We may perhaps take for granted that the importance of reading is well understood by children, given the position of reading as a fundamental literacy skill, the regular practice of which is strongly associated with a range of literacy advantages. Children’s perceptions of the importance and value of reading can influence their motivation to read. However, it is not currently known if children continue to perceive the value of reading beyond the period of independent reading skill acquisition.
The final data set used in this study included 24 co-educational schools from diverse geographical locations and contexts. Data were subject to cross-tabulation within the survey platform using filtering mechanisms to examine the presence of general trends relating to year group, age and gender, in relation to the responses. Findings from a sample of 997 older elementary children indicate that some children may not recognize the value of reading beyond independent reading skill acquisition. in addition to consideration of fostering reading skill, the fostering of reading will is also of great significance. As children advance through the schooling years, their engagement in regular reading for pleasure declines. Drawing on a sample of older elementary (primary school) students in Western Australia, who took part in the 2016 Western Australian Study in Children’s Book Reading (WASCBR), this article seeks to address the following three key research questions:
- Do children perceive reading as important beyond skill acquisition?
- Is perception of reading importance beyond skill acquisition associated with reading frequency?
- How is the importance of being a good reader understood and conceptualized by children?
A key part of achieving the goal of increased effective communication of the importance of reading across the life time lies in educators’ awareness and willing intervention, Fostering engagement in reading should also strongly focus on enjoyment in reading, and building of self-efficacy in reading.
Fostering children’s engagement in regular recreational reading beyond independent skill acquisition is beneficial to promote continued literacy engagement. Regular recreational reading is associated with both literacy skill acquisition and maintenance across the life span. Children’s perceptions of the importance and value of reading can influence their motivation to read. However, it is not currently known if children continue to perceive the value of reading beyond the period of independent reading skill acquisition. Findings from a sample of 997 older elementary children indicate that some children may not recognize the value of reading beyond independent reading skill acquisition. This is particularly significant, as children who valued the practice of reading read with greater frequency. In addition, children’s subjective task valuing of reading was revealed through the scope of benefits they associated with engagement in the practice, which influenced their conceptualization of its value. These findings have implications for future educational reading interventions, as fostering greater valuing of regular reading may enhance children’s reading engagement, with valuing of reading found to be an important component of children’s reading motivation.
Children’s perceptions of the importance and value of reading
Margaret Kristin Merga, Saiyidi Mat Roni
Australian Journal of Education,
First Published June 27, 2018