The Independent is reporting a study which suggests secondary school pupils are being “seriously under-challenged” by the difficulty of the books they are given to read…
Image from www.whatkidsarereading.co.uk
A nationwide survey of more than 500,000 pupils at 2,200 schools found that children consistently choose texts beyond their reading age while in primary education but the trend is thrown into reverse as soon as they transfer to secondary school.
The annual What Kids Are Reading study of books read in schools found that youngsters preferred fiction that had been turned into blockbuster films such as the Hunger Games series rather than traditional favourites by authors such as Roald Dahl.
The finding suggests a disconnect between what pupils are reading in the classroom – where the adventures of Fantastic Mr Fox and the Wimpy Kid remain popular – and the tales they say excite them, such as the dystopian fantasies of Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games series and Veronica Roth’s Divergent novels…
Professor Keith Topping, an education specialist at Dundee University and the author of the report, said: “Primary school pupils, particularly in Years One to Five, show a strong preference for challenging books which are significantly beyond their natural reading age.
“We then see a marked difference in Year Seven where favoured books are no longer above chronological age, but six months below it and in ensuing years the difficulty of books plateaus or declines…”
Read the full report and various key learnings from the What Kids Are Reading website
So the books secondary children actually enjoy most are more challenging than the ones they are most likely to be reading. Does this mean teachers should be nudging them towards more challenging choices in the first place? Let us know what you think…
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