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Amount of Text Read at School and the Motivation for Reading: A Large Scale Study in Grade 6 and 9
Högskolan Dalarna.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education. (DoLIS; UmSER)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1535-873X
Högskolan Dalarna.
Högskolan Dalarna.
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2018 (English)In: European Conference on Educational Research, Bolzano, Italy, September 4-7, 2018: Abstracts, Berlin, 2018Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper reports on some preliminary results from the project “To read or not to read: A study of reading practices in compulsory school” funded by the Swedish Research Council. The aim of the project is to develop knowledge of existing reading practices and to find out what kind of teaching that promotes such practices in a way that enables students to learn from reading. The decline in students’ reading literacy is something that concerns and worries many European and other Western countries. But surprisingly it is difficult to find large scale studies focusing on how much students read at school. To be a good reader one needs to practice (Kuhn & Stahl, 2003; Campell et al., 2001); it takes more than 5000 hours of reading to achieve a well-functioning reading capacity (Lundberg & Herrlin, 2005). To learn from text one needs to be able to read a longer text (Topping et al., 2007; Merisuo-Storm & Soininen, 2014). Prior research in the field further shows that it is important for students to read different types of texts (Kuhn & Stahl, 2003) and thus develop vocabulary and reading skills in many subjects (see, for example, Biemiller, 2001).The amount of reading, at school or at leisure, correlates positively with reading ability (Anderson et al., 1988; Cunningham & Stanovich, 1997; Taylor et al., 990). In our study we therefore are interested in the total amount of coherent and continuous text students read during an average school day in all their subjects, with a particular focus on reading habits in Swedish (L1), English (L2), Chemistry, and History. We also want to find out how the amount of reading correlates with the students’ self-assessed motivation for their school-initiated reading activities. In the first part of the project there is a predominantly quantitative focus in which we seek to find out the extent to which students read continuous prose texts – fictional as well as non-fictional – as part of their everyday school work, and how their reading is related to different types of motivation. The second part of the project has a predominantly qualitative focus where a limited number of groups will be selected for a series of closer classroom studies of teachers as well as students through observations, interviews and questionnaires in order to find out what characterizes the reading practices of these schools and classes. This paper will report on some preliminary results from the first part of the project where the following research questions are to be answered:

  • To what extent do students in years 6 and 9 read continuous prose text—fiction as well as nonfiction— as part of their school work?
  • What kind of motivation do students express for reading nonfiction and fiction texts in different school subjects?
  • What is the nature of the relationship between students’ reading motivation and the extent of their reading in school?
  • What differences in the interest of reading and in the reading habits among females and males, between school years 6 and 9, and between schools can be detected?
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Berlin, 2018.
Keywords [en]
reading, nonfiction, fiction, school subjects, motivation
National Category
Didactics
Research subject
didactics of chemistry; didactics of history; language teaching and learning
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-152501OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-152501DiVA, id: diva2:1254213
Conference
European Conference on Educational Research, Bolzano, Italy, September 4-7, 2018
Available from: 2018-10-08 Created: 2018-10-08 Last updated: 2018-10-10Bibliographically approved

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https://eera-ecer.de/ecer-programmes/conference/23/contribution/45151/

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Winberg, Mikael T.

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