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A study of time orientation, temporal integration and reading comprehension: Back to the future

Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)



First Advisor

Fred Muskal


Problem. Lower-track high school students' combination of poor reading comprehension, present time orientation and shortened temporal integration is an area that has been identified in a range of divergent literature, but little studied in terms of educational practice. Previous research into time orientation and temporal integration has failed to investigate a connection with reading comprehension. Purpose. The purpose was to determine if there is a relationship between time orientation, temporal integration, reading achievement/high school track level and reading comprehension. Procedures. Two measures, a Time Orientation Questionnaire and a Cloze Test of Reading Comprehension, previously identified and pilot tested, were employed. One class in each of four track levels (College Preparatory, General, Remedial and ESL) at two high schools was tested. The data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Findings. The utility of the two measures was validated by this study. The data indicate that track placement affected 63% of the verb tense items reflecting time orientation on the Cloze Test, and 55% of the verb tense items reflecting temporal integration. The Cloze Test of Reading Comprehension differentiated among the four track levels of reading ability, and showed that there are temporal factors which are involved. These temporal factors have not been understood as elements which mediate between levels of reading comprehension. In addition, track placement affected 35% of the responses on the Time Orientation Questionnaire, which addressed future and present time orientations. Recommendations. The educational problem is how to accomplish temporal intervention by teaching about a broad range of temporality: (1) The teaching should focus on establishing a sense of the future, by starting from the present and incorporating the definite (past tense) and then the indefinite past (present perfect tense) in both teacher-student interactions and reading comprehension materials. (2) The primary vehicle is language and temporally-designed reading comprehension materials throughout the high school curriculum, indicating that a temporally-sophisticated curriculum can be designed to meet the needs of at-risk students.



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