McKenna, M.C., & Kear, D.J. (1990, May). Measuring attitude toward reading: A new tool for teachers.

The Reading Teacher, 43(8), 626-639. http://dx.doi.org/10.1598/RT.43.8.3
Copyright © International Reading Association. All rights reserved.

A New Tool for Teachers
Michael C. McKenna and Dennis J. Kear

I

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n 1762, the philosopher Rousseau speculat- one reason for this tendency is that the affeced that any method of teaching reading
tive aspectsof reading tend to be ill-defined and
to involve "shadowy variables"(p. 527) difficult
would suffice given adequatemotivation on
the part of the learner. Whale present-day eduto conceptualize, measure, and address inslrocc a m might resist such a sweeping pronouncetionally.
The focusof recent research and development, the
of attitude is nevertheless
ment in assessment has been comprehension
widely recognized- The Commission on
Redinghi&s u m m r y a f ~ h ( ~ m n ,rather than attitude. Some progress has been
made inthe developmentof individually adminHiebert, Scott, & WiIkinson, 1985) concluded
istered, qualitative mstmments, hut quantitative
that "becominga slaDed readerrequires...learngroup surveys, which form a natural compleing that written materid can b hkresthg'' (p,
merit
to qualitative approaches,are often p d y
18). Smith (1988) observed that "the emotional
documented in terms of desirable psychometric
response to reading..is the primary reason most
attributes,
such as nofmadveframesof reference
readers read, and probably the primary reason
and
evidence
of reliability and validity. Our purmost nomeaders do not readw(p. 177). Wixson
pose was to produce a publicdomaininstrument
and Lipwn (in press) acknowledgethat "the stuthat would remedy these shortcomings and endent's attitude toward reading is a central factor
able teachers to &" ' attitude levels efficientaffecting leading performance."These concluly and reliably. This article presents that
sions are based on a long history of research in
ofitsdevelwhich attitude and achievement have been con- instrument along with a (T
opment
and
suggestions
for
its
use.
sistently linked (e.g., Purves & Beach, 1972;
Walbetg & Tsai, 1985).
The recent emphasis on enhanced reading
Development the Scale
raxificiencyhas often ignored the iniportant role
played by children's attitudes in the process of
Several inipottant criteria were established
to guide the development of the ' t. The
becoming literate. Athey (1985) suggested that

..

of

Used with permission of the International Reading Association
43 1990 International Reading Association - www.reading.org

Elementary Reading Attitude Survey Scoring Sheet
Student Name________________________________________________________
Teacher_____________________________________________________________
Grade________________________ Administration Date______________________

4 points
3 points
2 points
1 point

Scoring Guide
Happiest Garfield
Slightly smiling Garfield
Mildly upset Garfield
Very upset Garfield

Recreational reading
1.
____

Academic reading
1. ____

2.

____

2. ____

3.

____

3. ____

4.

____

4. ____

5.

____

5. ____

6.

____

6. ____

7.

____

7. ____

8.

____

8. ____

9.

____

9. ____

10.

____

10. ____

Raw Score: ____

Raw Score: ____

Full scale raw score . . . . . . . . . . . (Recreational + Academic): _____
Percentile ranks: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Recreational
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Academic
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Full scale
© PAWS – www.professorgarfield.org!
Survey designed by Dennis J. Kear, Wichita State University