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Research on Filipino Children's Reading and Information-seeking Habits

Research on Filipino Children's Reading and Information-seeking Habits

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Published by redread
research based on survey of 30 Filipino parents regarding information-seeking and reading habits of their children
research based on survey of 30 Filipino parents regarding information-seeking and reading habits of their children

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: redread on Sep 20, 2009
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Ruby B. PinedaEDR 221 – TMA21IntroductionThe objective of this study is to gather primary data through a survey on perceived issuesin Philippine children’s literature, and to use this as basis to form general conclusions about thereading behavior and other information-assimilating activities of children in the Philippinecontext.Using the course module as its take-off point, this study focuses on four issues indicatedtherein that, in view of their permeation of everyday life, have increasingly found expression incontemporary children’s literature and have heightened public sensitivity in the reading andtreatment of more canonical literature for children. The first issue is on the subject of thereconfiguration of the traditional concept of a Filipino family, referring to the nuclear familywhich includes a father, a mother, and their offspring. Prevailing socio-economic issues of poverty and unemployment have made labor export our government’s main economic copingstrategy, as it has institutionalized an annual one-million labor export target as a livelihoodpolicy, which roughly “corresponds to a proportional number of Filipino families with one orboth parents absent” (Round Table Discussion on Practical and Legal Remedies 16). This socialreality often manifests in broken families and children growing up with their extended families(uncles, aunts, and/or grandparents), or worst yet, outright abandonment of families by OFWparents, usually the fathers (17). In 2007, records from the Overseas Workers WelfareAssociation (OWWA) – Cordillera indicate that three out of ten OFW breadwinners have cut off communications from their families (GMA News TV website).The issues of violence and sexuality, while not new, have been given a new breath bymass media’s newer and more ubiquitous forms, the internet and mobile communicationstechnology (Commission on Population website). The Commission on Population affirms thefindings of the University of the Philippines-initiated Young Adult Fertility and SexualitySurvey, as it concludes that mass media has become the de facto “new surrogate parents” of thegeneral Filipino youth population, functioning as “the main information guide on what is rightand what is wrong”, which, it deplores, is all too often reduced to what is cool and what is notcool (Commission on Population website).While great strides have been made in working for gender equality, its different formspersist. Gender-stereotyping has yet to be taken by its roots in professional and labor sectors,where cultural bias against women remains entrenched and, in turn, still sees more men in top-level executive positions (Roman 4). In the advent of global labor migration, employment trendsrecorded by the International Labour Office (ILO) have shown that women are more likely towork in low-productivity jobs in agriculture and services, while men are given a bigger share inindustrial employment. There is also a persisting wage gap, where women are paid less than menfor the same job. (Global Employment Trends for Women 1-2)To be sure, the said four issues in Philippine children’s literature are extensive and far-reaching both in breadth and depth, the discussions above hardly making a scratch on theirsurfaces. For this study, we will focus our efforts in the investigation of the following particularquestions:
Ruby B. PinedaEDR 221 – TMA221)
What are the most accessed sources of information by Filipino children?2)
What are the most influential issues confronting children in their information-assimilating activities and lives in general?3)
Where does the responsibility of addressing these issues lie (e.g., in parents,educators, mass media practitioners, children’s friends, and/or the youth themselves)?MethodologySurvey respondents. The methodology used in the study is stratified random sampling inwhich the lone qualifying characteristic for respondents is their being parents. This was done toensure that the views and conjectures that will be derived from the survey came from individualswhose answers have been informed by their first-hand observations of and experience with theirown children’s reading practices and usage of other information sources.With the parents being the primary survey respondents, it is important to emphasize thatthe perspective represented here are of parents, as opposed to children themselves. While a studyon children readers’ views of their own reading materials and behavior is an equally worthwhileand interesting endeavor in itself, the author has opted to limit respondents to parents in practicalconsideration of accessibility since the conduct of the survey was mostly done in the officesetting where children are not available. This decision is also in recognition of the tendency of parents having an increased degree of control in the selection of reading materials and otherinformation sources in the case of younger children. The literary materials and reading behaviorof children, in that sense, may then be more reflective of the views of the parents and not of thechildren.Survey questions. The survey is phrased in Filipino in anticipation of heterogeneity interms of respondents’ educational background. Age, sex, and occupation of respondents and thenumber and ages of their children are requested from respondents to see whether suchdemographics coincide with emergent response patterns, if there are any, in the survey, whichmay then point to certain influences of demographic traits to their answers.Initial questions seek to determine the range of information sources of the respondents’children from what books they read to what forms of mass media they use (questions 2 and 3).The succeeding questions (4 and 5) are designed to ascertain which one of the issues have themost potential to affect or influence children and in effect, possibly bring more cause for parents’concern and attention. The last two questions attempts to tease out points of inferences as to howthe parents view their responsibility, as well as other stakeholders’ (e.g., mass media, schools,friends, and children themselves), in dealing with the said issues that come with the children’sabsorption of information from books and other information sources.ResultsDemographic data derived from the survey shows that parent-respondents were mostlyfrom the 30 to 40 years-old age bracket, making up approximately 70% of the total of respondents (21 out of 30). It also reveals that more than half of the parent-respondents (19 out
Ruby B. PinedaEDR 221 – TMA23of 30) have more than one child, of which 30 children are aged below 13 and 29 are already intheir teens. Answers of the parent-respondents can then be said to be indicative of readingbehaviors of children from both ends of the age spectrum.
Printed information sources Number of respondents
Children’s books 22Magazines 18Newspapers 21Others specified: encyclopedia (3), dictionary (2),pocket books (3), coloringbooks (1), textbooks used inschool (3)Table 1. Printed information sources identified by the parent-respondents asavailable and used by their children.When asked of the range of printed information sources their children use andhave access to, the data above was summarized from the survey. The parents indicatedchildren’s books (22), magazines (18) and newspapers (21) as the most available andaccessed forms of print information sources. In some of the survey forms, parent-respondents pointed out that pocket books appeal and are mostly accessed by girls in theirteens (3). Some parent-respondents also identified reference books, such as encyclopedias(3) and dictionaries (2); textbooks (3); and coloring books (1) as other printed sources of information accessed by their children.
Other forms of mass media Number of respondents
Television 25Radio 5Internet 14Others specified: NoneTable 2. Other forms of mass media identified by the parent-respondents asavailable and used by their children.The dominant form of mass media accessed by children is the television (25), followedby the internet (14) and lastly, the radio (5). Cross-referenced to the findings about printedinformation sources, it appears that more children, by a slight margin, watch television (25) thanthose who read children’s books (22). In order of preference, majority of the children of theparent-respondents can be said to use the television, print information materials, and the internetin getting information.

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