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1 George Mason University
Lessons Learned about Engagement in Reading from the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) William G. Brozo George Mason University Spotlight on Assessment: Research and Practice from IRA Publications, International Reading Association Annual Convention, Atlanta, GA, May 2008 Brozo08

Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) PISA is organized under the auspices of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and is directed in the United States by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Brozo08

The OECD is an intergovernmental organization of industrialized countries based in Paris that serves as a forum for member countries to cooperate in research and policy development on social and economic topics of common interest Brozo08

First implemented in 2000 and given every three years, most recently in 2006 A system of international assessments that measure fifteen-year-olds' capabilities in reading literacy, mathematics literacy, and science literacy Brozo08

While each of the three areas is studied every three years, one area receives greater attention, involving more items and more detailed results In 2000, reading literacy was the “major domain”; in 2003, mathematics literacy was the major domain; 2006, the focus was on science literacy; 2009 the focus returns to reading literacy Brozo08

The number of 15-year-olds assessed in the United States in 2000 totaled nearly 4,000 students from both public and nonpublic schools, spanning grades 9 through 12 Overall, approximately 265,000 students took part in PISA 2000 assessments in participating countries Because it is an OECD study, the participating countries include the major industrialized countries of the world, those that are similar to the United States in economic and often in demographic terms Thirty-two (32) countries participated in PISA 2000, including 28 OECD countries and 4 non-OECD countries. Brozo08

Provides participating nations with important trend information on learning outcomes for the three major subject areas (reading, mathematics, and science literacy) Allows countries to measure outcomes of learning that reflect both societal and education system influences, and measure students' preparedness for adult life beyond compulsory schooling Measures the cumulative educational experiences of 15-year-olds at a time when students will soon begin to make decisions that will shape their futures Brozo08

The focus on “literacy” in PISA makes it unique among current national and international studies, such as the Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) and the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), that have a strong link to curriculum frameworks and seek to measure students’ mastery of specific knowledge, skills, and concepts PISA is designed to measure “literacy” more broadly, to include learning that takes place both in and out of school, and learning as it is applied in the context of everyday situations PISA defines reading literacy as “The ability to understand, reflect on and use written texts, in order to achieve one's goals and participate effectively in society“ Brozo08

9 Why should teachers in the United States care about the results of PISA?
American teachers can gain much from becoming knowledgeable about its key findings, and even more from the lessons learned by educators from other nations who have turned that knowledge into policy initiatives and practical reforms. We hear much in the rhetoric of leaders from each of our countries that raising reading achievement of youth will better prepare them for the new global economy. If this assumption is correct, it would be prudent to learn from each other about how best to prepare youth for these new global challenges. The findings of PISA in the area of reading engagement provide a common focus for curricular and policy reform that could lead to increases in student achievement. Brozo08

10 What is Reading Engagement?
In general it’s the extent to which one has a positive regard toward reading, seeks out texts, and makes time to read Comprised of many variables including: * interest * choice * self-efficacy Engagement has consistently been found to be a critical variable in reading achievement Brozo08

11 Reading Engagement Over the past two decades, there have been volumes written about reading motivation and engagement and countless workshops and conference presentations devoted to the topic. Yet, teachers feel they need more information and strategies to motivate students to read (Gambrell, 1996; O’Flahavan, Gambrell, Guthrie, Stahl, & Alvermann, 1992). There is evidence that justifies this need. A well-documented slump in achievement and motivation occurs during the upper-elementary and middle school years (Anderman, Maehr, & Midgley, 1999; Cummins, 2001; Snow, 2002). This phenomenon may not be restricted to a particular country or region of the world. Evidence suggests that youth from across the globe exhibit a similar decline in performance and interest as they move from primary to secondary school (Brozo, 2005; Brozo & Simpson, 2007). Brozo08

12 Reading Engagement Motivation cannot be detached from social contexts, such as classrooms, families, and communities. An individual youth’s motivation to read and learn is linked closely to the social worlds that are part of that youth’s daily life. Not only should youth engage in interesting experiences related to what they read but, more important, why the content is being read and studied. By linking the reading to students’ own needs, issues, concerns, and interests inside and outside of school, we increase engagement while helping them discover real-world purposes for reading Brozo08

13 Reading Engagement Greenleaf, Jimenez, and Roller (2002) put it this way, “Only when adolescents read material that is important to them will they understand why one uses…reading strategies and skills, [and] only if adolescents understand why they might want to use these skills will they master them and use them” Brozo08

14 Reading Engagement Evidence for the benefits of engaged reading is quite compelling. Correlational data derived from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in the United States show that adolescents who identified themselves as being interested in reading not only achieved better scores on the NAEP but had better high school grade point averages than their less interested peers (Donahue, Daane, & Grigg, 2003). Brozo08

15 Reading Engagement Reading engagement is also important to the maintenance and further development of reading skills beyond the age of 15. The International Adult Literacy Survey found that reading skills can deteriorate after the completion of initial education if they are not used (OECD and Statistics Canada, 1995). Engagement in reading is a predictor of learning success throughout life. Brozo08

16 Reading Engagement Guthrie and Wigfield (2000) assert that:
As students become engaged readers, they provide themselves with self generated learning opportunities that are equivalent to several years of education. Brozo08

17 PISA Indicators of Reading Engagement
Diversity of reading – the frequency with which students reported reading six types of text (magazines, comics, fiction books, non-fiction books, s, and web-pages) Frequency of leisure reading – the frequency with which students reported that they engaged in leisure reading on a daily basis Attitude toward reading – the extent to which students’ agreed with statements such as: I read only if I have to; Reading is one of my favorite hobbies; and I cannot sit still and read for more than a few minutes. Brozo08

18 Assessing Reading Engagement on PISA
Students’ responses on a questionnaire related to each component of engagement were combined to create an index that could be statistically correlated to PISA achievement scores and other scaled PISA findings Brozo08

19 Reading Engagement: Overall Findings
Engagement with reading correlated highly with achievement However, many students reported low levels of engagement Brozo08

20 Reading Engagement: Overall Findings
Engagement was a greater influence on achievement than socio-economic status or parental occupation Brozo08

21 Reading Engagement: Overall Findings
Motivation to read and amount of time spent reading contributed significantly to the achievement gap between good and poor readers. Brozo08

22 Reading Engagement: Overall Findings
High interest in computer-based learning More for males than females This interest correlated with higher reading performance Brozo08

23 Reading Engagement: Overall Findings
Those whose parents had the lowest occupational status but who were highly engaged in reading outperformed students whose parents had high or medium occupational status but who were poorly engaged in reading. Brozo08

24 Reading Performance and Socio-Economic Background by Level of Reading Engagement on PISA

25 Reading Engagement: Overall Findings
PISA also confirmed the gendered relationship between reading engagement and achievement. In all countries females viewed reading more positively, read more often, and outperformed males in reading. Similarly, across countries, females tended to read long texts (e.g., novels) for enjoyment, while males preferred to read shorter texts that were more likely to provide information (e.g., newspapers, comics, and web pages). Brozo08

26 Reading Engagement: Overall Findings
Reading engagement levels for boys from the U.S. were well below the PISA average, while girls’ were slightly above the average for participating countries. Brozo08

27 Implications for practice
Increasing time spent reading Increasing engagement for boys Increasing the diversity of texts that students read Capturing and sustaining reading engagement for high poverty students Brozo08

28 Increasing time spent reading
There are few contexts for sustained reading in secondary schools There needs to be an increase in time allocated to personalized reading The goal should be to develop students’ literacy abilities that lead to independence and competence with activities and tasks in everyday life Brozo08

29 Increasing engagement for boys
Boys were more motivated to read and achieved higher scores with non-continuous text Boys need opportunities to use alternative texts as sources of information and pleasure that sustain their interests, build knowledge, and lead to exploring more traditional print materials once their imaginations have been captured Brozo08

30 Increasing the diversity of texts that students read
Efforts should also be made to ensure that all students have access to a range of different text types, at appropriate levels of difficulty, both at home and at school Instruction in school settings should involve a broad variety of texts Brozo08

31 Capturing and sustaining reading engagement for high poverty students
Increasing reading engagement should be the highest priority for these students Ensure a full and varied range of reading materials are available to students, including short and longer texts in both paper and electronic forms School library programs that build on students’ motivation and interest, and that support their learning across the curriculum should be implemented Brozo08

32 Youth are our hope for the future, You are their hope today. Thank You
Remember, Youth are our hope for the future, You are their hope today. Thank You Brozo08

33 Other Implications for Practice
Elevate Self-Efficacy Engender Interest in New Reading Connect Outside with Inside School Literacies Make an Abundance of Interesting Texts Available Expand Student Choices and Options Brozo08

34 Elevate Self-Efficacy
Students with high, school-related self-efficacy—the belief and confidence that they have the capacity to accomplish meaningful tasks and produce a desired result in academic settings—are more engaged and motivated than students with low self-efficacy (Pajares, 1996). Reading that helps students make effort-outcome connection Reading that heightens positive cultural identities Brozo08

35 Engender interest in new reading
A self-evident and empirically grounded truth about reading is that students will expend the energy necessary to read if they are interested in the material (Eccles, Wigfield, Schiefele, 1998; Guthrie & Humenick, 2004; Mosenthal, 1999). Analogous experiences Simulations & role plays Guest speakers & performers Debates & discussions Brozo08

36 Connect Outside with Inside School Literacies
The same students who may be disconnected from academic life and are aliterate within the domain of school-related reading may also be active readers and users of new media at home and in their communities (Alvermann, 2003) Take advantage of youths’ relative strengths with language and literacy outside of school as source material for or segue to academic text/learning Listening to and writing song lyrics Reading teen, fanclub, auto, motorcycle magazines, and maintenance manuals Finding and reading “cheat sheets” for computer games Reading comic books and graphic novels Brozo08

37 Make an Abundance of Interesting Texts Available
In separate U.S.-based studies (Worthy, Moorman, & Turner, 1999; Ivey & Broaddus, 2001) it was discovered that the books youth would prefer to read are often scarce to non-existent in school. It’s critical, therefore, that teachers get students interested in topics (Sadoski, Goetz, & Rodriguez, 2000; Schiefele, 1999; Wade, Schraw, Buxton, & Hayes, 1993) through the use of alternative texts, such as graphic novels and multimedia. Brozo08

38 Alternative texts in the secondary classroom
Use Information Books to Research Class Topics Make Available Less Difficult/Modified Texts Read Novels-Traditional and Graphic-Related to Class Topics Sustained Silent Reading of Self-Selected Material Over Any Topic and Materials Related to the Class Read Articles From Popular Magazines, Newspapers, Read Primary Documents from Websites Read Realworld Texts Brozo08

39 Expand Student Choice and Options
Choice may be one of the most critical elements of motivation (Guthrie & Davis, 2003; Turner, 1995) Allowing youth more input into curricular decision making could help increase their sense of autonomy and agency, while building academic competence and identities (Williams, 2003) Brozo08

40 Expand Student Choice and Options
Jesús: “Keep it real.” Benita: “Don’t embarrass us.” Corey: “Let us use our hands and stuff.” Said: “What can we do with it?” My Bag Interest inventories Alternative response options Brozo08

41 Brozo08 IRA Publications Series
Spotlight on Assessment: Research and Practice From IRA Publications What are the purposes of assessment? What do we assess? How do we assess reading and writing? Which assessments should we use? What is our role in assessment? How can we use current technology to aid assessment? Educators must consider these questions now more than ever to assist students in reaching high levels of literacy achievement. This session will summarize research on reading and writing assessment and provide ideas for classroom practice, with each presenter highlighting a recent IRA publication. Presenters: Peter Afflerbach, author, Understanding and Using Reading Assessment, K–12, University of Maryland, College Park; William G. Brozo, author, “Engagement in Reading: Lessons Learned From Three PISA Countries,” Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia; Karen Bromley, author, “What Can We Learn From the Word Writing CAFÉ?,” The Reading Teacher, Binghamton University, New York; Ernest Balajthy, author, “Technology and Current Reading/Literacy Assessment Strategies,” The Reading Teacher, State University of New York at Geneseo ******************** We hope you’ll be able to highlight your IRA publications (we’ll provide copies of articles/chapters as handouts), and also describe any recent work you’ve been doing in this area, taking a practical or research-to-practice approach. We should be able to allot 25 minutes or so for each presenter, and still have time for questions at the end. Brozo08

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