A short article in The Telegraph points out the importance of developing a love for books if children are to read well – it goes on to point to some classic books for children. Particularly handy for me (with a six year old) is the guide for the middle years – the stage when perhaps wide eyed toddlers lose the joy of books as they turn from bright and seductive picture books to text heavy volume.
This reminded me that a number of the BA LTR researchers have undertaken inquiries in to reading strategies; developing approaches to teaching practice that inject passion and joy and motivation in to reading. A worthy cause. A recent graduate on the BA LTR course who acted to motivate young readers as part of her final year research, reported how her action research lives on beyond her time on the course …. “the kids are really excited. teachers from downstairs are commenting that every time they come upstairs children are reading – walking along the corridor reading, books under their arms when they go downstairs to monitor etc … They get so excited when a delivery of books comes in too”.
This is a tribute to how action research can be used to develop an individual’s practice which then in turn influences others. A ripple effect. Action research can be done without enrolling on an undergraduate degree of course, but this researcher found the course to be an effective route to change.
“I would probably have had all these ideas without [the course], but I would never have had the confidence to action them. Indeed I might not have found the opportunity to get these kids “into” books”.
It is a real joy when undergraduates can action real change – developing their own skills, their own knowledge and the practice of both themselves and others.