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Developing Reading for Pleasure: engaging young readers
Developing Reading for Pleasure: engaging young readers

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6 Pedagogies and classroom practices

The challenge for educators is to teach children how to read as well as to teach children to want to read. Reading for Pleasure is a nuanced aspect of the curriculum; there are no educational programmes or set activities through which to teach children to enjoy reading. However, instead, a love of reading can be nurtured through a broad, but coherent, strategy that focuses on developing children’s intrinsic motivation.

In the Teachers as Readers (TaRs) project, Professor Teresa Cremin and colleagues from The Open University (2014) worked with 27 schools in England across a year researching volitional reading. As a consequence they developed a Reading for Pleasure framework that impacted upon children’s desire to read.

Watch the following short video, in which Professor Cremin describes the research findings.

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As Professor Cremin explained in the video, the research found that in order to effectively develop children’s Reading for Pleasure, teachers need to focus on:

  • their knowledge of children’s literature and other texts
  • their knowledge of children as readers
  • a Reading for Pleasure pedagogy, comprising:
    • social reading environments
    • reading aloud
    • informal book talk
    • independent reading time
  • themselves as reading teachers
  • reciprocal and interactive reading communities.
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An effective Reading for Pleasure framework extends beyond the school gates as the ultimate goal is to encourage and enable children to choose to read in their own free time. To make this possible, schools, parents, librarians and community organisations must work together to build positive, reciprocal and interactive reading communities; you will read more about nurturing readers in homes and communities in Session 7.

The research discussed so far in this session demonstrates the connection between Reading for Pleasure and educational attainment. However, the benefits of being an engaged reader in childhood reach far beyond academic outcomes. You will examine some of these wider benefits in the next section.