Reader interest trumps passage readability?

Reading

Alfie Kohn said:

intrinsic motivation – has a huge empirical base of support in workplaces, schools, and elsewhere. We’ve long known that the pleasure one takes from an activity is a powerful predictor of success. For example, one group of researchers tried to sort out the factors that helped third and fourth graders remember what they had been reading. They found that how interested the students were in the passage was thirty times more important than how ‘readable’ the passage was.

via http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2014/07/25/actually-practice-doesnt-always-make-perfect-new-study

Image credit: Reading, John Flinchbaugh

3 Responses to “Reader interest trumps passage readability?”

  1. And so what do school leaders force their teachers to do??? Make kids read uninteresting paragraphs that mimic tests instead of reading books.

  2. This is why PARCC demands authentic passages. Interesting reading material is intrinsically more complex than conventional passages written strictly for assessment purposes. On the other hand, personal interests vary. Although the passage may provide richness of text the content may not appeal to my reading persistence. And therein lies the rub.

    • Authentic passages are NOT books. Kids should be reading books, not authentic passages in preparation for tests. Why would you think teachers would stop test prepping kids with passages when a test changes from a state test to PARCC?

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