March 2020: Troubling trends: An international decline in attitudes toward reading

Hooper, Martin
IEA (2020)
Trend results from the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) show a decline from 2001 through 2016 in most countries in fourth graders’ and their parents’ reading attitudes, as measured by students like reading and parents like reading scale scores. Average students like reading scale scores, as reported by the students themselves, decreased between 2001 and 2016 in 13 of the 18 countries that participated in all cycles of PIRLS. Educators and educational policymakers should take notice of these falling trends in reading attitudes. Current curricula may need to be reevaluated to support the development of positive attitudes toward reading. Given that the results show the decline in reading attitudes involves not just students but also parents, policymakers should consider widespread campaigns and programs to promote positive attitudes toward reading among adults and families.