1.0 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The analysis and recommendations here are based on finding of long term action research project with education programs at primary, Secondary and tertiary levels, across Ifedore Local Government of Ondo State. The project entitled: Developing reading and learning skill in Elementary stage, has developed a system of literacy teaching strategies that enable learners to rapidly learn to read write at a level appropriate to their age and level of study.
The key principle in the following analysis is that underlying the overt content based on curriculum in each stage of the educational sequence is a convert curriculum of reading development.
The over curriculum content is set out in syllabus documents, and course statements and is consciously implemented by teachers. However the underlying convert function of the learning activities associated with the content.
Curriculum is to develop skills in reading and learning from reading. This function is not generally made explicit in syllabus documents, nor in teacher are training, and teachers are not generally trained to teach reading beyond junior primary years. In addition to curriculum content, syllabus document often refer to development of ‘cognitive’ skills. But these not generally related directly to reading development, Although reading skills are not generally explicitly taught beyond junior primary years, those students who are adequately prepared to acquire them tacitly from other learning activities will be able to proceed through the sequence to post primary school. On the other hand, those students who are not so well prepared will not be able to do so. We consider the failure to explicitly teach reading skills associated with each stage of schooling to be the primary mechanism for producing inequality of educational outcomes in the Ifedore Local Government educational system.
Typical characteristics of reading development at each stage of education are outlined as follows:
Reading at tertiary level:
At tertiary level, learning from reading is the primary pedagogic mode. Successful students acquire the course content through readings. The function of lectures and tutorials is primarily to synthesis and interpreter the content from readings, through oral monologue and dialogue. Attending to oral monologue in lectures involves skills in learning from readings. Comprehending lectures generally depends on having comprehended readings set before the lecture. The function of written assignments is to assess students acquisition of the course content from their readings.
Reading and writing at tertiary level involves two general types of written discourse- technicality and abstraction. Technicality is characteristic of natural science fields, it involves large bodies of accumulated knowledge that are hierarchically organized, with clearly defined sets of technical terms, and are acquired in steps prescribed by the organization of the field. Abstraction is characteristics of humanities field, these bodies of knowledge are not so hierarchically organized, but involved sets of abstract concepts denoting institution or symbolic entities and activities that are explained and evaluated.
This academic mode of pedagogy requires a high level of skills in independently. Learning from reading, including the abilities to recognized, interpret and reproduce both the information content of course readings, and the patterns of academic language in which it is expressed.
These skills are not taught at the tertiary level, expect where academic writing is taught in remedial support classes, but are tacitly acquired by successful students during secondary schooling. The function of matriculation examinations. Is to assess the acquisition of these skills, selecting successful students for university entrance. Matriculation examines are assessed on their acquisition of both curriculum content and the varying patterns of technicality and abstraction in which it is expressed in different curriculum subjects.
Matriculation exams are potentially cable of study, up to 40% drop out in the first year of the course of study, at least partly due to the difficulty of independently learning from reading in the academic mode. A high proportion of students do not read or cannot understand course, readings set before lectures, and so cannot adequately comprehend lectures. Tutorials then become repair sessions to enable students to gain basic comprehension of course content.