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Caribbean Journal of Education

Textbook Content and Reading Interests of Jamaican Primary School Children

Publication Date: 
September 1982

This study proposes a schema for categorising reading interests based on an identification of basic interest and dominant interest(s) among interest elements in reading materials. A methodology which involved making forced choices within thirteen groups of three passages, each with a unique combina-tion of interest elements, was used to ascertain the reading interests of 438 fourth and 412 first grade children in fourteen primary schools in Jamaica. Grade and environmental differences in reading interests were determined by the use of a 2x3 chi-square test. Results pinpoint significant grade level differences in reading interests but negligible environmental differences. A content analysis of ninety-one reading textbooks revealed a fair representation of the reading interests of fourth grade children but an under-representation of those of the first graders. Strategies for arousing reading interests are pointed up and writers are urged to represent a wider array of particularly first grade children's interests in their textbooks.

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