An Error Analysis Of Second-Grade Students' Seatwork Assignments (reading)

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Reading and Learning Disabilities


An error analysis of 126 second-grade students' seatwork assignments was conducted in order to quantify and qualify the types of errors observed in the everyday seatwork of good and poor readers. The subjects were 84 good readers and 42 poor readers from four schools. The researcher collected a total of 2,262 seatwork papers and randomly selected 378 papers for analysis. Each paper was then evaluated by two independent reviewers and coded according to the categories of error associated with each paper. The most important finding was that of all the reasons for error on the seatwork assignments, only 32% were directly related to the objectives of the seatwork assignment. Other findings included the fact that completing ditto papers was by far the dominant activity and that students' responses on seatwork were most often reactive, i.e., in the form of a single word, circling a correct answer, writing a numeral, or underlining a correct answer. Only 4% of students' work required a self-generated response. A stepwise discriminant function analysis identified 8 of the 11 categorical error variables as discriminating between good and poor readers. The most discriminating categories were: Task too Difficult for Independent Practice, Failure to Follow Directions, and Not Enough Knowledge Relevant to the Objective. The primary conclusion was that seatwork products and their implementation and evaluation are in desperate need of reform. Publishers need to add diversified activities requiring more than reactive responses; teachers need to prepare more individualized assignments appropriate for heterogeneous classrooms; and administrators need to be more concerned with the relevance of activities to specific curriculum objectives.


Education, Reading

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