An examination of reading motivation among early years students

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Ryrie, Leanne Leslie
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The purpose of this study was to investigate reading motivation in students from grades one to four. Five Manitoba schools participated in this study. The Motivation to Read Profile (MRP) reading survey (Gambrell, Palmer, Codling, & Mazzoni, 1996) was administered to 225 students. The survey scores provided information about gender and grade level when considering student motivation to read. The study further explored what two highly motivated grade four boys and two highly motivated grade four girls (as identified by the MRP survey) had to say about reading and their personal reading experiences as each of the four students participated in a semi-structured interview with the researcher. The study also identified factors that appeared to influence the students’ reading motivation. The survey results collected from the 225 elementary school students indicated that grade one students valued the task of reading less than students in grade two. The survey results also revealed that boys valued the task of reading less than girls. When students responded to questions in regards to their personal self-concepts as readers, no clear pattern emerged between grades or for gender. Following the completion of the four semi-structured interviews, the ideas the students shared were categorized. 16 categories were identified. Study of the students’ comments revealed that many different factors appeared to have contributed to the students’ high levels of reading motivation. These factors included family members acting as reading role models and a wide variety of reading options. Particular weight was given to the role that peers and friends played in the students’ personal reading choice. Students also indicated that it is important for teachers to expose students to a number of different literacy experiences, and it is equally important to avoid spending excessive amounts of time with a single text. In light of these findings, the author provides suggestions for ways that teachers might restructure current classroom practise to increase the levels of student motivation to read.
Reading, Motivation