Portuguese youth reading less

in News · 05-10-2020 10:00:00 · 0 Comments

Students in primary and high schools are reading less and less, according to a study by the National Reading Plan and ISCTE, which points to the influence of the family on reading habits.

In 2019, the majority of the 7,469 surveyed students admitted to having read less than three books for pleasure in the 12 months preceding the survey and, between the students, 21.8 percent of young people said they had not read any books during the same period, more than in 2007 when only 11.9 percent gave the same answer.

This trend can be seen at both levels of education, but it is at basic education that there is a greater difference between the two periods with the percentage of students who did not read any book for leisure, rising from 11.3 percent to 26.2 percent.

There is also a contextual difference between 2007 and 2019 that, according to the researcher, could help explain these results: the extension of compulsory schooling up to 12th grade, which resulted in greater heterogeneity in high schools, which is no longer "a kind of filter".

The first results of the study also point to a relationship between students' reading habits and the family context and, more than the parents' level of education, it is the relationship of the families themselves with reading that seems to have the greatest influence.

The stronger the family's relationship with reading, the more books young people says they have read. But this is a factor that also relates to the way students use the school library.

According to data for 2019, the vast majority of students used the library to prepare work or access the internet, and only 16.1 percent to take books home.

However, it is the students who have the most books at home who are most in-demand at the library.

The influence of families can also help explain the weakening of reading habits, since more than half of the students say that their family does not have a close relationship with reading and books and the percentage of students with less than 20 books in their house almost doubled between 2007 and 2019, going from 14.5 percent to 27.3 percent.

This situation, the researchers consider, increases the complexity of the challenge posed to schools, requiring the reinforcement of investment in the promotion of reading practices, not only of young people and adults.


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