Dissertations and Theses @ UNI

Award Winner

Recipient of the 1992 Outstanding Master's Thesis Award - Third Place.

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Open Access Thesis


Reading (Elementary); Reading comprehension--Evaluation;


The purpose of this study was to document the implementation of naturalistic evaluations of reading comprehension, specifically, the comprehension abilities of first-grade students in a Chapter 1 reading program. There were five major questions which guided the study: (a) How will naturalistic evaluations assess students' reading comprehension abilities in a Chapter 1 classroom? (b) What problems does a Chapter 1 teacher encounter when implementing naturalistic forms of evaluation? (c) Given special consideration to time and management, how can naturalistic devices be used in a Chapter 1 reading program? ( d) How will a Chapter 1 teacher be able to use the information provided by these types of evaluations for improving instruction? (e) Will portfolios provide an evaluation form which is understandable for students, parents, and classroom teachers?

Naturalistic evaluations were found to be effective tools for measuring student comprehension abilities. While running records, retellings, and self-evaluations were useful in yielding sufficient information to be used when planning instruction, observation sheets and journal entries were less effective. Preparing and implementing the evaluations was time consuming as it involved determining appropriate assessments, recording observations, and scoring retellings and running records. However, during the semester, these evaluations became more routine and a natural part of the Chapter 1 program. Parents, students, and teachers responded positively to the evaluations used in this study. Their comments indicated that they found the information beneficial for understanding student abilities.

Further research documenting the use of naturalistic forms of evaluation is recommended. Practical studies are needed to aid educators in other teaching situations in constructing, implementing, and evaluating student growth through naturalistic evaluations.

Year of Submission


Year of Award

1992 Award

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education


Department of Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Jeannie L. Steele, Chair, Thesis Committee


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Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (iv, 92 pages)



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