Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Degree Discipline



Union Academy is situated seven miles north of Palestine, Texas on Frankston County Highway. The community, New Chapel, consists of approximately one hundred families. This is a typical example of rural social structure where individuals are actively engaged in agricultural pursuits.

In surveying the homes of the school patrons, it was found that three groups exist: namely, the home owner, the renter, (the man who owns his mules, horses, cows, hogs, chickens, household furnishings and car) and the tenant farmer who looks to the landlord for every thing. There are many evidences here that rural life is "rooted" to an occupation and to the land. On the other hand, many urban influences from Palestine - only seven miles distant - can be found in New Chapel. This interplay of Influences is readily felt in the school setting in the degree and rate of advancement within the school population. Especially is this true in connection with the children enrolled in the primary grades.

It is the purpose in this thesis: first, to give an account of the relatively constant factors at work in the economic and social background of the primary pupils of Union Academy; secondly, to point out how these factors make for progress or lack of progress from a general scholastic standpoint; and thirdly, to show the extent to which specific reading disabilities go hand in hand with certain economic and social conditions. The final pages deal with a reading program outlined in the light of the needs and abilities of the children.

The community approach to any educational problem may prove valuable in identifying factors and processes as they exist on a large scale in larger geographic, social or economic units. The concrete reality of New Chapel as a community serves as a better basis for study than any stilted or abstract concept regarding the teaching of reading. This situation is unique because its life and structure can be analyzed to some extent. Here is a place the teacher and the children know most about and in which they are most at home. It is neither too far away nor too large to defy critical examination. Here is afforded a fundamental unit in teaching and learning. Here is a source of "real life" materials for the teacher, to which personal and educational adjustments must be made. It is this little community that sets an endless array of problems; that seeks to dictate the curriculum and school program; and that, in the end, determines the teacher's success of failure.

Committee Chair/Advisor

A. Porter Wilson


Prairie View State Normal and Industrial College


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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Date of Digitization


Contributing Institution

John B Coleman Library

City of Publication

Prairie View





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