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ERIC Number: EJ851693
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Abstractor: As Provided
What We Want: Boys and Girls Talk about Reading
Boltz, Robin H.
School Library Media Research, v10 2007
Most school-age boys score lower than girls at every level on standardized tests of reading comprehension in almost every country where tested. The amount of reading that a child does is directly related to reading fluency; the more one reads, the more proficient one becomes. After reviewing theories and research studies investigating why boys perform less well than girls, a consensus emerges that one reason boys read less is because the kind of reading they are given to do in school does not connect to their interests. A small empirical study in one rural elementary school provides further insight into motivations for reading and non-reading by both boys and girls. The evidence is incontrovertible that as a group, school-age boys score lower than girls at every level on standardized tests of reading comprehension, in almost every country where tested, most notably in the United States (NCES 2002), Canada, England, and Australia, where students are continuously tested. Therefore, the obvious conclusion from this data is that we are failing to make readers of our sons. Analyses of statistics are many and controversial, especially as the latest round of "educational reform" fueled by the Education Act of 2001 has generated more high-stakes testing of students and measurable accountability on the part of teachers, schools, and school districts. Additionally, computers have made gathering, storing, and analyzing statistics simpler than ever before, and the Internet has made it easier to publish and retrieve them. But how do the children themselves feel about reading? Teachers and school library media specialists (SLMSs), trained in reading, in books, and in best practices, often assume that they know what is best for students. At what juncture should the students' viewpoints be taken into consideration?
Descriptors: Reading Comprehension, Reading Fluency, Females, Standardized Tests, High Stakes Tests, School Libraries, Educational Change, Foreign Countries, Media Specialists, Gender Differences, Elementary School Students, Legislation, Student Attitudes
American Association of School Librarians. Available from: American Library Association. 50 East Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611. Tel: 800-545-2433; Web site: http://www.ala.org/aasl/slmr
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia; Canada; United Kingdom (England)