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New OU website for teachers supports reading for pleasure

OU researchers have created a new website to enable the education profession to develop research–informed practice and enrich children’s reading for pleasure.

The Research Rich Pedagogies website developed by Teresa Cremin, Professor of Literacy, and her colleagues in the OU’s Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies in conjunction with the UK Literacy Association (UKLA) will be launched at a UKLA National Conference on Finding and Sharing Pleasure in Reading on Saturday 18 March.

The website, which was created to build connections between OU research and those supporting learning in schools, teacher training institutions and informal settings, has a vibrant reading for pleasure strand.

This strand builds on research conducted by Professor Cremin and colleagues Teachers as Readers: Building communities of readers, in which she highlights the importance of teachers reading for pleasure if they are to foster the development of young readers.

“To foster readers for life, a better balance needs to be struck between teaching reading skills and encouraging reading for pleasure.”

She says: “To foster readers for life, a better balance needs to be struck between teaching reading skills and encouraging reading for pleasure.”

Her research also reveals that teachers also need a rich repertoire of children’s literature and considerable knowledge of their children’s preferences and practices as readers, as well as an understanding of the social relational nature of reading and a reciprocal and interactive reading for pleasure pedagogy.

New OU research led by Dr Amelia Hempel-Jorgensen and colleagues, including Teresa, has looked into the reasons why disadvantaged boys, who are labelled as struggling readers, read for pleasure less than girls. It found that a combination of teachers’ deficit perceptions of boys’ ‘ability’, ethnicity and social class, and their resulting teaching practices for reading have a negative impact on these boys’ engagement with reading for pleasure which is constraining them as readers.

The new professional user-community website has rich examples of classroom practice created by teachers and student teachers seeking to build communities of readers, within and beyond school. It is hoped teachers, schools and CPD leads will use the site to borrow ideas, develop their practice and then share this with the profession.

Visit The Research Rich Pedagogies website.

Read more about Professor Cremin’s research into Transforming experiences of reading.

Read more about OU research in Education.