Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Dr. Gerald Begy


The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of using a literature based approach to instruction with a traditional textbook based approach in the content area of social studies. The study was performed at the secondary level, with eleventh grade students, in a four week unit on the Civil War and period of Reconstruction in United States history.

A treatment and control group were used in a pretest – posttest design. The sample consisted of 50 students. One class (n = 26) was instructed through the use of a literature based approach. The other class (n = 24) was instructed through the use of school adopted textbook and textbook published materials. Both classes were taught by the same instructor and were equated using a pretest to determine the amount of previous knowledge of the subject studied.

Students were administered a posttest at the end of the four week unit. Questions on the test were drawn from previously given Regents exams. The data were analyzed at the .05 level of significance using t test of independent means. The overall mean gains for the literature based group were significant.

It was concluded the literature based instructional approach more effectively conveyed information, knowledge and understandings necessary for students to perform better on the Regents exam type posttest. Suggestions for classroom applications and implications for further study were discussed.