An investigation into students reading attitudes and habits using a children’s literature intervention programme
This study traces the effects of a children’s literature intervention on first year B Ed students’ reading habits and attitudes. A review of relevant literature includes concepts of literacy, with specific reference to family literacy, adolescent literacy and critical literacy; effective literacy practices; reading, reader response and theoretical perspectives of literature, including children’s literature, and its application in the classroom; motivation and reader-identity. A variety of quantitative and qualitative methods were used to gather data over a period of eighteen months. The data captured attitudes to reading and traced changes in attitudes, habits and motivation resulting from an intervention that required students to engage in reading a range of children’s literature texts. Findings showed movement from apathy to engagement at the lowest levels of change and from extrinsic to intrinsic motivation at successive levels of change. Most significantly, the intervention caused discontinuous (permanent) change in students’ constructions of themselves as readers. Key words: critical literacy; adolescent literacy; reader response; children’s literature; extrinsic / intrinsic motivation; discontinuous change; reader identity.