Monday, April 26, 2010

Search Competency 2: ERIC/First Search

For this next search competency my naive question is going to be:

Does gender affect reading scores in national reading tests?

For this question I am going to use the ERIC/First Search database because it contains education related materials and bibliographic records.

The main search strategy that I am going to use for this one is the Pearl Growing, or Snowball strategy. I am going to perform a basic search, and then identify a record to pull indexing terms and concepts from in order to further narrow down my search.

ss1: (gender) and (reading score*) and (national test*)keyword search
Results: 71

From a few articles I pulled the following descriptors:

Descriptors: Reading tests, national competency tests, reading skills, gender differences, reading comprehension, scores, test results, gender issues, standardized testing

Now, I am going to take a few of the key descriptors and put them in to ERIC's subject search thesaurus. The following terms were retrieved:

reading skills, reading tests, reading comprehension, language tests, reading diagnosis

ss2: (gender or gender issue* or gender differ*) and (reading skill or reading test or reading comprehension or nation* competenc*) and (test or test results or score) subject search
Results: 113

This search brought up a lot of relevant results. Also, 113 results is a good number because it provides one with just enough articles to sift through.

Here are a few results:

Berkant, H. G. (2009). An Investigation of Students' Meaningful Causal Thinking Abilities in Terms of Academic Achievement, Reading Comprehension and Gender. Educational Sciences: Theory and Practice. 9(3), 1149-1165.

Hawke, J. L., Olson, R. K., Willcut, E. G., Wadsworth, S. J., & DeFries, J. C. (2009). Gender Ratios for Reading Difficulties. Dyslexia. 15(3), 239-242.

Limbrick, L., Wheldall, K., & Madelaine, A. (2008). Gender Ratios for Reading Disability: Are There Really More Boys than Girls Who Are Low-Progress Readers? Australian Journal of Learning Difficulties. 13(2), 161-179

Pearl growing worked well for this question and database because the initial facets had a lot of general terms to build off of. Plus, since ERIC is an education oriented database it provided not so much synonyms, but like terms that broadened the search results.

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