What’s already known?

Article one:

Jang, B. G. & Henretty, D. (2019) Understanding Multiple Profiles of Reading attitudes among adolescents. Middle School Journal, Vol. 50(3) pp. 26-35.

This journal article discussed four attitudinal profile of recreational readers which were digital leaning/print averse reluctant readers, avid digital readers, avid print readers and digital leaning reluctant readers. They then discussed the various teaching and learning strategies used by practitioners and suggest which strategies fit which profile. I feel this is relevant particularly now as many of the reading surveys/studies carried out previously focus on print books and the attitudes surrounding these whereas (particularly during the global pandemic) much of the work being undertaken in schools and as home learning is becoming increasingly digitalized. Particularly in my context, going digital and offering digitalized reading opportunities may be the way forward for us as a service.


Article two:

Erickson, J. D. (2019) Primary Readers’ Perceptions of a Camp Guided Reading Intervention: A Qualitative Case Study of Motivation and Engagement. Reading and Writing Quarterly, Vol. 35(4), pp. 354-373.

This article was based on exploring why reading attitudes decline throughout elementary school, which is broadly similar to my experience within Scottish schools. Much of the previous research tends to focus on older children whereas Erickson (2019) focusses on younger children, specifically in terms of the effects of decreased motivation upon achievement. The study particularly resonated with me as it discussed children’s attitudes to participation in a reading intervention scheme, which is an issue that I may expect to encounter i.e. refusal to participate.

9 thoughts on “What’s already known?”

  1. Hello Heather,

    Thank you for your reflections – you have thought carefully about your research. Looking at some of the strategies from your first article – how do they fit with your present thinking in your context?

    1. In the first article the researchers took a quantitive approach whereas in my setting it would be more appropriate to take a qualitative approach, particularly as I am looking to gather information on opinion and strategies.
      My thinking is that this article may inform my questioning approach as I can see going along the direction of enquiring how practitioners feel about the potential of increasing digitalisation when considering the development of reading attitudes.

  2. I’ve been following your posts, Heather, and you are taking a very interesting direction. I’m looking forward to seeing how you combine your interests and readings into a focused question. I was drawn to one of your comments on article 2, ‘the effects of decreased motivation upon achievement’. Is the converse also true, are there effects of lower achievement on motivation? If so , is this relevant?

    1. Hi Emma,
      Yes absolutely I think this is a link which can work both ways but I don’t think this is always a consistent and clear link – in my view there is a multitude of factors which contribute to the relationship between motivation and achievement including gender, age, culture, parental involvement, opportunity, quality of teaching. I particularly find attribution theory quite interesting where an individual experiences success on an occasion (e.g. getting a good mark on a reading assessment) is then likely to sustain effort on achieving similar success.
      This would certainly be the case for myself when learning to read, where success was measured by teacher praise, going up book reading levels, encouragement by parents and siblings, combined with developing a love for the written word. However I understand that this is not the case for all children and indeed won’t be the case for many children involved with inclusion, whereas I was very much a natural reader.

  3. Hi Heather. I was interested in your point of refusal to participate in activities. How are you getting around this? I have some pupils who refuse to participate in practical activities and would love to know your opinion.


    1. Recently whilst I have been working in mainstream I have found that there does seem to be more refusal to complete activities than ever before. In my experience it seems to be more certain activities are most likely to be met with refusal, in particular writing and PE are triggers for many children.
      I believe it is important to try and work out the reason behind this as your starting point. Often with writing, there is either an expectation from the child that it will be boring or that they will be unable to experience success. For more practical activities such as PE, it can often be centered around anxiety or a sensory need. Often the acoustics in gym halls are terrible and children tend to be noisier in PE than in general class activity and to be honest if I was asked to do PE out in the rain I would probably refuse at the moment too.
      Good generalised strategies for task refusal include development of strong home/family links, developing a strong bond/relationship with the pupil as an individual, making the activity meaningful i.e. what is the point, choosing a topic of interest/letting them choose i.e. if writing a non-chronological report they could have a choice of basing it on types of big cat, sporting heroes or marvel superheroes. By giving them a choice in subject they will likely feel ownership and try harder.

  4. A school I worked in when I lived in England did a development programme around this. The background of the school was that roughly 75% of the children were free school meals and the children when they started nursery were on average 1-2 years behind in language development. There was also a large proportion of the school who spoke English as a second language. (roughly 60%). A whole school over hall took place (it took us 5 years on a gradual basis) but we turned the children’s perception of reading completely around and they came to find it one of their favourite things and request extra books for over holidays etc.

    Two things we did were:
    1) refurbish the school library which was kind of in the middle of the school and an open plan space. We made it into the most beautiful space in the school with lots of nooks and crannies that they could crawl into or onto to cosy up and read. The children saw the space as a desirable place to be and would often ask to visit at lunchtimes.

    2)We also made the start of the day in every class a reading slot (20-30 min) where we would work with reading groups, read newspapers, listen to audiobooks, complete phonics challenges and a multitude of other things. At the end of the day we would have another reading slot where the children could read in various places within the school, all the way from the youngest infants classes to the oldest juniors. They also took quizzes for the books (Accelerated reader ones, we used it for their home reading books and as a diagnostic tool) and again had movement around the school for this. They could choose a reading book from either the library, the class library, or the bookshelves in the corridors to take home or read in school. This was fantastic as straight away they could read a multitude of beautiful and engaging picture books such as Mog, the Gruffalo… all the books they always want to read! This gave them a chance to really explore the types of books that they enjoyed including fiction, non fiction and poetry.

    On a Friday, we would also read with a class from a different year group in a buddy situation. These changed each term so they would always get to read with different children.

    We would hear from the different secondary schools that the children went to that they were always still among the most engaged children in reading when they moved up which was lovely to hear that we had a lasting effect on their perception of reading.

    1. Thanks for your in depth comments. That sounds like what I am hoping to achieve within my base eventually although with the added issue of children only having short placements with us (although increasingly we are getting children for extended placements).

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