Aliteracy Among Teachers? Investigating the Reading Habits of Elementary and Early Childhood Educators

Abstract

Abstract: Since the reading habits of both preservice and inservice teachers have been linked to their abilities as reading teachers, aliteracy among teachers is particularly distressing. The purpose of this study was to investigate the amount of leisure time elementary teachers spend reading literature for pleasure. Prekindergarten through sixth grade teachers (N=24) enrolled in a graduate education course logged the minutes they spent engaged in various leisure activities during one week of the summer. Reading literature, defined as the reading of novels, short stories, plays, or poetry in one’s spare time, ranged from 0 to 845 minutes. Of the 13 activities investigated, the highest average amount of time was spent watching movies (M=552.92). Reading literature for pleasure had the eighth highest mean (M=123.13). Pairwise comparisons revealed no significant difference (t = -.795, p < .435) between time spent reading literature and time spent in other non-literature leisure activities. Results or paired samples t-tests indicated that participants spent significantly less time reading newspapers/magazines (t = 2.696, p < .013) and reading blogs (t = 2.783, p < .011) and significantly more time watching movies (t = -3.287, p < .003) than reading literature for pleasure. It appears that lack of motivation may be a factor in participants’ decision to read literature for pleasure as opposed to either lack of time or technological distractions.

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