How do they remember us? Recollections of reading instruction and present-day reading attitudes and habits

How do they remember us? Recollections of reading instruction and present-day reading attitudes and habits

First Author: Stephanie Kozak -- Concordia University
Additional authors/chairs: 
Sandra Martin-Chang
Keywords: Print Exposure
Abstract / Summary: 

Purpose
The Mathew effect states that a successful start to literacy lays the foundation for reading for pleasure. Here, we used a mixed-methods approach to examine undergraduates’ memories of reading at three different time points. We then compared their recollections to their print exposure scores in adulthood.

Method
Forty undergraduate students completed three print exposure measures assessing familiarity with adult fiction (ART-A), children’s and young adult fiction (ART-CYA), and storybooks (TRT). Participants also recalled their memories of reading during elementary school, and high school. Finally, they described their current reading habits.

Results and Conclusion
Using a median split, participants were classified based on their adult ART scores “low leisure readers” or “high leisure readers”. Examination between the groups revealed a significant difference on the measure of children’s and young adult reading (ART-CYA: t(38) = -4.19, p <.001), suggesting that high leisure readers in university had read more children’s and young adult fiction over the lifetime. The self-reported recollection data fit with this pattern. Memories of the high leisure readers had more positive valence compared to the low leisure readers when it came to reading instruction and the selection of books offered in both elementary and high school. This suggests that the manner of instruction has a lasting impact on attitudes the reading habits students carry forward into university.