Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


This study was designed to assess reading comprehension instruction guidelines within elementary social studies teachers' manuals. The study's purpose was to analyze guidelines for teaching reading comprehension as presented in selected elementary social studies teachers' manuals. In order to assess reading comprehension instructional guidelines, a content analysis of nine teachers' manuals representing three randomly selected social studies series with 1983 copyright dates was undertaken. An assessment model was developed which consisted of three categories, SOME INSTRUCTION, NON-INSTRUCTION, and INDETERMINATE. Five components representing the definition of reading comprehension instruction formulated for this study were used to establish which category was to be referenced. Additionally, a criterion skills list was developed from the scope and sequence charts of each series. This criterion list along with the three categories from the models was used for tabulating data in this study. Results from the content analysis indicated that 35% of the comprehension guidelines referenced provided some instruction, while 61% of the guidelines were non-instructional. The data for series and grade levels revealed that there was a 58 percentage point decrease between first and fifth grades in the percentage of the total references at each grade level that were positively coded. An inverse trend existed with regard to SOME INSTRUCTION and NON-INSTRUCTION within series and across grade levels. Overall, the three social studies programs adhered to the exposure definition of reading comprehension and a dyad model of instruction involving prior knowledge and practice/application. Implications were drawn and recommendation were made for practitioners, teacher educators, publishers, and researchers based upon findings. One primary suggestion was for classroom teachers to be more cognizant of the limitations of teachers' manuals. In addition publishers were urged to provide examples of reading strategies within reading comprehension instruction guidelines. Likewise, recommendations were also made to researchers interested in this type of study. One of the recommendations was that students' text and teachers' manuals should be analyzed concurrently. Another was that observational research should be considered as a continuation of this study to ascertain to what extent teachers rely on teachers' manuals for reading comprehension guidelines in the social studies curriculum.