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Issues in Educational Research, 2023, Vol 33(4), 1495-1512.
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The school culture of reading for pleasure: Perspectives of educators and students in Years 3-6

Jess Nailer, Christine Robinson
University of Notre Dame Australia, Australia

Dee O'Connor
Murdoch University, Australia

Australian children read for pleasure less and less as they move through primary school, with a noticeable decline emerging in the middle primary school years (Scholastic, 2019). It has also been found that reading for pleasure at school has become de-prioritised in primary schools, with greater emphasis in the broader literacy education dialogue placed on instructional reading pedagogy and standardised literacy testing (Merga & Gardiner, 2018). The research presented in this paper focuses on the aspects of school culture that meaningfully support Reading for Pleasure at School (RfPS) in Years 3-6. It aims to explore the perspectives of five educators and 14 Years 3-6 children from one Western Australian independent public school. Consistent with a phenomenological perspective, this qualitative case study collected data through semi-structured individual interviews and focus group interviews with the participants. The research found that there were notable discrepancies between the educators' and the children's perspectives of RfPS culture, highlighting the importance of children's perspectives being sought if schools wish to improve the quantity and quality of their reading for pleasure practices.
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Authors: Jess Nailer is a sessional lecturer/tutor/Professional Experience supervisor in the School of Education at The University of Notre Dame Australia, Fremantle, Western Australia, and is Vice President of the WA Local Council for ALEA (Australian Literacy Educators Association). She recently completed her Master of Philosophy research on reading for pleasure pedagogy in primary school.
Email: jess.nailer@nd.edu.au

Dr Christine Robinson is Associate Professor in Education at the University of Notre Dame Australia. Christine coordinates and teaches in the postgraduate early childhood programs. Christine's research interests are in the area of young children's spirituality, early childhood, play-based pedagogies and religious education.
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8938-2994
Email: christine.robinson@nd.edu.au

Professor Dee O'Connor is an expert in early childhood who holds a professional background of leadership and practice roles within education, policy, and community development. Her research interests relate to child and community development, pedagogical leadership, experiential pedagogies, policy development and the development of higher order thinking skills.
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8710-4571
Email: dee.o'connor@murdoch.edu.au

Please cite as: Nailer, J., Robinson, C. & O'Connor, D. (2023). The school culture of reading for pleasure: Perspectives of educators and students in Years 3-6. Issues in Educational Research, 33(4), 1495-1512. http://www.iier.org.au/iier33/nailer.pdf

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Created 15 December 2023. Last update: 15 December 2023. Website: Roger Atkinson [rjatkinson@bigpond.com]