Since reading is a girly thing: A study on boys’ underachievement in reading literacy in relation to PISA

University essay from Malmö högskola/Lärande och samhälle

Abstract: Underachievement in reading literacy for boys in secondary school seems to be a general norm in many countries around the world today. PISA’s studies highlight that Sweden also is one of countries that has big differences in between the genders in reading literacy; moreover, the results showed that almost every third boy is underperforming in reading literacy. A lot of studies have been made on this subject and the researchers have tried to find the source to the problem. However, no one seems to have found the solution to the problem just yet. Therefore, we became interested in finding out how teachers can remedy boys’ lower performances in reading, in Swedish language classrooms. Through the use of a research synthesis and a pilot study, the question whether teachers can remedy boys’ underachievement in reading literacy is dealt by carefully analyzing articles, journals and books. The results revealed four themes that may play a big part in increasing boys’ achievement in reading. These four themes are: motivation, teacher modeling, text interest and choices, and the importance of time frame. Keywords: Gender differences, attitudes, underachievement, boys, motivation, literacy, reading, second language learning, PISA

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