Reading with the windows of the mind open, especially girls

Teens changing reading habits

For teens, reading may take the form of eBooks or articles online, but the dopamine pull to just ‘check’ the latest from YouTube, messages, or social media feeds is strong.

It’s not surprising that research shows teens (and adults!) are reading fewer books than before. So, as the concept of reading broadens to encompass the digital and bite-sized, we need to ensure teens’ reading opportunities are also broadened.

…What we need to do is not just honor all reading — as CSM suggests — but to keep offering new doors, new opportunities, and new options to teenagers. A graphic novel one day, a cool app the next, a novel on a third day, or a poem, a play, an investigative article, a description of a new discovery. The idea is to keep opening doors, so occasional readers recognize that there is something of interest–something appealing, stimulating, or unexpected–waiting for them when they do take time to read.
— Marc Aronson, from Are teenagers reading less? Consider the source

With such stiff competition, it becomes even more important for teachers and library staff to work together to engage each and every student with reading.

Are teenagers reading less? Consider the source — ‘School Library Journal’.
Why it’s important for teens to read

Schools aren’t just about teaching children to read, but teaching children to be social beings.
— Michael Rosen

The New Zealand Council for Educational Research (NZCER) paper ‘Growing Independence: A Summary of Key Findings From the Competent Learners @14 Project’ shows that teens who enjoy reading are more likely to succeed in school and in their engagement with their various communities.

Continuing the habit of reading, widely, into teenage years helps teens to:

deal with their increasingly complex world, and understand some of the adult issues they will have to grapple with
know they are not alone – that others may be thinking and feeling the way they do
open lines of communication, particularly if parents, teachers, librarians provide opportunities to discuss what teens are reading

Reading with the windows of the mind open, especially girls