I found a press release from Canada and it discusses that though scores on reading tests are on the up, reading enjoyment is on the decline. It got me to thinking about then about the nature of testing and what exactly do they want to test and importantly, why? Early in the release it says that “research shows that students’ reading enjoyment contributes to their success in all subjects as well as their sense of social and civic engagement.” So what are they testing exactly when they refer to “reading scores”? Is not reading enjoyment a factor in assessment? If the “research shows” the connection between enjoyment, academic success and further life skills, are these not measured? Hmmm…considering my own workplace do we give enough value to enjoyment? I also had questions about what “research”. I had a quick look through the parliamentary report School libraries and teacher librarians in 21st century Australia and noted though the connection between academic success and the availability of a TL and well-stocked library were powerfully made, that regarding fostering enjoyment was evident but the connection to academic success was only implied. I’m wondering now about how reading enjoyment evident in students correlates to what an IB PYP school such as ours, espousing an inquiry pedagogy, defines as a “successful learner”…Our Learner Profile comes to mind in the closing statement of the release which quotes Anne Kidder, the Executive Director of People for Education: “We must begin measuring the factors that contribute to overall success – not just in school, but in adult life”.
So what do I research? March 6, 2013