Reading for students is an essential activity which not only builds their way of thinking and ways of doing things but also shapes them towards academic success. Numerous researches have shown that students have declined in reading habits extensively and this trend is worrying since as they grow older, their reading quantities decrease drastically. This research is all about the reading habits amongst the students in Kaplan school and the reason behind this study is as a result of personal experience while in high school as many of my fellow students had low morale in carrying out reading activities. The 21st century has been crowned with information technology and many children tend to be drawn to the pool of technological materials found on the World Wide Web and social media and forget the significance or rather the vitality of academics. Therefore the rationale behind this research is to find the current reading habits of students and explore on the social implications surrounding the divergent reading practices across the education sector. It is quite known that the today’s young generation are tomorrow’s economic drivers and when reading habits change then there arises the issue whether the young generation will really drive the country towards economic growth in the future.
Research Objectives (ROS)
The main objective of the research is to examine the reading habits amongst the students in Kaplan school together with the trend of the practice in the school and how it has affected the students’ academic performance. The investigator supposes that conducting the study may present important information which can be used by the school in dealing with the students reading habits and also the research help other educationists and researchers in understanding the trend of reading within the teenagers in the country. Due to the changes in reading preferences, this study aims at finding which sections of reading materials the students were highly interested in and the reasons behind their preferences.
Research Questions (RQs)
There are several research questions which ought to be covered so that the study is explored maximally. For instance, the students will be asked which learning materials they read most between eBooks, journals, newspapers, and books. Moreover, the students will be required to indicate which areas of the eBooks, journals, newspapers, and books they preferred to read or rather they were attracted to and conversely why they preferred to read different materials like eBooks, journals, newspapers, and books.
This paper offers a selective literature analysis of reading habits carried out in the U.S. and also abroad, and even though majority of them are specific to the reading material the students preferred, the preview generally shows that there is a decline in reading practices in the younger generation. Reading has actually received rising concentration in research fields in the current years. The schools’ curriculum integrates an exploratory and expressive from interactive system of education, with the aim of developing an inquisitive mind and also discovering the supremacy of discipline and self determination to develop into flourishing professionals and reliable humans.
According to Abidin, Mohammadi, and Jesmin (2011) research, it is revealed that the Malaysian students had high preference on printed studying materials that their online counterpart. For instance, print newspapers had 38% while the e-newspapers had 5% reading count. On the other hand, print books covered 24% and the e-books had only 6%. The research also revealed that among the Malaysian people there is only 20 % of the population who are regular readers. Researchers have also confirmed that with the dawn of a digital environment which avails a speedy and vast amount of digital information, many people, mostly the youth have much of their study or free time reading electronically presented materials.
Zickuhret al (2012) described how the Pew Research Center did a research on the library and reading habits of the younger Americans’ generation.The study showed interesting results as it found out that 83 percent of the American population aged between 16-29 years had studied a book in the previous year. 75 percent of those interviewed had at least read a book in print form, while 19 percent had an electronic book, and about 11 percent an audio-form book. Nevertheless, 47 percent of the American youngsters were found to read the long varieties of electronic content like newspapers, magazines, or books. Although the usage patterns of the library by the youngsters is often influenced by the assignments from their schools, the interest they have in the possibilities of mobile related technology is also predictive of possible opportunities towards more engagement with the use of the library later in life. The Pew research also found out that among the e-book readers in America, 41% have a greater tendency of using their cell phone and 55 % using their computer to study their e-books if they are under the age of 30 in preference to an e-book reader which constitute, for instance, 16 % (Tablet) and 23 % (Kindle).
In the above two studies, there happens to be dissimilar findings which primarily revolve around the internet boom which has engulfed the current generation. The Malaysian students are seen to predominantly prefer to read the print reading materials while those in the U.S. go for the electronic materials. The Malaysian study on students and the use of electronic reading materials doesn’t seem to reflect the current internet book all over the world bearing in mind that the study is recent. Nonetheless, the major strength linking the two studies is that both are up to date and therefore reflect the real picture on the ground of the two countries.
The two studies touching on the reading practices of the modern day students are quite relevant to my study even though both are dwelling much on the electronic reading materials. The 21st century has been famous for the discoveries of technology and its easy accessibility even through handsets has facilitated on the invention of new types of reading whereby for instance the use of electronic reading materials. Both studies show the influence internet has brought to the learning platform. The two studies applied different methodologies while doing their research where the Pew Research Center use phone survey while the survey on Malaysian rural students used the purposive sampling.
The design to be used to carry out the study was the qualitative study in form of a case study. The research basically will explore a delimited system over a certain period of time and involving an exhaustive data collection and also various information sources. Studying the reading habits of students basically requires interacting with them and finding out their respective reading practices. Therefore the case study design is the perfect one as it involves the researcher going to the Kaplan school and researching on the general reading habits of students.
The research method which was employed was the sampling technique which involved the launching of open interviews as well as questionnaires. Interviewing method is known to be an effective study technique which the researcher is able to attain detailed information from the students being interviewed. The reason I chose this method is that it is quite informative and am able to collect information from the body languages, and intonations of the interviewees thus collecting a comprehensive data. Moreover, the researcher will be able to form a clearer study report with first hand information. On the other hand, there are those students who are academically busy and others are reluctant to share their academic matters therefore I will employ questionnaires. These questionnaires will entail at least three questions as indicated below:
a) Which reading materials amongst the given do you read the most? (Books-newspapers-journals-eBooks)
b) Which part of the chosen reading material above attracts you the most?
c) Why do prefer to read the material you have chosen above?
These questionnaires will be distributed throughout the classes and students given a week to fill them.
In each research work there has to be ethical issues experienced and care has to be taken so as to avoid committing such felonies. The internet has all sorts of information ranging from misleading content to even authentic sources. Therefore I expect to come across information that is mis-authored or rather misleading authorship. As noted early, internet stores all sorts of data and anyone is capable of even drafting ambiguous information and posting it as if it was their own work or authentic and it becomes challenging to sieve through the web and find the genuine information. Therefore so as to avoid becoming a victim of mis-authored date, I would ensure that I always use the authentic journal databases and also academic resources. Moreover, I would make use of the faculty members and the senior researchers in guiding me how to acquire genuine internet material.
FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION
The research found out that about 70 percent of the students at Kaplan school read books, 60% were reading newspapers, 30% eBooks, while 50% of them read journals. Therefore its quite clear that majority of the students relied on print material for reading while quite a minimal number used electronic reading materials.
In the various reading materials the students had, it’s evident that preferred quite a wide diversity of reading information where for instance, 75% were interested in financial issues, 75% in novels issue, 65% on sports issues, and 30% preferred the science related matters. From the distribution gathered, it’s clear that many students were not yet interested in issues like economics, history, military, as well as health and medicine since they were yet to focus on their career lines.
Students have different reasons why they read different sources of information like eBooks, newspapers, books, and even journals. Through the study findings, its apparent that majority of the students preferred to read these materials so as the news kept them informed, (60%). Quite a number of students about 40% preferred to read so as to improve their culture and also knowledge skills. A small number of about 20% admitted that they read so as to improve their academic skills which are quite disheartening bearing in mind that students go to school do as to acquire academic excellence.