Students Like Reading About Things They Like

In light of research proposing intrinsic reading motivation to be a core condition of reading performance, we particularly expected reading enjoyment and reading for interest to contribute to reading performance and its growth. These hypotheses were, by and large, corroborated.

That’s from a new paper in Learning and Instruction. Few educators would call the finding surprising, but few truly take it into account when designing or implementing literacy programs.

I’m in favor of students reading the important pieces of our literary cannon (e.g. To Kill a Mockingbird). But what if they had 20% less cannon and 20% more of whatever reading they choose. Wouldn’t that lead to literacy gains?

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