Measuring Family and School Effects on Reading for Pleasure: Getting the Most out of Dissonant Data

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 17:55
Oral Presentation
Iasonas LAMPRIANOU, University of Cyprus, Cyprus
Reading for pleasure is an important component of all-round education and contributes to a young person’s individuality and future academic as well as social success. As it happens with most educational variables, schools and families have been identified as important factors contributing to the love of reading for young persons. For the purposes of this study, we used a short questionnaire to investigate the attitudes and the behavior of pupils, parents and teachers regarding reading for pleasure. The research was conducted in Cyprus and covered both primary and secondary education. The analysis of the data yielded results which were consistent with past literature but also yielded some new findings. Unexpectedly, our analysis revealed similarities but also non-negligible discrepancies between students’, parents’ and teachers’ responses to the same questions (even to factual questions). Although having survey data from multiple informants increased significantly our capacity to answer our research questions, we found that making sense out of dissonant quantitative data is not straightforward. We discuss the methodological challenges of interpreting dissonant data in quantitative educational research and suggest ways to turn this “problem” to an advantage.