Decline in Students’ Reading Enjoyment

People for Education have released a new report based on data from the provincial EQAO – Education Quality and Accountability Office.  The report shows the percentage of children in grade 3 who report they “like to read” dropped from 75% in 1998/99 to 50% in 2010/11.  The number of grade 6 students who “like to read” fell from 65% to 50% in the same period.

The organizataion worries that this significant decline may have an immediate and lasting impact on Ontario students.


The report indicates that reading enjoyment affects achievement, social and civic engagement.  International studies show that students with a more positive attitude toward reading tend to be more successful in all subjects.  They are more likely to read more and to seek deeper knowledge and consequently develop deeper conceptual understandings of the subject matter.

Another point the report focuses on is that reading enjoyment permeates school life.  Reading is integral to nearly all learning and takes up a considerable part of every school day.

If as, the EQAO data show, half of Ontario’s grade 3 and grade 6 students don’t enjoy reading, this may have an impact on their overall attitude toward learning that can last a lifetime.

According to the OECD, students’ attitudes toward learning can as important as their grasp of specific knowledge and skills.  Students’ attitudes and motivation affect their “quality of life” during their adolescence, and can influence their decision to pursue further education or their capacity to seize labour market opportunities….many adults with little interest in learning blame their lack of motivation on bad experiences at school in their early years.

Read the rest of the report here.People-for-Education-report-on-students-reading-enjoyment-Reading-for-Joy