Silent reading: a handbook for teachers (1922) by Charles E. Germane

Silent reading: a handbook for teachers 

silent reading

Much experience in high-school, normal-college, and university classrooms has convinced the authors that the following statements may be verified in any school: 

1. The chief cause of failure among first and second-year students is their inability to employ effective methods of study. 

2. By using proper methods of training it is possible to improve the study habits of many such students within a short time. During the last few" years there has been much investigation designed to discover the best method of reading effectively because the ability to do that lies at the bottom of how to study. Such investigations have been concerned with the physiological and psychological aspects of the problem, as well as with the pedagogical principles. 

As a result of this increased interest in the subject, administrative officers in city school systems are more closely supervising the methods employed to teach reading, and they are also more closely scrutinizing the results obtained. Reading circle boards are also interesting themselves in the literature that treats the teaching of reading. Because the reports of experiments in this field of education are usuall}^ only to be found in widely scattered sources, and when found prove to be of a highly technical nature, largely statistical, it is difficult for the average teacher to obtain or to use the conclusions of investigators. To remedy this situation by summarizing all that is best and most practical in the many modern investigations, and to make the findings available to teachers everywhere, has prompted the authors to undertake this work.

 The authors are especially indebted to Dr. Ernest Horn, Professor of Education and Director of the Elementary Experimental School at the State University of Iowa for the classification of silent-reading problems under four headings: Speed, Comprehension, Organization, and Retention.

 It was his vision of the scope of the field of reading, and his enthusiasm and encouragement that made this book a possibility. They are also indebted to Dr. Gerald A. Yoakam, Director of Teacher Training in the State Normal School at Kearney, Nebraska, for the use of some of his data, and to Miss Kate Kelly, Primary Supervisor of the Des Moines Public Schools, for reading the manuscript and offering constructive criticisms. Too many heads of school systems in Iowa who permitted the carrying out of experiments the authors are grateful, and especially so to Misses Post, Swemm, and Starr, principals of schools in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Download


  I. Silent or Oral Reading 11
II. Speed in Reading 27
III. Developing the Ability to Comprehend 45
IV. Developing the Ability to Organize 68
V. Retention 86
VI. Questionable Methods of Teaching Reading 100
VII. Remedial Work in Reading 115
VIII. Remedial Work in Reading (Continued) 143
IX. Measuring Comprehension and Retention 165
X. Material for Silent-Reading Purposes 186
XI. Silent Reading in Grades I and II 205
XII. Supplementary Exercises for Grades I and II.... 234
XIII. Silent Reading in Grades III and IV 259
XIV. Silent Reading in Grades V and VI 280
XV. Silent Reading in Grades VII and VIII 297
XVI. Motivation of Drill Work in Reading 333
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