"She knows what I like": Student-generated best-practice statements for encouraging recreational book reading in adolescents
SAGE Publications Inc.
School of Education
The benefit of recreational book reading is well recognized, however the role of teachers in encouraging recreational reading beyond the primary school years of skill acquisition is not clearly defined. In 2012, the West Australian Study in Adolescent Book Reading was undertaken in 20 schools in Western Australia. As part of the study, students from selected classes in Year 8 and Year 10 reflected on the encouragement of recreational book reading given by their primary school and high school teachers in the past and at present. This provided a direct end-user perspective on perceived teacher attitudes and practices that supported adolescent recreational book reading. The information was analyzed to identify specific mechanisms of encouragement that students deemed effective. Findings indicated that best practice included exhibiting personal enjoyment of recreational book reading; demonstrating willingness to instigate and support student-centered discussion around books; possessing broad knowledge of both young adult texts and youth popular culture; effectively communicating expectations that students will read at school and at home; learning about the interests and aspirations of the students; and using in-class practices that encourage reading for pleasure, such as reading aloud to students and silent reading.