Date of Award

5-1997

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Department

Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Dr. Gerald Begy

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to discover the attitudes, behaviors and interests of fifth grade students concerning leisure time reading.

The subjects consisted of nine focus groups of five students each (n=45) selected from fifth grade classes within Monroe County school districts. The schools were stratified by location including urban, suburban, and rural environments. Student selection was made by classroom teachers based on a variety of reading abilities and gender. Focus groups were interviewed regarding their leisure time reading habits, interests and behaviors. Group responses were then analyzed qualitatively and grouped into various categories.

While the results did indicate a decline in leisure time reading, it was apparent that students in the fifth grade know what types of materials they enjoy reading, when they choose to read. Television viewing was reported as a favorite activity, as well as playing sports and spending time with friends. Reading was enjoyed most by suburban fifth graders. Magazines were the favorite medium for all groups of students, followed by books. Most read subjects included sports, humor, romance, fantasy and mystery. Higher ability readers tended to read more and have more confidence, while lower ability students preferred other activities. Those students who were read to as young children also reported more positive attitudes than those students not read to.

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