Are students losing the joy of reading?
December 12, 2011
A new report from People for Education shows a dramatic decline in the percentage of grade 3 and 6 students who report they "like to read."
A new report from People for Education shows the percentage of children in grade 3 who report they “like to read” dropped from 76% in 1998/99 to 50% in 2010/11. The number of students in grade 6 who “like to read” fell from 65% to 50% in the same time period.
The new report includes data from the EQAO which surveyed over 240,000 students in grades 3 and 6, as well as research from the OECD. Reports from the OECD show that reading enjoyment not only affects students’ success in all subject, but also has an impact on students’ sense of social and civic engagement.
The report notes that research shows that in elementary schools with teacher-librarians, students are more likely to say that they “like to read.” Despite the evidence, the percentage of elementary schools with teacher-librarians has dropped from 76% in 1998/99 to 56% in 2010/11. The percentage of secondary schools with teacher-librarians has fallen from 78% to 66%.
See the media coverage:
Only half of pupils like to read, Dec. 12, Toronto Star.
Ontario kids can read well, but they don’t have to like it, Dec. 12, Globe and Mail.
Fewer kids reading for fun ‘a worrying trend’, Dec. 12, Metro News.
Literacy scores rise as reading for fun drops, Dec. 12, National Post
People For Education Viewpoint:
It’s time to expand our definition of success in education in Ontario. It’s not enough to focus only on targets for test scores in reading, writing and math; we need to begin to measure all the other factors that contribute to overall success – not just in school, but in adult life. For the next few years, People for Education will be working with parents, experts, academics and school communities across the province to develop new definitions for success and new metrics by which we can measure our progress toward these broader, more lasting goals. If the percentage of students who report they “like to read” were one of Ontario’s measures of success for our schools, we would be making changes to ensure that percentage was going up instead of down.