Motivating book reading

Love to read: A co-designed intervention to motivate and engage child readers
2021 – 2023

For children to reach their full potential as readers, they must be motivated to read and choose to read independently. Book reading provides important opportunities for children to develop their language and literacy skills, and knowledge and understanding of the world. Reading books also allows time for children to relax, laugh, pursue their interests, enter imaginary worlds, develop their empathy skills, and spend time with fictional friends. The experiences children can have when they read books can be rich and diverse, in so many ways, but only if children are choosing to read and engaged with the books they are reading.

In 2021 we will start a project, funded by the Nuffield Foundation, to develop a reading motivation and engagement (RME) intervention to motivate and engage child (age 9-11) readers. Our approach to intervention design is novel. We will interview children to understand, from their perspectives, how to inspire and sustain book reading, and then use this knowledge to work with a team of primary school teachers (n = 6) to co-design our RME intervention. This intervention will be underpinned by RME theory and empirical research, combined with teachers’ pedagogical knowledge, experience and expertise. In a mixed methods feasibility study we will evaluate our RME intervention to assess acceptability, feasibility and potential scalability of the intervention.

We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with teachers and external partners on this project, and will provide updates as the project progresses.

Project team:
Dr Sarah McGeown (PI)
Dr Jessie Ricketts (co-I)
Dr Laura Shapiro (co-I)

Project Partners:
Katherine Wilkinson, Head of Research and Evaluation, Scottish Book Trust
Christina Clark, Head of Research, National Literacy Trust
Megan Dixon, Head Teacher and Co-Director of Aspirer Research School
Helen Fairlie, Senior Education Officer (Literacy), Education Scotland
Katrina Lucas, Teacher, Falkirk Council