Date of Award
Master of Science in Education (MSEd)
Frank M. Pelton
The purpose of this study was to present and discuss a series of ten feature articles which appeared in The Rhode Islander, the magazine section of The Providence Sunday Journal, as a means of informing the lay public of the activities of a first grade in the public schools. The series commenced in September, 1956, and was concluded in June, 1957.
The ten articles are included as Appendix A. A questionnaire shown in Appendix B, was constructed as a means of evaluating the effect the publication of the feature articles had upon the information of readers. The first grade selected for the project was at the Point Street Elementary School in Providence, Rhode Island, a densely populated area in which housing and living conditions were very poor. The class consisted of thirty six children ranging in age from five to eight. They came from many national backgrounds and would probably be considered below average in mental ability, since more than half the class had intelligence quotients below ninety five.
Two problems have been considered in the study:
1. Serving the purposes of journalism while fulfilling the purposes or objectives in the instructional program of the first grade; and
2. Giving the public accurate and instructive information about the normal activities of a first grade as developed for special journalistic purposes.
In planning the series of articles many questions had to be answered. What did the public want to know: What did the newspaper want for its series? What did the elementary school supervisor want? What could the teacher develop for suitable programs? Answers to these and other questions were sought through current literature in the field of public relations and primary education, and interviews with the education editor of the local press and the elementary school supervisor.
After completing the study the following recommendations were made:
1. The teacher must have complete freedom to select activities which she thinks are suitable and to employ whatever methods and procedures she thinks necessary . However, she must be forever mindful of what is good instruction for the children. for that is the reason for the articles.
2. The teacher selected must be enthusiastic about undertaking the task.
3. Persons representing the newspaper as reporter and photographer must have interest in and knowledge about the educational area which they are reporting .
Andrews, Claire, "Interpretation of the First Grade Program to the Public Through the Medium of the Press" (1962). Open Access Master's Theses. Paper 1344.