MORE – Setting up a Reading Motivator in the Digital Age: introducing New Approaches of Reading for Pleasure Pedagogy in Primary Schools
Reading literacy and reading motivation are declining (see, e.g., PISA, PIRLS). This among others translates into lower learning achievement and increasing disparities among reading achievement. Students perceive reading as something related to learning and grades, not pleasure. Reading is too often taken as something compulsory and not as a joyful leisure activity. This needs to be changed by putting more emphasis on reading for pleasure as this is the most important factor in enhancing reading skills and motivation. Reading for pleasure ensures a positive attitude and self-concept towards reading. It is a prerequisite for high learning achievement, lifelong learning, and sociocultural participation. There is a positive relationship between reading frequency, reading enjoyment, and reading achievement. Students who enjoy reading have higher academic attainment than those who do not (see, e.g., PISA 2016). Reading for pleasure also has emotional and social effects and is more important for educational success than family socioeconomic status (OECD, 2002). Reading for pleasure also leads to better text comprehension, and grammar skills,, and increases general knowledge.
Despite the fact that the benefits of reading for pleasure are difficult to dispute, in most countries the number of students who read daily or almost daily for pleasure outside school has declined significantly. Another challenge in enhancing reading for pleasure is that it is usually implemented in family settings, but these can differ considerably and therefore present unequal conditions. In primary school environments it would be possible to target children and ensure positive reading experiences for everybody. In our project, we will develop a model that will make it possible to systematically implement the pedagogy of reading for pleasure in school contexts, adapting the activities for different reading profiles of students, aged 9 to 11.
To connect school environments with voluntary, recreational, independent reading is not easy. According to students, important advantage in implementing reading for pleasure in schools may be that the person leading the reading activities is not school-related. If the teachers themselves act as reading motivators, the students quickly feel that the activity is being assessed and become stressed. This is especially true for students who are not confident readers.
Therefore, we aim to (1) develop a curriculum, (2) educate, and (3) set up a profile of a reading motivator, who would then carry out prearranged reading-related activities in selected schools Reading motivators will all be professional librarians, specialized in children’s and youth literature, and trained to conduct workshops on reading for pleasure pedagogy, based on the analysis of students’ manifold reading identities. Primarily, the reading motivator is intended for students, but it will also offer classes for teachers and others who may work with students on reading for pleasure. The goal is to establish a permanent service and create materials that will allow the concept to be easily implemented in other countries. We hope that the project will help students experience reading as a relaxed and enjoyable practice and as a part of school curricula.
Objectives: What do you want to achieve by implementing the project
The project creates pedagogy for enhancing the reading of diverse readers. The idea is to set up a profile of a reading motivator to work with students and also teachers. The model is based on reading for pleasure pedagogy (RfP), reading profiles and motivation as well as research implemented in the project. As a result, there will a training package for reading motivators, tools for implementing the reading profiles, a model of individualized RfP and research on different tools of the project.
Implementation: What activities are you going to implement?
First, previous research on reading for pleasure and motivation is investigated and the content for training the reading motivators is formed. The reading profiles and reading pathways of students are created and the motivators trained. Next, the motivators scaffold the model in workshops. The effects are tested pre- and post-test. Lastly, the research results and the guidelines for the reading motivators are published, together with the country-specific good practices in RfP pedagogy.
Results: What project results and other outcomes do you expect your project to have?
The result will be a set of reading profiles and reading-pathways, a course curriculum on RfP, trained reading motivators and a selection of good practices with country-specific differentiation. Reading motivation of the students in the project will increase and the teachers will gain tools for implementing RfP pedagogy in their practice. Tools for forming reading profiles of students will be provided as well as a model of individualised RfP pedagogy and guidelines based on the project findings.
Assist. Prof. Ana Vogrinčič Čepič (University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts, Department of Sociology, Department of Library and Information Science and Book Studies, Slovenia)
Adjunct Prof./Senior Lect. Juli-Anna Aerila (University of Turku)
Service Manager Sanna Hernelahti (Turku City Library)
Adjunct Prof./Senior Lect. Tiziana Mascia (Associazione Literacy Italia)
Adjunct Prof./Senior Ugo Guidolin (Associazione Literacy Italia)
Senior Librarian Francesco Grande (Associazione Literacy Italia)
Senior Librarian Valentina Bondesan (CSBNO)
Assist. Prof. Ana Vogrinčič Čepič (University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts, Department of Sociology, Department of Library and Information Science and Book Studies)
Assistant Veronika Rot Gabrovec (University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts, Department of English)
Prof. Sonja Pečjak (University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts, Department of Psychology)
Assist. Prof. Tina Pirc (University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts, Department of Psychology)