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Television is gaining in the battle with teachers to influence the mental development of children, asserts Ms. Doerken. In an examination of the history of television, she addresses such subjects as educational programming; violence on TV; the workings of the television industry; TV's effect on children's imagination, perception, and psychological growth; and the future of the industry. Ms. Doerken has taught various subjects and grade levels and is currently working on her doctorate in educational psychology and instructional technology at the University of Southern California.


Stages of Reading Development, by Jeanne S. Chall (McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1221 Avenue of the Americas, New York, N.Y. 10020; 303 pages, $18.95).


Reading is learned in stages and various problems can manifest themselves at different stages, writes Ms. Chall in this presentation of her "stage-development" scheme of reading. Her research indicates, she writes, that students pass through six stages in the process of becoming expert readers. She analyzes each, describing how students progress from reading children's books to advanced, complex reading materials. The stage theory provides, she believes, a broad perspective on the learning process that teachers, parents, test developers, and others can use to decide upon the most effective methods for teaching reading skills and appreciation. Ms. Chall is director of the reading laboratory and professor of education at Harvard University.


Guides and Directories

Parent-Teacher Conferencing, by Joseph C. Rotter and Edward H. Robinson III (National Education Association, 1201 16th St., N.W., Washington, D.C.; 32 pages, paper $2).


For teachers who want to improve their skills in working with parents, this booklet examines the history of and the research on parent-teacher conferences, suggests ways to improve communication skills, and offers ideas for teachers searching for ways to involve parents in a child's educational development.


Substitute Teaching: A Handbook for Hassle-Free Subbing, by Barbara Pronin (St. Martin's Press, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, N.Y. 10010; 252 pages, $13.95).


Written by a substitute teacher, this guide provides practical information on obtaining jobs and on state requirements, pay scales, and other aspects of being a substitute. The book also includes a portrait of a typical day in the life of a substitute teacher, four "keys" to satisfactory substitute teaching, and "classroom-tested" advice to make the day go smoothly.


Other Resources

How a Textbook is Made (Association of American Publishers Inc., 1 Park Ave., New York, N.Y. 10016; 8 pages, paper, free).


For educators, parents, and students interested in discovering how textbooks are manufactured, this booklet provides easy-to-read information on the nine-step process, from market research and program outlining to production and post-publication revisions.


Time on Task: Using Instructional Time More Effectively (American Association of School Administrators, 1801 North Moore St., Arlington, Va. 22209; 77 pages, paper $8.45).


Researchers have tied the way students spend their time in the classroom to academic success. In this booklet, the authors outline solutions for such "time-robbers" as the lack of classroom equipment, improperly scheduled lunch breaks, the need to discipline students, and inclement weather. They examine the roles of teachers, parents, students, and administrators in solving time-related problems.


Vision/Visual Perception: An Annotated Bibliography, compiled by Sam Weintraub and Robert J. Cowan (International Reading Association, 800 Barksdale Rd., Newark, Del. 19711; 93 pages, paper $4.50 ($3 for members)).


This bibliography lists books, articles, and research studies on the visually handicapped, visual acuity and efficiency, and visual perception. The book is for teachers of the blind, parents, and educators interested in such topics as visual-perceptual testing, visual memory, and visual discrimination.


The American Teacher, edited by C. Emily Feistritzer (Feistritzer Publications, 1261 National Press Building, Washington, D.C. 20045; 73 pages, paper $19.95).


The quality of teaching in the U.S. is threatened, the editor of this publication says, by both the decline in the number of people choosing to enter the field of teaching and the low caliber of those who do choose it. The editor has compiled previously published statistics from various sources on the demographic and academic characteristics of the current teaching force, supply and demand projections, and teacher education. Ms. Feistritzer concludes that unless changes are made in the recruitment and training of teachers, the decline of the teaching profession will only accelerate.

--Anne Bridgman

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