Lu, Y.-L. (2009). Engaging students with summer reading: An Assessment of a collaborative high school reading program. Journal of Education for Library and Information Science 50(2), 90-106.
This study examines the impact of students’ active involvement in a collaborative project to reform a high school summer reading program. It takes place in an American high school, grades nine through twelve. A stratified random sample of 288 students and eleven teachers ensured representation of students from each of three ability groupings. Data were collected through student surveys and teacher interviews. Findings show that students attributed different types of cognitive, psychological, and social learning to this collaborative summer reading program. The method of student self-assessment revealed some personal attributes of reading that otherwise could not have been identified. This study also confirmed that students have to be actively involved and participate in the collaborative efforts to make their reading and learning meaningful.
Gordon, C. (2008). “A never-ending story: Action research meets summer reading.” Knowledge Quest 37(2), 34-41.
This article describes an action research project that initiated a web-based summer reading program. Evidence based practices such as reading the research, using educators’ experience to guide the design of a web-based summer reading program, and collecting evidence to document the effect of the program on students’ reading dispositions and behaviors provides a model of how action research can effect change in reading practices for adolescents.
Gordon, C. & Lu, Y.-L. (2008) “I hate to read, or do I?” Low achievers and their reading. School Library Media Research, 11. Available from http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/aasl/aaslpubsandjournals/slmrb/slmrcontents/volume11/gordon_lu.cfm
This study is phase two of the Barnstable Study of a Web-based high school summer reading program that replaced traditional summer reading lists. It focuses on low-achieving students who had a low participation rate in the first two years of the program. The researchers interviewed and surveyed seventy students who formed seven focus groups. This study challenges assumptions about struggling readers. Do struggling readers consider themselves readers outside of school where they have choices that relate to what they like to do? Do they read? What do they read? Do they really hate to read? Gender and grade level emerged as factors in participation rates in the program. Student responses emphasized the importance of relevance of reading materials to their reading preferences. Low achievers had a strong preference for alternative reading materials, which has implications for the way schools structure reading for adolescents who are struggling readers.
Lu, Y.-L., & Gordon, C. (2008). The effects of free choice on student learning: A study of summer reading. School Libraries Worldwide, 14(1), 38-55.
This study examines the reading behaviors and attitudes of adolescents during summer when they can exercise free choice. Is mandated reading during summer non-school months, as it is currently practiced, encouraging students to read, or does it create barriers to reading? It takes place in an American high school, grades nine through twelve. A stratified random sample of 288 students and eleven teachers ensured representation of students from each of three ability groupings. Data were collected through student surveys and teacher interviews. Findings show that students attributed different types of cognitive, psychological, and social learning to their summer reading. Mixed responses from teachers point to the need for consensus about the purpose of a summer reading program.
Lu, Y.-L., & Gordon, C. (2007). Reading takes you places: A study of a web-based summer reading program. School Library Media Research, 10. Available from http://www.ala.org/ala/aasl/aaslpubsandjournals/slmrb/slmrcontents/volume10/lu_reading.cfm
This study looks at the effects of a Web-based summer reading program on the reading behaviors and attitudes of high school students. The school librarian and five English teachers based the program content and Web site on reading and Web design research. The study investigates whether the technology-based program had positive effects on student reading, and, if so, which elements of the program emerge as beneficial. The study takes place in a high school of 2,000 students, grades nine through twelve. A purposive random sample of 288 students and 11 teachers ensured representation of students from each of the three homogeneously grouped tracks: high-, average-, and low-achieving students. Data were collected through student surveys and teacher interviews. Findings show that students showed satisfaction with the online summer reading program, although low-achieving students and boys reported lower rates of satisfaction. Most students did not take advantage of the interactive technical aspects of the Web site. The mixed responses of teachers point to the need to establish the purpose of summer reading as a foundational concept for building and revising summer reading programs.