This interpretive research addressed five first-graders’ perceptions of reading and of being readers, asking the questions: What does reading or being a reader mean to a group of children who are at the end of.rst grade? What are they see as its purpose? How do they view themselves as readers? The data is presented in the form of narratives describing the children and their views, followed by a discussion of the children’s reading identities and purposes for reading as condensed into.ve categories: practice, people, power, pleasure, and performance. Practice, a main purpose for the children, entailed reading longer words and books, learning more words, and developing decoding skills. Reading as a social process included connections to people, both while being taught to read and when sharing texts with others. Master y of reading provided varied feelings of power and control either over general textual ideas or over the words themselves. Pleasure and humor were emphasized in relation to children’s reading, while instrumental motives were attributed to adults and to teacher-directed activities. Performance allowed for a display of knowledge and skills, but brought fear of ridicule for some. The children’s rich perceptions of the reading process and of themselves as readers can guide educators as they support children in becoming strong, positive, and lasting readers. More in-depth qualitative research needs to be done on children’s perceptions of reading at all levels of schooling, especially with beg inning and struggling readers.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Linguistics and Language