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Research Report - To Read or Not to Read: A Question of National Consequence

Research Report - To Read or Not to Read: A Question of National Consequence

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Published by Fiona Fogarty

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Published by: Fiona Fogarty on Apr 04, 2011
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08/29/2013

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Fogarty1ResearchReport:“ToReadorNottoRead:AQuestionofNationalConsequence”I.NotableFacts
 
Americansarespendinglesstimereading.
 
Readingcomprehensionskillsareeroding.
 
NearlyhalfofallAmericansages18‐24readnobooksforpleasure.
 
Lessthan1/3of13‐year‐oldsaredailyreaders.
 
Thepercentageof17‐year‐oldswhoreadnothingatallforpleasurehasdoubledovera20‐yearperiod.Yettheamounttheyreadforschoolorhomework(15orfewerpagesdailyfor62%ofstudents)hasstayedthesame.
 
Voluntaryreadingratesdiminishfromchildhoodtolateadolescence.
 
Collegeattendancenolongerguaranteesactivereadinghabits.
 
Teensandyoungadultsspendlesstimereadingthanpeopleorotheragegroups.
 
Bycontrast,15‐to24‐year‐oldsspend2to2½hoursperdaywatchingTV.Thisactivityconsumesthemostleisuretimeformenandwomenofallages.
 
LiteraryreadingdeclinedsignificantlyinaperiodofrisingInternetuse.From1997‐2003,homeInternetusesoared53percentagepointsamong18‐24‐year‐olds.Byanotherestimate,thepercentageof18‐24‐year‐oldswithahomebroadbandconnectionclimbed25pointsfrom2005to2007.
 
Evenwhenreadingdoesoccur,itcompeteswithothermedia.Thismulti‐taskingsuggestslessfocusedengagementwithatext.
 
Littlemorethanone‐thirdofhighschoolseniorsnowreadproficiently.
 
Fogarty2
 
Readingforpleasurecorrelatesstronglywithacademicachievement.
 
Employersnowrankreadingandwritingastopdeficienciesinnewhires.
 
Lessadvancedreadersreportfeweropportunitiesforcareergrowth.
 
Goodreadersplayacrucialroleinenrichingourculturalandciviclife.
 
Goodreadersmakegoodcitizens.
 
Literaryreadersaremorethantwiceaslikelyasnon‐readerstovolunteerordocharitywork.
 
Deficientreadersarefarmorelikelythanskilledreaderstobehighschooldropoutsandoutoftheworkforce.
 
Poorreadingskillsareendemicintheprisonpopulation.
 
“Futureresearchalsocouldexplorefactorssuchasincome,ethnicity,region,andrace,andhowtheymightaltertherelationshipbetweenvoluntaryreading,readingtestscores,andotheroutcomes.”(p.21).II.Analysis&OpinionAllofthesefactsputforthbytheNationalEndowmentfortheArtstellmanythingsabouttheneedforournation’sattentiontobedrawntoliteracy.Thisarticlespeaksoftheabilityforcitizenstoreadandwrite,andcharacterizesliteracybytheamountthatpeoplereadandalsobytheamountoftimethatpeoplereadvoluntarilyorforpleasure.Thedataisbrokenupbyagegroups,speakingofteenagers,youngadults,andadults.Itseemsasifreadingisdecliningintheyoungerpopulations.Somefactorsthatmaybeaffectingthisdeclineinreadingforpleasureincludetelevision,theInternet,socioeconomicfactors,andadecreaseinleisuretimeduetoasocietaltendencytoalwaysbeonthemove.Thearticlealsodiscusses

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