisfactory way without in any way casting
aspersions upon the judgment, fairness, objectivity or accur­
acy of the next teacher who reports that pupils entering her
grade are not usually prepared to make a satisfactory response
to the demands made upon them;
The pupils may be equally skill
ful, and the teachers equally objective, but the situation, and
the demands made on the pupils by the situation may have
changed very materially.
More rigid standards in upper grades;
A tendency for
judgments, as to pupils abilities, to become increasingly less
lenient with ascending grade level is noted throughout the
survey.
This is justifiable to a degree, though there is
room for inquiry as to whether lower grade teachers accept
110
too low standards, or the teachers of higher grades hold
standards that are too rigid.
The standards do appear to
increase more rapidly than the skill of the pupils.
It is
however probable that holding too low a standard is more
harmful than holding too high a standard.
Individual teacher demands. Whatever the skill under
consideration each teacher is certain to stress some indivi­
dual details of technique.
A new class, being unfamiliar with
these specific demands, naturally does not comply with them
and thus leads the teacher to feel a lack of satisfaction in
their performance.
Comparison with previous class.
An incoming class
usually treads very closely upon the heels of a departing
class to whom the teacher is bound by ties of familiarity and
affection.
It is almost inevitable that in some slight degree
at least, the new class is compared, not with other new
classes, but with the class ;just departed which had the ad­
vantage not only of familiarity but a year of increased train­
ing and maturity.
On merit alone a beginning eighth grade
class would naturally compare unfavorably with an entering
ninth grade class.
.111
EEC OMMEM)ATI OFS
Articulation*
A city wide campaign for better arti­
culation in order to bridge the gap between the various levels
of the school system is strongly recommended*
The. break be­
tween elementary and junior high school requirements and
standards is apparent throughout the survey.
A similar break
between the junior and the senior high school is obvious.
Specific standards.
A specific and detailed set of
study-skill achievements expected of each class would be a
very helpful aid.
To be effective these standards would have
to be worked out by classroom teacher committees who could
compare and test in order to arrive at conclusions which
would stand up under actual teaching conditions.
Agreement on details.
Some agreement should be reached
as to what shall constitute acceptable performance as to de­
tails.
The legitimate increase in difficulty of subject
matter should not be complicated by subjecting students to a
whole new set of minor requirements term by term.
Instructional techniques.
The techniques which go to
make up skill in outlining, note-taking, and vocabulary build­
ing were reported by the majority of teachers as inadequate
although apparently considerable stress is laid on the
112
instruction of each of these techniqueSi
Educators hold all
three to "be highly important in successful study.
Further
investigations should be made to determine the exact instru­
ctional techniques by which these skills could be most effect­
ively attained by the Junior high pupils.
BIBLIOGRAPHY
A.
BOOKS
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Pub li shing Uompahy, 1939 •
Burgess
Berg, D. S., The Modern Student. Forest Hills, Hew York:
Universal~FubIisMng Company, 1935.
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Doubleday, Doran and Company, Inc. ,
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Prentice-Hall,
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D.
Jones, E. S. , Improvement of Study Habits. Second edition;
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The Christopher
Kahn, S., How To Study. Bibliography; Boston;
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Meador Publish­
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The Author, e. o. Mt.r'HoiyoYe 'College, 1935.
Mott, Carolyn, and Leo B. Baisden, The Children1s Book On How
To Use Books And Libraries, ifew YorkT Charles S c r ib n e r s
I>ons, 1937. ^0*8 pp.
Parr, Frank W . , How To Study Effectively.
Hall, Inc., 19^8. xv and £33 pp.
Hew York:
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Pitkin, Walter B. , Harold C. Dewton, and Olive P. Langham,
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I3£r pp.
Walters, W. R. , Hints On Hov* To Study.
3rd edition, Phila­
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115
B.
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Brink, William G-. , "A Manual Of Studies For Pupils,Tr The
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Fletcher, H .F., "Independent Study In The Dower Division At
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C.
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35:853, October, 1939.
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Brownell, W. A., "What Has Happened to Supervised Study?"
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Bundesen, H. H . , "Homework Versus Health," Ladies Home Journal,
55:70, September, 1938.
Corey, S. M . , "Making Botes From Lectures and Readings,"
Journal of Educational Research, 29:204-8, Hovember, 1935.
Crawford, C. C. and Carmichael, J.A., "Value of Home Study,"
Elementary School Journal, 38:194-200, Hovember, 1937.
Cuff, N.B., "Study Habits in Grades Four to Twelve," Journal
of Educational Psychology, 28:295-301, April, 1937*1
Dawson, Lester, "How to Study a Technical Subject," School
Science and Mathematics, 39:659-61, October, 1937^
Di Hapoli, B J*, "What Does Research Say?"
23:165, January, 1938.
School L i f e ,
Dudley, Dessalee Ryan, "Learning to Study in Early Grades,"
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Douglass, H.R. and Bauer, H.C., "Study Practices of Three
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118
Edmlaton, B. W. , "Study Conditions in High School and College,11
School and Society, 48:379-80, September 17, 1938.
Edmiston, B. W. , "The Effects of Emphasizing THow to Learnr
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641-4, January* 1937.
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35:28, March, 1938.
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and Society, 48:28, July 2, 1938.
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How To Study?" Journal of Educational Research, 29:
58-64, April, 1 9 3 K
McDowell, John G. , and Anderson, Howard R. , "Testing Ability
of Pupils to Outline," School Research, 46:48-56,
January, 1938.
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‘
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130
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1935;
:
Thomas, Evan K # , "Getting Pupils to Study," School Executive
57: 487, June, 1938.
Updegraff, Robert R. , "Make A Ifote of It.1" Reader ’s Digest,
reprint from The Rotarian, January, 193*91
Wagner, Mazie Earle, and Strable, Eunice, "Teaching High
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Williamson, E. G . , "An Analysis of the Young-Eastabrooks
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21: 260-4, June, 1937*:
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Learning of Supervised and TJnsuper vised (jitudy Among
College Freshmen," Journal of Educational Psychology,
27: 111-18, February, 1936.
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Woods, Roy C . , "Budgeting The Child’s Time," Education,
56: 125, October, 1935.
. ---Yoakam, G.A., "The Improvement of Reading and Study Habits,"
Elementary School Journal, 36: 175-84, November, 1935.
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