Ultimately, our success in the magazine business requires that our intended audiences read for enjoyment. And a new study seems to indicate a serious erosion of the love of reading. Children are scoring better in reading tests, but they seem to be looking at reading as a chore, akin to homework.
People for Education reveals in a study that while reading scores have increased in elementary school, children’s enjoyment of reading has gone down.
The percentage of students in grade 3 who report they “like to read” has dropped from 75% in 1998/99 to 50% in 2010/11 and the number of students in grade 6 who “like to read” fell from 65% to 50% during the same period.
Patsy Aldana, co-chair of the National Reading Campaign said,
“The news in this report, that children in Ontario are losing their love of reading, is shocking. If reading scores are going up at the expense of children’s acquiring a love of reading we need to be very concerned. I hope policy makers take this as a wake-up call. After all, a love of reading underlies student achievement. It also opens the way for a life of pleasure and empowerment.
"Free choice in and out of school, a wonderful, abundant choice of reading materials and knowledgeable supportive teacher librarians are the best way to give children this joy. We seem to have forgotten why public education has such an important and fundamental role to play in our society—that of creating critical, thinking, empathetic citizens who have all the tools required to tackle the huge challenges that lie ahead. We believe that loving to read is the most important gift we can give our children."
The research compiled data from the provincial Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO)and from the OECD showing that reading enjoyment affects learning in all subjects as well as students’ sense of social and civic engagement.The full report.