Creating Life-Long Readers through Choice
I am pleased to present this guest post by Lesley Roessing, Director of the Coastal Savannah Writing Project and Senior Lecturer in the College of Education, Armstrong State University. Lesley is a former graduate student of mine at St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia, PA. Like any teacher I love to see my students make good.
By Lesley Roessing
A meta-analysis of 41 studies examined the effect of choice on intrinsic motivation and related outcomes in a variety of settings with both child and adult samples. Results indicated that providing choice enhanced intrinsic motivation, effort, task performance, and perceived competence, among other outcomes.
-- (U.S. National Library of Medicine)
I wake up and roll out of bed. What shall I eat? Cereal? Oatmeal? Bagel? Breakfast bar? I have choices. No one tells me what to eat; I eat what I want and what I feel I need—limited only by what is available. Maybe I want to eat oatmeal fourteen days in a row; possibly I have a craving for a decidedly less-healthy donut on a particular day. The following day I try a multi-grain, no-sugar, vegan-friendly cereal bar, knowing that I can discard it if I take three bites and find I hate it. I go to my closet. Again, I can wear what I want, limited only by what I own and what I deem appropriate for the day ahead—my purpose, my audience.
I experience the same situation with what I watch on television, what movies I view, and what books I read. I make my own choices, sometimes with the advice of friends or colleagues and sometimes with the guidance of experts in the appropriate field. Sometimes I read a book because my book Russ on Reading: Creating Life-Long Readers through Choice: