Janeys Report


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Janeys Report

  2. 2. Page 1 ENCOURAGING CHILDREN TO READ INTRODUCTION This report is about “Encouraging Children to Read”. It has been compiled by using a variety of research techniques. These include the traditional forms of research through monographs and other print material. Additional research techniques that have been used, include digital, electronic media and the use of web 2.0 applications. WHY WAS THE TOPIC CHOSEN? The topic of childhood literacy has always been of interest to me. The development of literacy skills vary greatly between children. The importance of literacy is always being highlighted in the media and this is normally portrayed in a negative light with the emphasis on low literacy development. This is usually around the time of the National Assessment Plan for Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) in grades three, five, seven and nine in Australia. Ilana Snyder has written a book titled “Literacy Wars” which addresses the debates in the media. She says this has resulted in public confidence in literacy teachers being undermined and results in people believing there is a literacy crisis in our schools. “It is the defenders of traditional approaches to literacy, not the advocates of contemporary practice, who have enjoyed consistent media attention.” (Snyder 2008, pp. 7) There are always children who love to read and there are always children who find a distraction not to read or who simply do not enjoy it. Through the use of research it is my aim to find ways in which these children can be encouraged to read. The importance of reading runs parallel with encouraging reading. Joanna Lumley says that “Knowing how to read for yourself is the single most important thing in life, in my opinion. It’s like learning to fly on your own and you need never be bored ever again. Every journey is better if you have a paperback in your pocket; each night (and therefore bedtime) becomes madly attractive knowing that your book is waiting for you. And learning to read is a struggle that will only happen once, like learning to swim or ride a bike. Once reading is mastered, the world opens up.” (Thomson 2009, pp. 2) HOW DID YOU DECIDE WHAT TO LOOK FOR? At the start of my research I was going to address the topic for primary aged children. Once I started looking for information however the topic needed to be refined due to the quantity of information on the topic. As a result the research has been based around the early primary years of school. WHAT WAS YOUR REQUIRED OUTCOME? The required outcome of this research is to form a set of strategies that could be used to help children enjoy the skill of reading. This would be obtained through using a variety of research techniques of print and non print material. By Janey Donovan
  3. 3. Page 2 ENCOURAGING CHILDREN TO READ WHAT RETRIEVAL STRATEGIES DID YOU APPLY? The first step in the research was setting up a blog on the topic. The URL for this site is http:// janeysinfo.blogspot.com. This site was used as the basis of my research allowing me to track relevant information. The Talis Plus database was also used to source information. The search from the database provided a manageable amount of book summaries to browse through. One book that was extremely useful on the topic was “Reading Magic” by Mem Fox. In her book Mem Fox talks about the importance of reading aloud to young children. She looks at the change in attitudes over the past decade. “It all boils down to economics in the end, which is a little dry, I’ll admit. But the idea is that reading aloud to our babies and young children will make the entire country better off. Governments now realize that by providing attention, time, and funds to promoting early literacy, less of their budgets later will need to be spent on illiteracy, crime, depression, unemployment, and welfare benefits. The cost effectiveness of reading aloud to the very young is phenomenal, and governments love that kind of read-aloud news.” (Fox, 2008, pp. xii) The internet provides an abundance of information on this topic. An initial advanced google search on the phrase “encourage children read” with au as the domain provided 108,000 results. By changing the domain to edu.au the search results were still 26,800 results. These results were further reduced by placing additional limits on the search. There were many commercial websites that address the issue of encouraging children to read. One of these was Kidspot. (http://www.kidspot.com.au/, viewed 7th July 2009) This website had hints and tips for children in the 6-9 year age bracket. Little Ones Reading Resource also had several suggestions to encourage reading. The sites talked about how reading develops other skills such as language skills, listening skills, social skills and problem solving skills. These included making books accessible, reading yourself, giving books as gifts, read frequently, turn off the television, take children to the library, read comic books and magazines, go to free story time, and make reading aloud fun. The website went into detail on each topic. (http:// www.littleonesreadingresource.com/, viewed 7th July 2009) The issue with these commercial websites however was the fact that they are commercial and contained advertising. This was particularly so in the Kidspot website. There were moving ads for McDonald’s children’s parties, Austar and Foxtel. There were also several other advertisements around the information. These websites however did provide a good starting point. Another form of research was through the use of the electronic database General Onefile which accesses a range of magazines and periodicals for research use. An article by Oakley, Grace and Jenny Jay was sourced called “Making Time”. Through the use of General Onefile the full text was obtained. The article talked about children’s love of computers and how educators could capitalise on this through information and communication technologies. By Janey Donovan
  4. 4. Page 3 ENCOURAGING CHILDREN TO READ This included the use of Electronic Talking Books. The article was 11 pages and gave a thorough assessment of a 10 week study that was undertaken. (Oakley, Grace and Jay 2008 ‘Making Time for Reading: Factors that influence the success of multimedia reading in the home: encourage and help children learn to read’ The Reading Teacher, International Reading Association Inc. 246(10) General OneFile, PP. 1-15) Information was also sourced through the use of web book marking with the free social book marking service “Delicious”. Through this service users can tag bookmarks with terms. Once I had joined “Delicious” relevant websites were bookmarked and one of these included the State Governments Premier’s Reading Challenge for 2009. (http:// www.premiersreadingchallenge.tas.gov.au/, viewed 7th July 2009) This website discussed what the reading challenge is about and encouraging all children to participate through reading. YouTube also provided a basis for information on the topic with the Premier discussing the 2009 Premiers Reading Challenge. There is a also a direct link to the YouTube video via the State Library of Tasmania home page. On this video the Premier says that “Reading can help us learn more about the world and also take us to places we wouldn't otherwise get to experience”. (http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=KF45G9wpY0Y, viewed 7th July 2009) There are incentives in place for the 2009 reading challenge including the chance to win an ipod or audio book voucher. Children are also encouraged to read and post book reviews on the website. All participants receive a certificate at the end of the challenge. The State Government Media releases were also used. On Sunday 5th July 2009, Premier and Minister for Education and Skills, David Bartlett advised of a new literacy brochure to help parents read to children for Education Week. (http://www.media.tas.gov.au, viewed 6th July 2009) Another way in which information was retrieved was through the set up of an igoogle home page with the “google reader” feature added. This allowed the subscription to websites with an RSS feed which meant new material would come directly to me instead of having to go looking for new information as it became available. A couple of websites were subscribed to. The first of these was “How to Encourage Kids to Read – Getting Children to Trade TV Time” 2009, (http:// rss.suite101.com viewed 7th July) and “10 Ways to Encourage children to Read / Planning with Kids” http://planningwithkids.com, viewed 7th July 2009). Flickr was also used to source photos for the report. An account was created and photos were uploaded of my children reading to include in this report. These photos however did not appear on the flickr site for a couple of days. By Janey Donovan
  5. 5. Page 4 ENCOURAGING CHILDREN TO READ WHICH OF THE FOLLOWING TOOLS WERE RELEVANT a) PRINT B) NON PRINT? In undertaking the research on “encouraging children to read” both print and non print tools were relevant. The print items provided a good basis for the research and an idea about the current trends. Some books however were outdated and they contained an abundance of information which was not visually appealing. Many forms of electronic information were used. The use of databases such as GeneralOnefile were extremely useful as they contained more academic research. There was a need however to assess the authority of the sites. The edu.au websites contained very useful information on the topic WHICH INFORMATION AGENCIES DID YOU USE? The first information agency that was used was the public library. The library provides many formats in which information is delivered. There is also the advantage of having inter-library loans which allowed a wider source of materials. The down side on this however was that it does take a while for the books to be transported to the desired location. The internet was also used to gain all the electronic information. HOW DID YOU ANALYSE. SORT THIS INFORMATION? Due to the amount of information that was being sourced it was important to find the most appropriate and authorative information. Primarily educational or government websites were chosen or articles that were submitted by academics. The information was sorted through the use of my blog which kept account of the articles or websites that I wished to use for the research. DID YOU NEED TO REASSESS OR FOLLOW UP? There was a need to reassess some of the RSS feed material that was coming into my igoogle home page. Although when subscribing to the sites they seemed relevant a lot of subsequent information was not useful. There was also the problem of the quantity of the information that comes through with the RSS feed. In order for the research to be accurate, useful sites need to be chosen wisely. HOW HAVE YOU RECORDED AND MANAGED YOUR INFORMATION? During the initial research phase I kept details on the sites that I had found useful and also the way in which searching was undertaken. This included the use of advanced searches which helped to limit the results that were obtained. By Janey Donovan
  6. 6. Page 5 ENCOURAGING CHILDREN TO READ CONCLUSION There is an abundance of information on the topic of “encouraging children to read”. A lot of the older books on the topic deal with the more traditional ways this is achieved. More recently published books however, such as “101 ways to get your child to read” by Patience Thomson talk about the internet and exploring the web to improve reading skills which then may encourage children to open a book. (Thomson 2009, pp. 114) The internet contains many forms of electronic data relating to the topic and this can be found on both very basic commercial websites and more authoritative government and educational websites. The topic “encouraging children to read” is an emotive issue for people, with two schools of thought. One common feature of the research results however was that reading to your children will have a positive influence on them. This is best portrayed by Gloria Rolton who is a primary school teacher and teacher librarian who says that: “As they grow up your children may not remember that you ironed their clothes to within an inch of their lives or dusted until the house shone – but they will not forget the times you shared a memorable book”. (Rolton 2001, pp. 121) By Janey Donovan
  7. 7. Page 6 ENCOURAGING CHILDREN TO READ BIBLIOGRAPHY Snyder, Ilanan. The Literacy Wars. Crows Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin, 2008. Thomson, Patience. 101 Ways To Get Your Child Read. Edinburgh: Barrington Stoke Ltd, 2009. Fox, Mem. Reading Magic. 2nd Edition Orlando, Florida: Harcourt Books, 2008. Rolton, Gloria. Read to Me. Camberwell, Victoria: Australian Council for Educational Research LTD, 2001. Parenting Advice for encouraging kids to Read – Kidspot Australia viewed 7th July 2009 http://www.kidspot.com.au How to Encourage Reading in Children – Teaching Children to Read, viewed 7th July 2009, http://www.littleonesreadingresource.com Oakley, Grace and Jay J 2008 ‘Making Time for Reading: Factors that influence the success of multimedia reading in the home: encourage and help children learn to read’ The Reading Teacher, International Reading Association Inc. 246(10) General OneFile, PP. 1-15 Premiers Reading Challenge, viewed 7th July 2009 http://www.premiersreadingchallenge.tas.gov.au The Premier’s Reading Challenge, viewed 7th July 2009, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KF45G9wpY0Y Parents Urged to Read to Children to Celebrate Education Week, viewed 6th July 2009, http://www.media.tas.gov.au How to Encourage Kids to Read – Getting Children to Trade TV Time viewed 7th July 2009, http://rss.suite101.com 10 Ways to Encourage children to Read / Planning with Kids viewed 7th July 2009, http://planningwithkids.com By Janey Donovan