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Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)



First Advisor

Margaret Anne Langer

First Committee Member

Robert R. Hopkins


The purpose of this study was to determine the status of instruction of reading study skills as revealed by a state-wide survey of teachers. The problem was: To what extent are academic content area teachers in California secondary schools providing instruction in reading study skills as part of their instruction program? An analysis of the problem yielded eight questions related to the perceptions and practices of teachers in the four content areas of English, mathematics, science, and social science. Eleven hypotheses were proposed related to possible differences among sub-groups of teachers. The research was descriptive in nature and employed a survey design in which a questionnaire was the survey instrument. Questionnaires were distributed to 688 teachers in a randomly selected sample of 172 schools. The total number of respondents was 374 (54.5 percent). Follow-up telephone interviews were conducted with twenty respondents. Teachers perceive reading study skills to be important to student success in their respective content areas. Teachers consider "Identifying main ideas" as the single most important reading study skill. They rate the ability level of students to perform reading study skills as neither high nor low. They report that they allocate time for reading study skills instruction. Respondents report that they use all of the recommended instructional procedures listed on the questionnnaire. The findings with respect to the perceived ability level of students and allocation of instructional time are in distinct contrast to the literature. Three recommendations were proposed: 1) That further research involving direct classroom observation be designed and conducted to investigate the allocation of time for teaching reading study skills in order to determine the ratio of process versus content instruction that is being provided for secondary students; 2) That at all educational levels, the issue of coverage of content versus the quality of teaching and learning be examined as a critical issue related to teacher effectiveness; 3) That school districts and other educational agencies provide in-service opportunities in order to promote a greater understanding of the importance of reading study skills for independent learning and to develop teacher expertise in the instruction of these skills.



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