Class size, reading instruction, and commercial materials

Patrick Shannon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


On the average, low class size (below a 20 to 1 student/teacher ratio) has significant effects on students’ academic achievement, if teachers will alter the regular instructional routines accordingly. Twenty primary‐grade teachers and forty primary‐aged students were observed for two hours each in such classrooms in order to see if reduced class size altered the typical organization and procedures of elementary school reading programs. Overall, 83 percent of teachers’ time was spent talking about, explaining, or monitoring students’ use of commercial reading materials. Student time was divided unequally among learning centers (6 percent), writing (1 percent), workbooks and worksheets (70 percent), reading books (10 percent), and reading group (13 percent). Reasons for the lack of change are explored through teachers’ and principals’ beliefs about commercial reading materials. Implication for schools and classrooms are discussed in terms of helping school personnel clairfy their beliefs about reading and instruction, and then, assisting them to act on their beliefs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-29
Number of pages12
JournalReading Research and Instruction
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1989

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)


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