Updated: Mon Dec. 12 2011 8:56:57 AM
The number of Ontario Grade 3 and Grade 6 students who say they like to read has declined significantly over the past decade, according to a new report.
Each year, Ontario students in these grades must take part in standardized testing, as well as annual surveys that require them to report on whether they like to read.
Last year, only 50 per cent of Grade 3 students said they "like to read," compared to 76 per cent in the 1998/1999 school year.
For Grade 6 students, the proportion of students saying they liked to read fell from 65 per cent to 50 per cent over the same time period.
People for Education, a parental advocacy group that analyzed the school-survey data in a newly released report, suggests that the province needs to work harder at making reading more enjoyable for students.
"Our education system should be focused on building students' enjoyment of reading," Annie Kidder, the executive director of People for Education, said in a statement released Monday. "Instead, the evidence seems to show we're stifling it."
On a related note, People for Education is also calling on the province to boost the number of teacher-librarians in public schools.
The advocacy group says that prior research has shown that schools with a teacher-librarian are more likely to have students who say they enjoy reading.
But People for Education says that the number of teacher-librarians in the school system has declined significantly in the past decade.
Last year, just 56 per cent of Ontario elementary schools had a teacher-librarian compared to 76 per cent in the 1998/1999 school year.
For Ontario secondary schools, 66 per cent had a teacher-librarian last year, down from 78 per cent in the 2000/2001 school year.
These are some disappointing survey results. Unfortunately, they confirm concerns raised by James Patterson and myself in earlier posts. Are you doing some Christmas shopping for kids this year? If so, buy them some books!