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Teachers who are knowledgeable about the basic structure of the English language incorporate this knowledge into their instruction. In this study, the authors explored a similar relation between knowledge of print exposure and planning for a grade 5 classroom. The personal reading experience (print exposure) of 106 preservice teachers was measured for three genres: storybooks, children's and young adult literature, and adult fiction. Teacher knowledge was measured by two tasks: defining terms and evaluating instructional practices. Planning for instruction was measured by asking participants to plan for a week of grade 5 language arts instruction. Correlational analyses revealed that print exposure, teacher knowledge, and time allocated for student reading in a grade 5 classroom were positively related. Furthermore, regression analyses revealed that familiarity with authors of children's and young adult literature accounted for significant variance on both knowledge tasks even after controlling for other forms of print exposure (storybooks and adult fiction). The data suggest that knowledge about print exposure and personal reading experience, especially of children's and young adult literature, are both associated with planning for instruction in the upper elementary grades. The results are discussed in relation to teacher training.
Reading Research Quarterly, 0(0)
pp. 1–16 | doi:10.1002/rrq.240
© 2018 International Literacy Association.
Teachers who are knowledgeable about the basic structure of the English
language incorporate this knowledge into their instruction. In this study, the
authors explored a similar relation between knowledge of print exposure and
planning for a grade 5 classroom. The personal reading experience (print
exposure) of 106 preservice teachers was measured for three genres: story-
books, children’s and young adult literature, and adult fiction. Teacher knowl-
edge was measured by two tasks: defining terms and evaluating instructional
practices. Planning for instruction was measured by asking participants to
plan for a week of grade 5 language arts instruction. Correlational analyses
revealed that print exposure, teacher knowledge, and time allocated for stu-
dent reading in a grade 5 classroom were positively related. Furthermore,
regression analyses revealed that familiarity with authors of children’s and
young adult literature accounted for significant variance on both knowledge
tasks even after controlling for other forms of print exposure (storybooks
and adult fiction). The data suggest that knowledge about print exposure
and personal reading experience, especially of childrens and young adult
literature, are both associated with planning for instruction in the upper
elementary grades. The results are discussed in relation to teacher training.
It seems intuitive that teacher knowledge (Hill, Rowan, & Ball,
2005) and teacher interest (Alexander, 2003) would be linked to
student achievement. Indeed, both content knowledge (what
toteach) and pedagogical expertise (how to teach it) are crucial to
effective classroom instruction (Griffith, Bauml, & Barksdale, 2015).
Therefore, similar to other professional faculties, such as medicine
and law, the mandate of teaching programs is to give prospective
teachers the specialized expertise they need to develop into profes-
sionals. Yet, like all forms of education, those responsible for teacher
training programs must consider both the predispositions of their
incoming learners and the content of the curriculum. With regards
to training early reading teachers, it is now widely accepted
that higher classroom quality predicts better student performance
(McLean, Sparapani, Toste, & Connor, 2016); in turn, classroom
quality hinges on teachers’ familiarity with basic language constructs
(Cunningham, Perry, Stanovich, & Stanovich, 2004; McCutchen,
Abbott, etal., 2002; McCutchen, Harry, etal., 2002; Piasta, Connor,
Fishman, & Morrison, 2009; Spear- Swerling & Brucker, 2004;
Washburn, Joshi, & Binks- Cantrell, 2011). However, teacher knowl-
edge surrounding instruction for more advanced readers, such as
those who have graduated into reading longer pieces of fiction, has
Stephanie Kozak
Sandra Martin-Chang
Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec,
Preservice Teacher Knowledge,
PrintExposure, and Planning
2 | Reading Research Quarterly, 0(0)
been comparatively understudied (cf. McCutchen,
Green, Abbott, & Sanders, 2009). The goal of the cur-
rent investigation was to examine connections among
three types of teacher knowledge with the potential to
impact classroom quality: preservice teachers’ own
print exposure, their knowledge of print exposure,
and their ability to plan for instruction.
Print Exposure
Reading for pleasure over the lifetime is known in scien-
tific circles as print exposure (e.g., Sparks, Patton, &
Murdoch, 2014; Stanovich & West, 1989). Print exposure
has gained research attention over the past several years
because it is a pleasurable activity that has been associ-
ated with multiple cognitive advantages. Reading for
pleasure, especially fiction (McCreath, Linehan, & Mar,
2017), has been routinely associated with better word
recognition skills, reading comprehension, fluency, and
vocabulary in children and adults alike (Cunningham &
Stanovich, 1990, 1991, 1997, 1998; Mano & Guerin, 2018;
Mar & Rain, 2015; Martin- Chang & Gould, 2008; Sparks
etal., 2014; Stanovich & Cunningham, 1993).
The Author Recognition Test (ART; Stanovich &
West, 1989) has been the most widely accepted proxy
of print exposure for almost three decades. It avoids
the complications surrounding self- report by asking
participants to identify popular authors among a list
of foils. The ART has proven effective at providing an
approximation of actual reading experience over and
above general knowledge about authors (Martin-
Chang & Gould, 2008). Moore and Gordon (2015) ex-
plored the validity of the ART as a proxy of print
exposure and concluded that “although the ART di-
rectly tests a particular type of knowledge, its effec-
tiveness is not thought to solely depend on that
knowledge per se, but instead depends on how that
knowledge reflects differential practice at reading” (p.
1096). Cunningham and Stanovich (1990) also devel-
oped the Title Recognition Test (TRT); here, the titles
of illustrated children’s storybooks are listed among
foils. The TRT is commonly used as a proxy for how
much adults read to children (Sénéchal, LeFevre,
Hudson, & Lawson, 1996).
Although the words contained in nonfiction texts
tend to be slightly more sophisticated than those
contained in fiction (McCreath etal., 2017), compel-
ling evidence has shown that familiarity with fiction
reliably accounts for more variance in general knowl-
edge, theory of mind, social competence, and verbal
ability, compared with familiarity with nonfiction
(Kidd & Castano, 2013; Kozak &Recchia, 2018; Mar,
Oatley, Hirsh, dela Paz, & Peterson, 2006; Mar
& Rain, 2015). Spear- Swerling, Brucker and Alfano
(2010) also noted that reading fiction was uniquely
associated with advanced linguistic ability in grade 6
students, whereas reading nonfiction was negatively
correlated with reading comprehension. In sum,
reading for pleasure has been shown to have a pro-
found effect on children’s academic performance
both concurrently and over time (Cunningham &
Stanovich, 1997, 1998; Sparks etal., 2014), and though
it is not yet clear why, these patterns favor the read-
ing of fiction over nonfiction.
Given the multiple benefits associated with reading
for pleasure, it seems that balanced literacy programs
should include many opportunities for reading from
preschool (Neuman, 1999; Sénéchal, LeFevre, Thomas,
& Daley, 1998) to high school (Sparks etal., 2014) and
beyond (Kidd & Castano, 2017; Mar etal., 2006; Mar,
Oatley, & Peterson, 2009). Yet, during middle child-
hood, when the benefits from reading experience
should be accumulating (Cunningham & Stanovich,
1997; Mol & Bus, 2011), motivation to read may be de-
creasing (Guthrie & Wigfield, 2000). This raises the
question of whether teachers understand the impor-
tance of reading for pleasure both in their own lives and
in the lives of their future students.
A teacher’s interest (Alexander, 2003) might bleed
through his or her instruction to color the curriculum in
a number of ways. For example, in the home, Mol and
Bus (2011) noted that when “reading is a source of plea-
sure in their own lives, parents are more inclined to read
to their children and engage them in stories” (p. 286).
This notion has been corroborated by research showing
that the importance parents place on reading accounts
for significant variance in how they interact with their
children around books (Bus, Leseman, & Keultjes,
2000). The scant research that has been done within the
educational realm mirrors this finding. Similar to par-
ents, when teachers value reading in their own lives,
they tend to encourage more reading in their classrooms
(McKool & Gespass, 2009).
Interviews with students in grade 4 suggested that
talking with teachers who are personally interested in
reading has the power to sway their own reading habits.
The students revealed that they value book recommenda-
tions from teachers, librarians, and parents (Edmunds
& Bauserman, 2006). However, the students also felt
strongly about ultimately having the autonomy to choose
their own books, even when choosing from a preselected
list of titles. Based on the interviews, Edmunds and
Bauserman (2006) made four suggestions. They urged
teachers to use motivational strategies such as talking to
students about books, modeling excitement about read-
ing, reading aloud to students, and creating opportunities
for students to connect with one another around books.
These recommendations have been supported by the
work of Kim, Hemphill, and colleagues (2017). They
Preservice Teacher Knowledge, Print Exposure, and Planning for Instruction | 3
created a balanced literacy program with student motiva-
tion at its core. The program revolved around books and
activities that were well aligned with the reading skills and
interests of students, and incorporated many opportuni-
ties for debate and discussion (Kim, Hemphill, et al.,
2017). A further study showed that students’ outcomes
were enhanced when teachers capitalized on their exper-
tise by tailoring the recommended reading lists for indi-
vidual students (Kim, Burkhauser, et al., 2017). When
teachers made adaptations to the program, students re-
ported reading more frequently, engaging more with the
text, and finding reading easier. These findings suggest
that although a motivating literacy program is necessary, it
requires knowledgeable teachers for its implementation.
De Naeghel, Van Keer, Vansteenkiste, Haerens, and
Aelterman (2016) further demonstrated that teacher
initiatives to boost reading motivation within the class-
room impacted student reading habits. They selected a
random sample of teachers to participate in a workshop
focused on support for student autonomy; the training
highlighted the importance of listening to student pref-
erences and offering choices in assignments and novels.
The results showed that increasing teacher knowledge
successfully increased grade 5 students’ recreational
reading. However, further research is required to inves-
tigate whether teachers’ own personal reading habits
influence how they implement their instruction.
Taking the various lines of evidence into consider-
ation, it seems reasonable that teachers who are more
familiar with childrens literature might be in a better
position to select, promote, and discuss optimal titles for
their students (Ivey & Johnston, 2013). However, the in-
verse pattern might also hold; when instructors fail to
recognize the utility of reading for pleasure and are not
familiar with many books, they may be less inclined to
foster a love for reading in their students. The term Peter
effect refers to the concept that preservice teachers might
be less likely to advocate for habits, such as reading for
pleasure, that they themselves do not possess (Applegate
& Applegate, 2004; Applegate etal., 2014). Joshi and col-
leagues (2009) argued that students can only access a
portion of the information held by their instructors, and
therefore, students profit when teachers increase their
professional content knowledge because more teaching
resources become available in the classroom (Cun-
ningham & O’Donnell, 2015; Spear- Swerling & Brucker,
2004, 2006; Washburn etal., 2011). The question then
becomes, Does reading for pleasure fall under the
umbrella of professional content knowledge?
Teacher Preparation
In order for universities to be accredited, teacher train-
ing programs must fulfill certain requirements. These
often include courses in pedagogical and content knowl-
edge, and in- service components in which preservice
teachers apply their knowledge in classroom settings
(Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation,
2016). Over the years, researchers have investigated
teachers’ approaches to instruction by conducting ob-
servations and interviews (Carlisle, Kelcey, Berebitsky,
& Phelps, 2011; Griffith etal., 2015; Piasta etal., 2009).
But although these methods have been used to great ef-
fect with inservice teachers, classroom observations are
more difficult when working with teachers in training,
primarily because preservice teachers do not yet have
their own classrooms. As such, it is difficult to ascertain
how much of the observation is influenced by the pre-
service teacher versus the cooperative teacher he or she
is working with. However, planning for instruction be-
gins early during teacher training and continues to be an
essential aspect of the teaching profession (Guthrie &
Klauda, 2014). It therefore stands to reason that plan-
ning for instruction can be seen as an ecologically valid
measure of a teacher’s educational priorities.
Cunningham, Zibulsky, Stanovich, and Stanovich
(2009) developed a task around this skill. The Language
Arts Activity Grid measures teachers’ instructional pri-
orities by evaluating how educators plan for a two- hour
block in grade 1. The task is hypothetical in nature and
therefore equally suitable for inservice and preservice
teachers. Furthermore, the choice of activities that can
be used on the grid is not influenced by a lack of physi-
cal resources (e.g., books, computers), or specific student
needs (e.g., behavioral issues, classroom management).
Thus, although the complexities of executing planned
lessons is beyond the scope of this article, the planning
itself nevertheless acts as a barometer of teachers’
educational values.
Teachers’ ability to plan and implement classroom in-
struction mediates the relation between teachers’ content
knowledge and their students’ reading ability (Guthrie &
Klauda, 2014; Piasta et al., 2009). Teachers with higher
knowledge intuitively spend more instructional time on
activities that are backed by empirical evidence (Spear-
Swerling & Zibulsky, 2014). Of course, the dynamics
within real- life classrooms are multifaceted; however, for
argument’s sake, it could be posited that teacher knowl-
edge is reflected in superior planning, which in turn con-
tributes to superior instruction and, ultimately, superior
student learning. Within teacher- training placements, it
stands to reason that planning may be one of the vehicles
that bridge the gap between theory and practice.
The Present Study
Very little research has been carried out examining how
teacher knowledge affects instructional planning for
4 | Reading Research Quarterly, 0(0)
older elementary students; consequently, our hypothe-
ses were necessarily speculative. However, given that
teacher knowledge has been positively correlated with
explicit instruction in the younger grades (McCutchen,
Abbott, et al., 2002; McCutchen, Harry, et al., 2002;
Piasta et al., 2009), we hypothesized that preservice
teachers who understood the impact of print exposure,
both in their own lives and in the lives of their students,
would be more inclined to prioritize explicit teaching
and student reading when planning for instruction.
Specifically, we anticipated positive relations among
preservice teachers’ own levels of print exposure, their
knowledge of print exposure for their students, and the
amount of time allocated for explicit teaching and stu-
dent reading in the Language Arts Activity Grid.
A total of 120 preservice teachers in an elementary
teaching program at an urban university in Eastern
Canada were invited to participate from three courses,
and from those, 111 students from three sequential co-
horts agreed to participate (year 1 n = 35, year 2 n = 34,
year 3 n = 37). Five preservice teachers were excluded
because of incomplete questionnaires; therefore, the fi-
nal sample consisted of 106 participants (91% female).
On average, they were just under 24 years old (mean
age= 23.70 years, standard deviation [SD] = 5.19), with
no significant differences between cohorts in age (p =
.719) or years in program (p = .665). On average, 12.7%
held previous university degrees. Of the 106 partici-
pants, 82.1% were Caucasian, 7.3% were Asian, 4.2%
were Arabic, 3% were Hispanic, 1.4% were Indigenous
(First Nations), and 2% were nondisclosed.
Demographic Survey
Participants reported their age, gender, ethnicity, native
language, and other languages spoken. Additionally,
they were asked about previous university degrees and
if they had taken any previous classes related to English
language arts instruction.
Print Exposure Measures
The participants completed two print exposure mea-
sures. The ART served as a proxy of how much partici-
pants had read over their lifetime. This measure was
adapted to include authors of children’s novels (middle-
grade readers), young adult novels (as categorized by
the American Library Association, 2018), and contem-
porary adult fiction (see TablesA1–A3 in AppendixA
for the ART results). Booksellers, expert teachers, avid
readers, and concurrent best- seller lists contributed to
the selection of authors from three genres to be in-
cluded in this list: adult fiction, children’s fiction, and
young adult fiction. Participants were asked to place a
check mark next to the names of real authors. Foils
served to detect guessing.
Two scores were calculated for the ART: ART- A
(contemporary adult authors) and ART- CYA (authors
who write for children or young adults). Scores on the
ART- A were calculated by subtracting the proportion
of foils incorrectly identified from the proportion of
contemporary adult authors correctly identified (au-
thors identified/total authors − foils identified/total
foils; Stanovich & West, 1989). Scores on the ART- CYA
were calculated with the same equation but using the
proportion of CYA authors correctly identified (CYA
authors identified/total CYA authors − foils identified/
total foils; Stanovich & West, 1989). When an author
had written fiction aimed at both adults and young
adults, they were in the category for which their work
was most recognized (e.g., J.K. Rowling was in the ART-
CYA, Dan Brown was in the ART- A). See TablesA1–A3
in AppendixA for the full lists of authors and foils.
Participants also completed a TRT that calls for
the recognition of children’s popular storybook ti-
tles. See TablesA4 and A5 in AppendixA for the full
lists of titles and foils. Once again, proportions of
foils erroneously identified were subtracted from
proportions of real titles identified (titles identified/
total titles − foils identified/total foils). The three
print exposure measures demonstrated excellent in-
ternal consistency (ART- A α =.98, ART- CYA α =.92,
TRT α = .91).
Vignettes Task
The vignettes task focused on pedagogical knowledge
that promotes (or in some instances dampens) print ex-
posure. The vignettes presented six situations within
classroom settings. We developed this task to accom-
pany the definitions task in order to capture a broader
view of the knowledge participants brought with them
from their first two years of teacher training. Whereas
providing definitions taps into specific content knowl-
edge, we hypothesized that identifying teaching prac-
tices would provide a more well- rounded snapshot of
the content knowledge required to be a language arts
Each vignette (mean length = 42 words, SD = 8.3;
Flesch–Kincaid reading level = grade 4.5) exemplified
theory and empirically tested teaching practices that
might be encountered in a grade 5 setting. The situations
revolved around the following concepts but were not re-
ferred to by name: reading for pleasure (Cunningham &
Preservice Teacher Knowledge, Print Exposure, and Planning for Instruction | 5
Stanovich, 1997; Ivey & Johnston, 2013), guided reading
(Fountas & Pinnell, 2012; Iaquinta, 2006), identifying
the implications of Matthew effects (Stanovich, 1986),
watching films (reverse scored; Stanovich & Cun-
ningham, 1993), teacher read- alouds (Meyer, Wardrop,
Stahl, & Linn, 1994), and round- robin reading (reverse
scored; Ash, Kuhn, & Walpole, 2008). The vignettes were
vetted by six inservice teachers who deemed the situa-
tions to be appropriate for teachers planning for a grade
5 class (mean years in service = 7.20, SD = 3.49).
Participants were presented with the vignettes and then
asked, “What do you think about this teaching practice?”
An example from the task is “Mrs. Johnson is reading a
novel with her fifth- grade class. She has each student
read aloud, line by line, taking turns around the class-
room. What do you think of this teaching practice?”
Answers were scored by the first author on a 3- point
scale ranging from 0 to 2. See TableB1 in Appendix B
for examples and scoring information on the vignettes
task. Whether a practice or observation was considered
accurate or beneficial was grounded in reading re-
search. Incorrect answers were awarded 0 points. For
example, any answers that identified round- robin read-
ing as a positive practice received 0 points because it has
a long- standing history as being ineffective (see Ash
et al., 2008). Half points were allotted for incomplete
answers; answers that were complete, correct, and in-
cluded an appraisal of the observed teaching practice of
the observation received 2 points. Participants were
thus credited for identifying the research- based activi-
ties as positive; they also received credit for stating that
the activities, such as reading to children, should indeed
be part of a balanced literacy program but should not be
the primary method of instruction in grade 5. To assess
reliability of scoring procedures, a graduate student
who was blind to all other measures coded 20% of the
responses. Inter- rater reliability for this measure was
very good (κ = .88, p < .001). In the event of discrepan-
cies, the raters discussed and came to an agreement
based on the coding scheme.
Definitions Task
The definitions task measured content knowledge related
to the scientific literature on print exposure. Participants
were asked to define nine terms related to language arts
instruction, of which three were fillers. The six items
related to classroom reading were literature circles,
guided reading, Matthew effects, round- robin reading,
sustained silent reading, and print exposure. Here, too,
answers were scored on a 3- point scale ranging from 0 to
2. Answers that were left blank or incorrect were scored
0; partial definitions were scored between 0.5 and 1.5,
depending on how many correct elements were present;
and fully correct answers were awarded 2 points.
Inter- rater reliability was good, as calculated on 20% of
the sample (κ = .75, p < .001; Cohen, 1988). See TableB2
in AppendixB for examples and scoring information on
the definitions task.
Planning for Instruction
Cunningham etal. (2009) designed the Language Arts
Activity Grid task with the goal of planning for a two-
hour instructional period aimed at students in grade 1
(see also Spear- Swerling & Zibulsky, 2014). For our pur-
poses, we adapted the grid so it aligned with the gov-
ernmental curriculum for students in grade 5. Here,
preservice teachers were asked to plan for seven hours
(420 minutes) of language arts teaching time spread
over five days (see AppendixC).
As Cunningham and colleagues (2009) stated in the
rationale for the original measure, the planning activity
was designed for teachers to draw on their knowledge of
instructional strategies without prompts to guide them,
activating recall memory rather than recognition.
Therefore, we did not provide a list of predetermined
activities. Instead, the participants received the follow-
ing instructions:
According to the [government curriculum], Grades 3–6 are
allocated seven hours of Language Arts Instruction per
week. Please complete the grid, indicating how you would
spend your English Language Arts teaching time in a
Grade 5 class, over the course of one week. Be as clear as you
can, detailing the teacher’s role and the students’ role in
each activity. Please also indicate the amount of time to be
spent on each activity. Keep in mind that the hours allo-
cated per day do not necessarily have to be taught consecu-
tively; they can be broken into smaller chunks. Eg. A
two- hour period does not have to be made of up one two-
hour activity.
The completed grids were read multiple times. For the
first- cycle coding, we used in vivo coding to extrapolate
the focus of each activity described by the participants
(Saldaña, 2013); using the participants’ own words, the ac-
tivity was summarized in one or two key words with a fo-
cus on what students would be doing during each activity.
In the second- cycle coding, focused coding streamlined
the extrapolated codes into more coherent categories
(Saldaña, 2013). The coding process resulted in 11 differ-
ent activity codes: discussion, writing, reading (anytime
the students are doing the majority of the reading them-
selves; e.g., silent reading, shared reading), listening to
reading (anytime someone else is doing the majority
of the reading; e.g., teacher read- alouds, round- robin
reading), listening to explicit teaching, word work, en-
tertainment, worksheets, assessments, computer work,
and transitions.
Typical responses included a brief description of
what would occur during the activity. For example, “The
6 | Reading Research Quarterly, 0(0)
teacher teaches a grammar lesson (20 minutes)” would
be assigned the code explicit teaching because students
would be receiving instruction on a specific subject.
Because the description of each activity was concise, the
quality of lesson plans was difficult to quantify. Thus, we
chose to use the allocated minutes for each activity as a
measure of participants’ implicit teaching beliefs. We
tallied the minutes for each type of activity and calcu-
lated means (κ = .88, p < .001). Inter- rater reliability
was very good, as calculated on 20% of the sample (κ =
.83, p < .001). See AppendixC for examples from each
categor y.
The study took place early in the semester. Participants
were in the beginning of a language arts class typically
taken in the third year of a four- year program. We col-
lected the data over three years. Participants received
the tasks in pen- and- paper format at the beginning of
the fall term of their third year and were given 45 min-
utes to complete each task. The tasks were given in a set
order: demographic survey, definitions task, Language
Arts Activity Grid, print exposure measures (ART and
TRT), and vignettes task. The 45- minute time alloca-
tion was piloted by 10 additional students in the depart-
ment and deemed sufficient.
In order to determine how much the preservice teachers
read for pleasure, we evaluated the three print exposure
scores (ART- A, ART- CYA, and TRT). We were also
interested in what the participants knew about print
exposure, as measured by the definitions (content
know ledge) and vignettes (pedagogical knowledge)
tasks. Asthere were no cohort differences on all mea-
sures (all ps ≥ .160), the participants were analyzed as
one group. Table1 shows the means and standard devia-
tions for the print exposure measures and the two
knowledge tasks.
Participants appeared more familiar with children’s
storybooks (TRT) and authors who write novels for
children and young adults (ART- CYA) than authors
who write contemporary adult fiction (ART- A; see
Table1). A one- way repeated measures analysis of vari-
ance confirmed that the scores on the print exposure
measures were statistically significantly different, F(2,
107) = 53.49, p < .001, partial η2 = .29. Planned pairwise
comparisons with Bonferroni corrections in place indi-
cated that all three scores were statistically significantly
different (all ps ≤ .03).
As illustrated in Table1, the preservice teachers still
had much to learn about the formal practices surround-
ing print exposure; they scored an average of 17% on
the definitions task. This finding was somewhat ex-
pected because the students had just begun their classes
on teaching language arts. However, they fared better at
appraising classroom teaching practices that promoted
print exposure (47.25%; as measured by the vignettes
task). A paired samples t- test indicated that the differ-
ence in performance on the definitions task and the vi-
gnettes task was statistically significant, t(99) = −13.29,
p < .001.
Our second goal was to examine what activities
preservice teachers would include when planning
for language arts instruction, as measured by the
Language Arts Activity Grid. As shown in Table2,
the way participants planned for instruction showed
great variation. Interestingly, the five most common
activities listed by the preservice teachers aligned well
with teaching recommendations made by the National
Reading Panel (National Institute of Child Health
Means and S tandard Deviation s for the Print Exposure
and Knowl edge Measures (N = 106)
Measure Mean
deviation Range
ART- A .07 .08 −.1
.54 1
ART- CYA .16 .14 0
.61 1
TRT .13 .12 −.15
.66 1
Definitions 2.03 1.19 0
6 12
Vignettes 5.67 2.62 0.5
10.5 12
Means and S tandard Deviation s for the Language Ar ts
Activity Grids (N = 106)
Activity Mean minutes Standard deviation
Discussion 98.11 65.19
Writing 76.65 67.32
Reading 44.58 45.59
Listening to
26.89 33.99
Listening to
explicit teaching
14.48 23.40
Word work 13.92 25.61
Entertainment 12.17 26.51
Worksheets 5.14 17.29
Assessments 4.95 15.94
Computer work 4.76 21.12
Transitions 2.64 7.97
Preservice Teacher Knowledge, Print Exposure, and Planning for Instruction | 7
and Human Development, 2000). The activities were
discussion, writing, reading, listening to reading, and
listening to explicit teaching (pertaining to language
arts topics).
A one- way repeated measures analysis of variance
confirmed that the total time allocated for instruction
was not equally divided among the five most listed ac-
tivities (the remaining analyses focus on these activi-
ties). Most of the time per week was allocated for
discussion, followed by writing, reading activities in the
form of students reading and listening to reading, and
finally, receiving explicit instruction. The minute allo-
cations for each of these activities were statistically sig-
nificantly different (all ps < .02).
Next, we examined the relations among print expo-
sure, knowledge, and planning for instruction. Age has
been associated with reading for pleasure over the life-
time (Stanovich, West, & Harrison, 1995). Therefore, to
account for the possibility that age was a driving factor,
age and years in the education program were entered as
Partial correlations revealed that, as expected, all
print exposure measures were moderately statistically
significantly correlated (Cohen, 1988), suggesting that
preservice teachers who were more likely to read fic-
tion aimed at one population (e.g., ART- CYA) were
also more likely to read fiction aimed at the others
(e.g.,contemporary adult fiction and storybooks; see
Table3). All of the print exposure measures were also
stati stically significantly correlated with participants’
scores on the definitions task. In addition, there was a
positive statistically significant correlation between
definitions kno wledge and planning for reading and a
positive trend between scores on the definitions task
and time allocated for writing activities (p = .06).
Preservice teachers who exhibited more content knowl-
edge allocated more time for reading and potentially
for writing activities. Finally, scores in the vignettes
task were positively statistically significantly correlated
with scores on the ART- CYA. Performances on the
definitions and vignettes tasks were not correlated,
confirming that the two measures tapped into different
sources of underlying knowledge, at least at the begin-
ning of the language arts class when these tasks were
Examining the relations between participants’
own print exposure and how they plan for instruction
revealed three statistically significant correlations.
First, scores on the ART- CYA and time allocated for
student reading were positively correlated. Second,
scores on the ART- CYA and explicit teaching activi-
ties were positively correlated. Finally, a positive trend
was observed between scores on the ART- CYA and
time allocated for listening to reading (p = .08). Taken
together, these correlations suggest that teachers who
read more children’s and young adult literature are
also more inclined to allocate time for student read-
ing, for explicit teaching, and potentially for reading
to their students.
Next, we ran separate hierarchical multiple regres-
sions to isolate the unique contributions of scores on the
ART- CYA, as seen in the correlations. We were interested
in how scores on the ART- CYA accounted for variance
on the definitions task and on time participants allocated
Partial C orrelations, Wi th Age and Years in the Education Program Held Constan t (N = 106)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
1. TRT
2. ART- A .42**
3. ART- CYA .32*.57**
4. Definitions task .24*.33*.41**
5. Vignettes task .04 .14 .25 .13
The five most common activities listed
6. Discussion −.03 −.05 −.04 .15 −.08
7. Writing −.07 −.01 .09 .20−.04 .03
8. Reading .13 .16 .26*.25*−.08 .05 .09
9. Listening to reading .02 .06 .18.05 −.04 .10 −.03 −.06
10. Explicit teaching .04 .07 .24*−.10 −.13 −.15 .01 .05 .02
*p < .05. **p < .01. p < .08, two- tailed.
8 | Reading Research Quarterly, 0(0)
for reading. Considering that age has been related to gen-
eral knowledge (Stanovich & Cunningham, 1993), and
that years in a teacher training program might impact
performance on a content knowledge measure (defini-
tions), age and years in the program were entered in the
first step. All print exposure measures were statistically
significantly positively correlated; therefore, to isolate the
unique contribution of ART- CYA scores, we entered the
ART- A and TRT scores (these were the only two depen-
dent variables with multiple significant correlates) in the
second step. Results showed that scores on the ART- A
and TRT contributed 11% of unique variance to the pre-
diction of definitions knowledge (p < .05) after control-
ling for age and years in the program (see Table4), with a
medium effect size (Cohens f 2 = 0.18). When the ART-
CYA score was added in, it still accounted for 6.7% of sta-
tistically significant variance over and above TRT and
ART- A, with a medium effect size (Cohen’s f 2 = 0.28);
the full model was statistically significant, R2 = .219,
F(5, 95) = 5.317, p < .001.
We then replicated this procedure with the minutes
allocated for student reading as the outcome variable
(see Table5). Age and years in the program were en-
tered into the equation first, scores on the definitions
task were entered next, and as our variable of interest,
the ART- CYA scores were entered last. When we en-
tered the ART- CYA scores, only the definitions task
scores accounted for 4.9% of statistically significant
variance in time allocated for reading, R2 = .049, F(1,
97) = 4.548, p = .036, with a small effect size (Cohen’s
f 2= 0.05). However, in a parallel multiple hierarchical
regression, where the ART- CYA scores were entered
into the second step, and the scores on the definitions
task were entered last, scores on the ART- CYA accounted
for 4.6% of significant variance of time allocated for stu-
dents to read, F(1, 97) = 4.17, p = .044, with a small effect
size (Cohens f 2 = 0.05; see Table6).
We believe that teachers’ knowledge is the binding that
connects the various domains of reading instruction
into one compelling story (for a review, see Cunningham
& O’Donnell, 2015). We are not alone in our thinking.
Researchers such as Spear- Swerling and Brucker (2004)
and Moats (2014) have argued that it is the teachers
Hierarchical Multiple Regression Predicting Scores on
the Defi nitions Task (N = 106)
Vari able
Model 1 Model 2 Model 3
Age 0.04 0.16 0.03 0.10 0.06** 0.24
Years in the
education program
0.22 0.12 0.18 0.11 0.23 0.12
ART- A 4.90*0.25 1.35 0.07
TRT 1.86 0.16 1.48 0.12
ART- CYA 3.17** 0.33
R2.04 .15 .22
F2.13 4.30 5.32
ΔR2.04 .11 .07
ΔF2.13 6.25 8.10
*p < .05. **p < .0 01.
Hierarchical Multiple Regression Predicting Time
Allocated for Studen t Reading, Accounting for Scor es
on the Def initions Task (N = 106)
Vari able
Step 1 Step 2 Step 3
Age 0.00 0.00 −0.33 −0.04 0.14 0.02
Years in the
education program
4.50 0.07 2.83 0.04
Definitions task 7.64*0.22 5.59 0.16
ART- CYA 49.17 0.15
R2.01 .05 .07
F0.24 1.68 1.69
ΔR2.01 .05 .02
ΔF0.24 4.55*1.68
*p < .05.
Hierarchical Multiple Regression Predicting Time
Allocated for Studen t Reading, Accounting for Scor es
on the ART- CYA (N = 106)
Vari able
Step 1 Step 2 Step 3
Age 0.00 0.00 0.55 0.06 0.14 0.02
Years in the
education program
4.50 0.07 5.33 0.08 3.85 0.06
ART- CYA 71.14*0.21 49.17 0.15
Definitions task 5.59 0.16
R2.01 .05 .07
F0.24 1.56 1.69
ΔR2.01 .04 .02
ΔF0.24 4.17*2.05
*p < .05.
Preservice Teacher Knowledge, Print Exposure, and Planning for Instruction | 9
themselves who drive the quality and quantity of class-
room instruction. These researchers urged administra-
tors of teacher education programs to embrace the role
of providing the necessary knowledge required to train
future teachers. This position was also proffered by Stahl
(1998), who stated that in addition to automatic word
recognition and reading comprehension, teachers must
understand “how reading develops, in all of its manifes-
tations” (p. 61), which includes fostering an appreciation
of literature.
We agree with this outlook wholeheartedly and
commend the schools of education who have an-
swered the call in preparing teachers to deliver multi-
leveled reading instruction (e.g., Ivey & Johnston,
2013; Kim, Burkhauser, et al., 2017; Kim, Hemphill,
etal., 2017). For although it is obvious that learning to
read is necessary for optimal development, there is a
complementary view that learning to read in and of
itself is not sufficient (Stanovich & Cunningham,
1993). Children should also be inspired to read for
pleasure in order to gain access to the cognitive and
emotional benefits of reading (Cunningham &
Stanovich, 1997; Mar & Rain, 2015).
Research has shown that teachers carry an im-
pressive amount of influence when it comes to
moti vating students to read (Guthrie, Wigfield, &
VonSecker, 2000). One of the recommendations put
forth by Moats and colleagues (2010) is that teachers
should be well versed in techniques known to enhance
reading motivation. If they are not already doing so,
teacher training programs can ensure that these tech-
niques are included in their curricula. For example,
preservice teachers should be taught to support stu-
dent competence, to offer students reading choices,
and to create opportunities for students to collaborate
around books (De Naeghel et al., 2016; Guthrie &
Klauda , 2014).
Encouragingly, our sample of preservice teachers
seemed like they would be receptive to following these
suggestions. They allocated the greatest amount of
planning time to classroom discussion, followed by
writing, reading, listening to reading, and explicit
teaching. Of specific interest to the current study, we
observed positive correlations between scores on the
ART- CYA and planning for student reading and ex-
plicit teaching. When followed up with regressions, our
results indicated that performance on the ART- CYA ac-
counted for the same amount of variance in student
reading as scores on the definitions task, albeit with
small effect sizes.
Given that all three types of print exposure (TRT,
ART- A, and ART- CYA) were positively correlated, it is
interesting that only scores on the ART- CYA correlated
with planning for student reading and explicit teaching.
Although speculative, it seems likely that preservice
teachers with greater knowledge about children’s litera-
ture were planning for activities with specific books in
mind, which may have led them to set aside more time
for student reading. However, it could also be the case
that teachers who enjoyed reading these types of books
themselves assumed that their students would as well,
and therefore scheduled more time for student reading.
Future work is needed to untangle these various
Those who would argue in favor of balanced literacy
should be encouraged by the fact that the ART- CYA was
also positively correlated with setting aside time for ex-
plicit instruction. This meshes nicely with proposals for
adolescent literacy programs that explicitly teach foun-
dational skills (decoding, morphology, and comprehen-
sion) within units created around compelling books
(Kim, Hemphill, etal., 2017). To be clear, we are not pro-
posing that excellent books should replace excellent
teaching; both are needed. But if enacted skillfully, intro-
ducing students to captivating books could instill an in-
terest in the written word, and explicit instruction could
ensure that the mechanics of reading are exercised.
In terms of teacher knowledge, some might argue
that forgoing leisure reading to concentrate on aca-
demic pursuits would be wise, but the data reported
here showed that participants who prioritized reading
for pleasure in their own lives, as measured by the three
print exposure measures (TRT, ART- A, and ART- CYA),
were also more knowledgeable about the definitions as-
sociated with language arts instruction. Print exposure
accounted for significant variance (17.7%) of scores on
the definitions task. Moreover, having reading experi-
ence with children’s and young adult fiction accounted
for 6.7% of performance on the definitions task, even
after taking familiarity with adult fiction and story-
books into account. It has been noted that “individuals
care more about domains for which they know more
and know more about domains in which they are indi-
vidually interested [and that] interest in the domain
or topic can be a catalyst for strategic engagement
(Alexander & Jetton, 1988)” (Alexander, 2003, p. 11).
Our results fit nicely within this observation and con-
tribute to the literature by showing that individuals who
place a high personal value on reading might be the
ideal recruits to become future teachers. This carries
implications for candidacy; when recruiting preservice
teachers, those who are well read might have an advan-
tage over those who are not, and those who are familiar
with books written for children and young adults might
make more promising teachers.
However, as with all skills, administrators of teacher
education programs should not rely on what learners
bring into the program. Rather, the curriculum should
explicitly teach the importance of print exposure and
also strive to exemplify a culture where reading fiction
10 | Reading Research Quarterly, 0(0)
is promoted. This could entail exposing preservice
teachers to the science behind print exposure, as well as
providing them with access to literature for children
and young adults. Thus, future studies should examine
how malleable adults’ attitudes are toward leisure read-
ing once they have been exposed to the scientific studies
validating the wide benefits associated with it (Mar
etal., 2006; Mar, Oatley, Djikic, & Mullin, 2011).
Limitations and Future Directions
The current study offers a unique vantage point into the
fields of both teacher knowledge and print exposure.
However, it has some limitations that should be consid-
ered. First, we elected to work with preservice teachers
who had not yet completed their courses on language
arts instruction. This captured the variability with
which teacher candidates entered the language arts
classes, having taken general courses such as educa-
tional psychology, child development, and classroom
internships. However, following the sample over the
completion of their program would allow us to com-
ment on how professional opportunities contribute to
the preservice teachers’ growth in knowledge over time.
This would also elucidate whether preservice teachers
entering into programs with greater print exposure
profit more from the teacher education curriculum.
Second, we elected to use the Language Arts Activity
Grid, which does not take the individual differences
within and among classrooms into account. In practice,
knowing the students and the context can provide criti-
cal insight into how to plan for instruction. Teachers
should therefore reflect on their students’ individual
interests. In future investigations, the Language Arts
Activity Grid could be supplemented with naturalistic
observations or with specific learning scenarios enacted
in university classrooms.
Third, like most of the print exposure research, our
findings were correlational in nature. It is possible that
preservice teachers who are drawn to the idea of their
students reading are also drawn to literature for children
and young adults. Likewise, preservice teachers who have
a better intuitive sense of the terms and teaching prac-
tices involved with print exposure may be more likely to
read for pleasure themselves. Yet, using a regression logic,
we were able to show that performance on the ART- CYA
accounted for unique variance in the definitions task. A
case could also be made that teachers with higher general
intelligence are both more likely to read for pleasure and
more likely to know the terms and activities best suited
to reading instruction. Experimental designs are needed
to help tease apart these explanations.
Finally, the ART used here exclusively assessed fic-
tion reading. Therefore, we cannot weigh in on the dis-
cussion of fiction versus nonfiction (see Kidd & Castano,
2013; Mar etal., 2006; Mar & Rain, 2015; McCreath etal.,
2017; Spear- Swerling et al., 2010). This domain is in
need of further investigation and needs to be better un-
derstood before influencing school curricula.
De Naeghel and colleagues (2016) outlined three main
teaching dimensions that contribute to student reading
motivation: granting autonomy, providing structure, and
encouraging involvement. These suggestions align with
elementary students’ reports of enjoying choice, receiv-
ing guidance, and hearing the views of tea chers and
peers (Edmunds & Bauserman, 2006). Kim and col-
leagues (Kim, Burkhauser, etal., 2017; Kim, Hemphill,
etal., 2017) also emphasized that interesting and acces-
sible books are critical to student engagement. The data
presented here suggest that in addition to knowing the
interests and reading levels of students, teachers with
more personal reading experience and more knowledge
about print exposure may be advantaged when promot-
ing reading activities in their classrooms.
If the goal is to teach reading skills and a love for
reading, then teacher preparation must include the nec-
essary content knowledge required to plan, and eventu-
ally enact, rich literacy instruction. Our data show that
personal reading experience and knowledge about the
importance of print exposure fall within this domain. As
the Peter effect suggests, teachers who possess a greater
appreciation for reading might have a greater store of
enthusiasm about reading to share with their students
(Applegate & Applegate, 2004; Applegate etal., 2014). As
a master teacher once stated, “experts need to know their
business. For teachers, books are their business” (W.
Penny, personal interview, July 25, 2007). After all, who
better to get students motivated to read than teachers
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growth and maintenance across the life span: The role of print ex-
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Submitted January 19, 2018
Final revision received November 11, 2018
Accepted November 12, 2018
STEPHANIE KOZAK (corresponding author) is a doctoral
candidate at Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada;
email Her research interests
include teacher training, reading for pleasure, and reading
SANDRA MARTIN- CHANG is an associate professor in the
Department of Education at Concordia University, Montreal,
Quebec, Canada; email Her
primary research interest involves the effects of reading in and
out of context.
Preservice Teacher Knowledge, Print Exposure, and Planning for Instruction | 13
Scoring Information on the ART- A : Percentage of Auth ors of Adult Fiction C orrectly Ident ified by Preser vice
Tea c hers
Author Percentage Author Percentage Author Percentage
V.C. Andrews 11.32 Timothy Findley 4.72 Margaret Laurence 1.89
Isaac Asimov 9.43 Martin Ford 2.83 Ursula LeGuin 2.83
Margaret Atwood 40.57 Robert Fulghum 2.83 Robert Ludlum 5.66
Jean M. Auel 0.94 Diana Gabaldon 2.83 George R.R. Martin 21.70
David Baldacci 5.66 Howard Gardner 11.32 Ann- Marie MacDonald 4.72
Russell Banks 2.83 Elizabeth George 1.89 James Michener 0.94
Carol Berg 5.66 Sue Grafton 2.83 Rohinton Mistry 0.94
Pierre Berton 2.83 Andrew Greeley 0 Christopher Moore 4.72
Maeve Binchy 5.66 John Grisham 23.58 Michael Moore 12.26
Dan Brown 38.68 Alex Haley 0 Alice Munro 11.32
Barbara Cartland 0 Frank Herbert 1.89 M. Scott Peck 0
Noam Chomsky 32.08 John Jakes 0 Kate Pullinger 3.77
Wayson Choy 1.89 E.L. James 36.79 Daniel Quinn 3.77
Agatha Christie 57.55 Wayne Johnston 0.94 Anne Rice 18.87
Tom Clancy 22.64 Erica Jong 0 Mordecai Richler 14.15
Arthur Clarke 3.77 Robert Jordan 1.89 Robert J. Sawyer 16.04
James Clavell 1.89 Laurie R. King 0 Sidney Sheldon 2.83
Jackie Collins 9.43 Stephen King 86.79 Carol Shields 2.83
Stephen Coonts 3.77 Sophie Kinsella 22.64 Danielle Steel 41.51
Patricia Cornwell 7.55 Naomi Klein 2.83 Amy Tan 2.83
Robertson Davies 1.89 Dean Koontz 7.55 Miriam Toews 4.72
Jeffrey Eugenides 0.94 Judith Krantz 6.60 Alvin Toffler 3.77
Janet Evanovich 4.72 Louis L’Amour 1.89
Scoring information on the ART- CYA: Percentage of Authors of Children’s and Young Adult Fic tion Correctly
Identified by Preservice Teachers
Author Percentage Author Percentage Author Percentage
Judy Blume 64.15 Erin Hunter 0 Katherine Paterson 4.72
Suzanne Collins 29.25 Jeff Kinney 0.94 Gary Paulsen 3.77
Sharon Creech 2.83 Gordon Korman 5.66 Philip Pullman 1.89
Roald Dahl 38.68 Madeleine L’Engle 2.83 Rick Riordan 5.66
James Dashner 2.83 C.S. Lewis 60.38 J.K. Rowling 98.11
John Flanagan 6.60 Lois Lowry 11.32 Rachel Renée Russell 2.83
Cornelia Funke 8.49 Stephenie Meyer 59.43 Lemony Snicket 30.19
S.E. Hinton 17.92 L.M. Montgomery 13.21
14 | Reading Research Quarterly, 0(0)
Scoring information on the ART Foils: Percentage of Author Foils Incorrectly Iden tified by Preser vice Teachers
Foil Percentage Foil Percentage Foil Percentage
Christopher Barr 1.89 W. Patrick Dickson 8.49 Morton Mendelson 0
Lauren Benjamin 3.77 Robert Emery 2.83 James Morgan 3.77
Thomas Bever 0 Stephen J. Gould 7.55 David Perry 0.94
Elliot Blass 2.83 Sheryl Green 3.77 Miriam Sexton 0
Jennifer Butterworth 1.89 Mimi Hall 0 Destin Shaw 0.94
Katherine Carpenter 5.66 Frank Kiel 1.89 Robert Siegler 8.84
Suzanne Clarkson 4.72 Priscilla Levy 0.94 Mark Strauss 11.32
Edward Cornell 5.66 Alex Lumsden 0
Note. All of the foils were presented on the ART-A and the ART-CYA.
Scoring Information on the TRT: Percenta ge of Children’s Storybooks Cor rectly Identif ied by Preservice Teachers
Title Percentage Title Percentage Title Percentage
Are You My Mother? 36.79 Danny and the
11.32 Jamberry 0
Bartholomew and the
6.60 Dog Heaven 6.60 Kofi and His Magic 0
Because I Love You 43.40 Eloise 14.15 Moo, Baa, La La La! 4.72
Bedtime for Frances 4.72 Father Bear Comes
11.32 Oh, the Places You’ll
Biscuit 6.60 Flat Stanley 11.32 The Adventures of
Chatterer the Red
Brown Bear, Brown
Bear, What Do You
50.00 Follow the Drinking
2.83 The Fall of Freddie
the Leaf
Caps for Sale 12.26 Gerald McBoing
8.49 The Going to Bed
Chicka Chicka Boom
46.23 Goodnight Moon 63.21 The House on East
88th Street
Chrysanthemum 4.72 Grandma and the
4.72 The Last of the Really
Great Whangdoodles
Click, Clack, Moo:
Cows That Type
7.55 Guess How Much I
Love You
28.30 The Runaway Bunny 8.49
Colors of Me 12.26 Harold and the
Purple Crayon
12.26 The Story of
Corduroy 25.47 If You Give a Pig a
30.19 Where the Wild
Things Are
Preservice Teacher Knowledge, Print Exposure, and Planning for Instruction | 15
Scoring Information on the TRT Foils: Percenta ge of Children’s Stor ybook Title Foils Incorrectly Identif ied by
Preservice Teachers
Foil Percentage Foil Percentage Foil Percentage
Backyard Safari 5.66 Down by David’s Pond 2.83 The Muffin Maker 6.60
Blame It on Billy 3.77 Down by the Sea 18.87 The Rabbit Acrobats 0
Blueberry Kazoo 0Lazy Cat, Lazy Cat 5.66 Wacky Wendell 1.89
Clean Up, Carter! 7.55 My Friend the Mailman 3.77 What Rhymes With
Cootie Catchers 1.89 Open Up 0
Scoring Information on the Vigne ttes Task: Example Answer s by Preservice Teachers
Vignette 2- point answer 1- point an swe r
Round- robin
“I do not like this teaching practice because it singles
out each child and exposes their reading difficulties to
everyone. Also, students may not listen because they will
be looking for their line based on counting the number of
students/lines before them.”
“Although it allows the teacher to be able to hear
the students’ pronunciation, I think that it can be
very stressful for the students who struggle.”
Watching films “I think that using students’ interests as a springboard
for teaching ideas is a good thing. That being said,
explorations of the Percy Jackson theme should not stop
after having watched the movie, but rather should persist
over a few days or even a week. For instance, she may get
the students to act out a scene from the movie.”
“I think showing the movie is good as an end
of unit activity once all students have read the
books. I would not show the movie while students
are in the process of reading the books.”
Reading for
“I think it is a great way to foster children’s love for
reading because students are given a great selection of
books to choose from and time to read their selected
“This is a good practice. It allows children to
open up and interpret their ideas.”
Guided reading “This is probably the best practice for teaching reading
strategies because the teacher can accommodate the
difficult level to the level of the readers in that group. It
helps all readers no matter how good they are. The only
drawback is that children understand who is in the higher
or lower groups, and that can affect their self- esteem.”
“I think this practice is good and benefits both
the student and the teacher.”
Identifying the
Matthew effects
“I think this may be a result of frustration, children who
are not the best readers at a young age may struggle and
enjoy reading less than their peers who excel.”
“For many subjects, when a young student
understands a subject, they tend to enjoy it
more. For example, those who do not understand
math may say they are not ‘good at it’. So if they
were ‘good’ readers in grade 1, they may want to
continue along the same path.”
read- alouds
“I believe that this is a good teaching method; but it
should not be done the majority of the time. Kids do not
learn as much when they are being read to as opposed to
reading independently. When being read to, kids are not as
focused on the learning to read aspect.”
“More time needs to be given to the children to
read themselves. They might tune out after trying
to listen for so long.”
16 | Reading Research Quarterly, 0(0)
Scoring Information on the Language Art s Activity Grid: E xamples of Activi ties Listed by Preser vice Teachers
Code Activities
Discussion “Teacher discusses the book with the class.”
“Class discussion on the topic of fairy tales”
Writing “Class brainstorms a story to be written over the course of the week.”
“Students will write their own ending of the book.”
Reading “Silent reading”
“Everyone gets some time to read the chapter of the class book.”
Listening to reading “The teacher reads a chapter to the class.”
“The students take turns reading out loud to the class.”
Receiving explicit instruction “The teacher does a lesson on compound words.”
“The teacher shows students how to draw a story diagram.”
Word work “Spelling lesson”
“Students look up unknown words in the dictionary.”
Entertainment “The teacher shows the class a movie.”
“Students play a game on the SmartBoard.”
Worksheets “After reading the chapter, students answer questions in their workbook.”
“Students complete the comprehensions question at the end of the chapter.”
Assessments “Pop quiz”
“Spelling test”
Computer work “Students go to the computer room to research about different animals.”
“The class uses computers to answer the questions they brainstormed together.”
Transitions “Students are asked to sit in a circle.”
“The teacher asks the students to get into line.”
Scoring Information on the Definitions Task: Example Answers by Preservice Teachers
Ter m 2- p oint answer 1- point an swe r
Literature circles “This is when children are grouped based on a book they
chose and it’s like a book club for kids.”
“Students read together in a group and
Guided reading “The teacher works with kids who are at the same level
and teaches specific things.”
“The students are grouped and the teacher
guides their reading.”
Matthew effects “Children who have a hard time reading at first don’t go
on to read as much as children who get off to an easy
this is when the good kids get better and the poor
readers just continue to struggle.”
“The rich get richer, the poor get poorer.”
Round-robin reading “The teacher goes around the room and each child has to
read a sentence out loud out of a class book.”
“Reading out loud in a circle”
Sustained silent
“This is when the teacher sets aside time for children to
read whatever they want
everyone sits and reads in
“Everyone reads in silence.”
Print exposure “Reading for pleasure
this is when someone reads a lot
and in turn does better at a lot of things.”
“Being exposed to different texts and books”
... Binks-Cantrell et al. (2012) discuss the Peter effect in relation to content knowledge, pointing out that teachers with more content knowledge have stronger pedagogical skills to foster reading development in their students. Thus far, much of the work in teacher knowledge has been focused on the basic building blocks of literacy, but recently more inquiry has been aimed at understanding teachers' preparation to increase reading motivation in their students (Kozak and Martin-Chang, 2019). ...
... Print exposure. Participants' print exposure was assessed using a version of the Author Recognition Test (ART; Stanovich and West, 1989), adapted by Kozak and Martin-Chang (2019) to include authors of children's and young adult literature. The ART is a proxy of print exposure over the lifespan (Moore and Gordon, 2014), which has come to be an indication of leisure reading or reading for pleasure (Stanovich and West, 1989). ...
... In sum, the literature shows that providing classroom discussion (Woodford, 2016;Fisher and Frey, 2018), emphasising students' choices (Ivey and Johnston, 2013;Miller, 2015), using engaging literature (Kozak and Martin-Chang, 2019;Locher et al., 2019) and providing a safe and entertaining environment for students to discuss difficult topics (Fletcher et al., 2012;Cushing and Carter, 2021) are effective classroom practices. Our data extend these findings by showing that the more frequently participants reported activities like listening to stories, reading in school, talking to teachers and other students about books and having the choice to pick the materials they wanted to read during elementary school years, the higher they scored on the ART as adults. ...
Full-text available
Children's early literacy experiences are critical, yet it remains unclear whether memories of early reading instruction continue to be associated with reading habits into adulthood. We examined the association between recollections of reading experiences and present‐day reading habits in an adult population. University students responded in writing to three open‐ended prompts asking about their memories of reading during early childhood, elementary school and high school. They also completed two questionnaires inquiring about reading enjoyment and frequency in elementary school and high school. For the concurrent measures of reading, participants described their current reading habits in an open‐ended prompt and completed an author recognition test. Results showed positive links between favourable memories of reading during elementary and high school years and present‐day reading habits. Conversely, unfavourable memories during high school were associated with unenthusiastic present‐day reading habits. We found that reading instruction in school forms long‐lasting memories, and these memories are linked in meaningful ways with print exposure during adulthood.
... As the reading lives of teachers are also connected to their reading instruction with their EC/ELE students (Kozak & Martin-Chang, 2019), one emphasis of preservice literacy courses is to encourage PSTs to read and consider diverse texts and the emotional and empathetic connections with them (Lombardi, 2019) while deepening their understanding of human interactions (Oatley, 2011). In connecting comprehension, community, and perspectivity through experiences (Dewey, 1938;Vygotsky, 1980), this aids PSTs and their own teaching of future EC/ELE students in recreating these practices. ...
... With both of the partnerships outlined above, the local institution's library and librarian and the deGrummond Childrens Literature Collection, a common theme is present: that of the role of libraries and librarians in PST education and development. Research (Kozak & Martin-Chang, 2019) indicates that PSTs need to have rich print exposure and a thorough knowledge of the history of children's literature as well as pedagogical uses for literature. Moreover, content area literacy experts urge teachers to integrate literature across disciplines to ensure elementary students are learning to read and write like professionals (Fisher & Frey, 2015). ...
... As access to books has been shown to increase motivation of readers (Gambrell & Marinak, 1997) the use of children's literature across coursework could aid in PSTs' reading growth in their own reading lives which is critically important for future teachers of literacy (Kozak & Martin-Chang, 2019). An essential component of PSTs being able to offer diverse book selections to students, is that they, too, must read a multitude of children' literature that is both wide and diverse. ...
As the reading lives of teachers are also connected to their reading instruction with their early childhood and elementary students, one emphasis of preservice literacy courses is to encourage future teachers to read and consider diverse texts and the emotional and empathetic connections with them. Through the development of an appreciation for diverse picture books and their value within classrooms, preservice teachers are more prepared to integrate these texts throughout the content areas. This chapter explores place-based education in a teacher preparation program and (1) defines and provides theoretical support for using place-based education to prepare preservice teachers to instruct with children's literature; (2) discusses five ways the authors engage preservice teachers in place-based education: Children's Literary Tour of London and Paris (study abroad), Children's Book Festival Collaboration, Family Literacy Nights, Partnerships with Librarians, and Instagram Challenges; and (3) discusses each of these research-informed experiences and shares examples.
... Genre also has emerged as an important consideration in investigations of print exposure. Stronger associations with verbal ability, general background knowledge, theory of mind, and social competence have been found for print exposure involving fiction books as compared to nonfiction book reading (Kozak & Martin-Chang, 2019). In line with these findings, one study (Spear-Swerling et al. 2010) showed that children with relatively weak reading comprehension had a preference for nonfiction books, whereas strong comprehenders scored higher on a measure of fiction book reading habits, as well as on an author recognition test involving children's 1 3 ...
... Similar to other studies (Mar & Rain, 2015;Martin-Chang & Gould, 2008), this study supports the relevance of fiction book reading to literacy achievement in young adults. Moreover, fiction book reading may have other positive impacts as well, such as on empathy and perspective-taking (Kozak & Martin-Chang, 2019;Wolf, 2018). However, the positive results we obtained for nonfiction print exposure differ from those of some other investigators, such as Mar and Rain (2015), who found weak or nonsignificant relationships between a nonfiction scale of their ART and a variety of verbal tasks, including a subset of items from the SAT. ...
... In this study, many teacher candidates evidenced low levels of print exposure. Given the importance of teachers' ability to serve as good models of literacy for their students (Snow, Griffin, & Burns, 2005), and the fact that teachers' own reading experience may influence their planning for instruction (Kozak & Martin-Chang, 2019), these findings are unsettling. Furthermore, low SAT achievement and limited print exposure were significantly associated with each other. ...
Full-text available
This study examined the print exposure of teacher candidates (N = 195) in relation to their GPAs, achievement in reading and writing on the SAT, and their self-ratings of their own early (K to Grade 5) reading experiences. Participants came from undergraduate and Masters programs in varied certification areas and from two different universities. Print exposure measures included author recognition tests for both fiction and nonfiction; a questionnaire about participants’ current voluntary reading habits for books, magazines, newspapers, and digital print media; and favorite authors/books questions. Exploratory factor analysis suggested four factors underlying the different print exposure measures: (1) fiction book reading volume; (2) current magazine and newspaper reading; (3) nonfiction book reading volume and (4) current book reading habits for enjoyment. Only fiction and nonfiction book reading volume related positively to participants’ achievement, in writing as well as reading, and to their early reading experience ratings. A subgroup of participants who had taken a specific reading methods course involving structured language content, and who had positive early reading experience self-ratings, had higher performance in the course than did participants with mixed or negative self-ratings, although the two groups did not differ in overall GPA. Findings support the view that different measures of print exposure tap somewhat different aspects of print exposure, with differing relationships to varied indicators of achievement. Results also support concerns about the reading volume and print exposure of some teacher candidates.
... The ART has been updated and adapted several times to reflect changes in the literary landscape (Acheson, Wells, & MacDonald, 2008;Kidd & Castano, 2013Kozak & Martin-Chang, 2019;Mar, Oatley, Hirsh, dela Paz, & Peterson, 2006;Martin-Chang & Gould, 2008;Moore & Gordon, 2015). To illustrate, Mar and Rain (2015) revised the ART to include 110 fiction authors, 50 nonfiction authors and 40 foils with the goal of determining whether different kinds of reading genres were uniquely associated with verbal abilities. ...
... The Author Recognition Test (ART; Stanovich & West, 1989) is typically used to approximate an individual's reading volume over their lifetime. For this study, the ART was adapted for a younger population by including authors who wrote for Children and Young Adults among popular Adult Fiction authors (Kozak & Martin-Chang, 2019). The additional authors were compiled from bestseller lists, as well as vetted by both booksellers and teachers. ...
... This is especially the case if they are transported into the novel they are reading (Jensen et al., 2016). This information needs to be disseminated to teachers so that more lesson plans and units can be created around popular, age appropriate, books in schools (e.g., Kozak & Martin-Chang, 2019;Kim et al., 2016). Research has shown that enjoyment of reading is the most potent predictor of print exposure (Mol & Jolles, 2014). ...
Full-text available
Young Adult literature is a growing genre. This study examined print exposure within Adult fiction, and Children’s and Young Adult fiction in 90 adolescents (Mage = 16.3). Results showed that scores on an Author Recognition Test (ART) containing the names of Children’s and Young Adult fiction authors were positively correlated with adolescents’ general reading and spelling abilities and single-word reading speed. The same pattern was either weaker, or absent, with scores on an ART containing Adult authors names. Furthermore, recognizing Children’s and Young Adult authors predicted performance on the adolescents’ standardized reading and spelling measures, above and beyond recognizing adult authors. Scores on the ART containing Children’s and Young Adult authors also predicted reading speed, even after controlling for general reading and spelling abilities. These findings add to three decades of inquiry into the cognitive correlates of print exposure.
... Teacher dispositions, such as attitudes, motivation and sense of efficacy are, however, of importance for teacher behaviour in class and students' outcomes (George et al. 2018;Guay et al. 2016). Teachers competent in teaching and promoting reading are more than ever needed if we aim to positively impact primary and secondary school students' willingness to read and improve their reading ability (Blömeke et al. 2015;Kozak & Martin-Chang 2019). It is not yet known, however, to what extent pre-service teachers' reading attitude remains stable or changes throughout teacher education and consequently, with which reading attitude they enter the profession as beginning teachers. ...
Background Considering (1) that reading proficiency is fundamental for educational success, (2) the reciprocal relationship between affective aspects of reading (e.g., reading attitude and motivation) and reading behaviour and ability, (3) the alarming decline in students' reading attitude throughout primary and secondary education and (4) the rather large group of pre-service teachers starting teacher education with a negative reading attitude, this study used a person-centred approach to examine the development of pre-service teachers' reading attitude throughout teacher education and how it relates to their perceived reading ability and reading behaviour. Methods In a sample of 128 pre-service teachers, cluster (movement) analysis was executed at the start of teacher education and near graduation to identify different reading attitude clusters and possible changes throughout teacher education. A distinction between purpose (recreational vs academic) and context (personally vs socially-oriented) was made when assessing reading attitude components. Results Three reading attitude profiles (i.e., personally-oriented, socially-oriented and low-attitude) were corroborated at both measurement occasions. Cluster movement analysis identified that the majority remained in the same profile over time (53–62%). When pre-service teachers did switch profile, they most likely evolved towards the personally- or socially-oriented profile (reading as a mere personal activity vs willing to interact about reading, respectively). Convergent validity evidence was found in that pre-service teachers in the low-attitude profile (24%) were least likely to read and perceived themselves as least competent in reading. They further appeared to be least willing to invest in reading promotion in their future school(s) of all profiles. Conclusions It may be worrisome that about one fourth of the pre-service teachers in this sample enters the profession with a rather negative reading attitude. Encouragingly, the majority of pre-service teachers either retained or increased their positive reading attitude throughout teacher education.
... Similar to the ways in which academic proficiency benchmarks for children are socially and often arbitrarily constructed, we acknowledge the challenge and limitations of creating such benchmarks for teachers, when so many other aspects of knowledge are required for effective teaching. Kozak and Martin-Chang, 2019 argue that "teachers' knowledge is the binding that connects the various domains of reading instruction into one compelling story" (p. 330). ...
Much of the early research on teachers’ knowledge for reading instruction used instruments that primarily emphasized code‐based aspects of reading, unintentionally signaling that meaning‐focused knowledge is not essential for teaching foundational reading to elementary‐age children. In this study, we developed the Knowledge for Enhancing Reading Development Inventory (KnERDI; pronounced 'nerdy'), an instrument that measures teachers’ knowledge in two domains: alphabetic code/word reading and meaning/connected text processes. Using this instrument, we sought to determine if teachers’ knowledge of the two proposed domains was highly associated and if knowledge was related to level of education and amount of teaching experience. We report on the reliability and validity of the KnERDI and describe patterns in educators’ performance on this instrument. We found that the KnERDI measured both domains with acceptable reliability in multiple samples of educators enrolled in an online professional development course. Educators scored higher on the meaning/connected text process subscale than on the alphabetic code/word reading subscale. The two subscales were strongly correlated, indicating that teachers’ knowledge as measured on the KnERDI is a unidimensional construct. Advanced degree completion was not consistently related to educators’ scores on the KnERDI, but there was a positive association between educators’ performance on the instrument and their years of experience teaching early reading, particularly with respect to the code‐based domain. We discuss potential uses of the KnERDI in future research and practice, positive trends in educators’ performance on the instrument, and challenges in measuring educators’ knowledge for supporting higher‐level language and comprehension processes.
... Teacher dispositions, such as attitudes, motivation and sense of efficacy are, however, of importance for teacher behaviour in class and students' outcomes (George et al. 2018;Guay et al. 2016). Teachers competent in teaching and promoting reading are more than ever needed if we aim to positively impact primary and secondary school students' willingness to read and improve their reading ability (Blömeke et al. 2015;Kozak & Martin-Chang 2019). It is not yet known, however, to what extent pre-service teachers' reading attitude remains stable or changes throughout teacher education and consequently, with which reading attitude they enter the profession as beginning teachers. ...
... Teacher dispositions, such as attitudes, motivation and sense of efficacy are, however, of importance for teacher behaviour in class and students' outcomes (George et al. 2018;Guay et al. 2016). Teachers competent in teaching and promoting reading are more than ever needed if we aim to positively impact primary and secondary school students' willingness to read and improve their reading ability (Blömeke et al. 2015;Kozak & Martin-Chang 2019). It is not yet known, however, to what extent pre-service teachers' reading attitude remains stable or changes throughout teacher education and consequently, with which reading attitude they enter the profession as beginning teachers. ...
Conference Paper
This study examined the affective and conative reading attitudes, reading behaviour and perceived reading competence of 253 preservice teachers. Three attitude profiles were identified using cluster analysis. Personally-oriented readers (26.9%) appeared to be the more solitary readers, whereas socially-oriented readers (33.6%) were most willing to interact with others about reading. Both profiles were comparable in reading frequency and self-competence beliefs. Low-affect readers (39.5%) seemed the most reluctant and aliterate readers. This study stresses the importance of acknowledging individual differences in reading attitude when designing teacher education courses that provide all teachers with the tools and willingness to foster their students’ reading proficiency and enthusiasm.
Full-text available
Research has underscored the cognitive benefits of reading, but scholars have also begun to explore its implications in the socioemotional domain. The authors review research exploring the links between reading and social understanding skills such as empathy and perspective taking, examine the qualities of literature that are posited to foster social understanding, and propose explanations of why reading may confer these benefits. Building on this review, the authors include ideas on how to incorporate this research into literacy classrooms by providing specific book suggestions and accompanying activities that may leverage the potential sociocognitive benefits of reading within a classroom context.
Full-text available
Print exposure is an important causal factor in reading development. Little is known, however, of the mechanisms through which print exposure exerts an effect onto reading. To address this gap, we examined the direct and indirect effects of print exposure on silent reading fluency among college students (n = 52). More specifically, we focused on phonetic decoding and sight word reading efficiency as potential mediators of the indirect effects of print exposure on silent reading fluency. Silent reading fluency was chosen as the outcome given that the natural reading experience occurs predominately in the silent mode. Results showed that the direct effect of print exposure on silent reading fluency was significant. Sight word reading efficiency partially mediated the indirect effect of print exposure on silent reading fluency. Phonetic decoding efficiency also partially mediated the indirect effect of print exposure on silent reading fluency, but only when followed by sight word reading efficiency to form a serial and joint mechanism (i.e., print exposure → phonetic decoding → sight word reading → silent reading fluency). Present findings highlight two mechanisms through which print exposure exerts an effect onto silent reading fluency, both of which involve sight word reading efficiency.
Full-text available
The authors conducted a cluster-randomized trial to examine the effectiveness of structured teacher adaptations to the implementation of an evidence-based summer literacy program that provided students with (a) books matched to their reading level and interests and (b) teacher scaffolding for summer reading in the form of end-of-year comprehension lessons and materials sent to students' homes in the summer months. In this study, 27 high-poverty elementary schools (75-100% eligibility for free or reduced-price lunch) were matched by prior reading achievement and poverty level and randomly assigned to one of two implementation conditions: a core treatment condition that directly replicated implementation procedures used in previous experiments, or a core treatment with structured teacher adaptations condition. In the adaptations condition, teachers were organized into grade-level teams around a practical improvement goal and given structured opportunities to use their knowledge, experience, and local data to extend or modify program components for their students and local contexts. Students in the adaptations condition performed 0.12 standard deviation higher on a reading comprehension posttest than students in the core treatment. An implementation analysis suggests that fidelity to core program components was high in both conditions and that teachers in the adaptations condition primarily made changes that extended or modified program procedures and activities in acceptable ways. Adaptations primarily served to increase the level of family engagement and student engagement with summer books. These results suggest that structured teacher adaptations may enhance rather than diminish the effectiveness of an evidence-based summer literacy program.
Full-text available
Our ability to infer and understand others’ thoughts and feelings, known as theory of mind (ToM), has important consequences across the life span, supporting empathy, pro-social behavior, and coordination in groups. Socialization practices and interpersonal interactions help develop this capacity, and so does engaging with fiction. Research suggests that lifetime exposure to fiction predicts performance on ToM tests, but little evidence speaks to the type of fiction most responsible for this effect. We draw from literary theory and empirical work to propose that literary fiction is more likely than genre fiction to foster ToM, describe the development of a new method for assessing exposure to literary and popular genre fiction, and report findings from 3 samples testing the specificity of the relation between exposure to literary fiction and ToM. Results indicate that exposure to literary but not genre fiction positively predicts performance on a test of ToM, even when accounting for demographic variables including age, gender, educational attainment, undergraduate major (in 2 samples), and self-reported empathy (in 1 sample). These findings offer further evidence that habitual engagement with others’ minds, even fictional ones, may improve the psychological processes supporting intersubjectivity. We discuss their implications for understanding the impacts of fiction, and for models of culture more generally.
Writing is one of humankind’s greatest inventions, and modern societies could not function if their citizens could not read and write. How do skilled readers so quickly pick up meaning from squiggles on a page, and how do children learn to do so? These questions have been studied in fields ranging from vision science to cognitive psychology to education. The chapters in this Handbook synthesize the research on these topics, focusing on how studies using a cognitive approach can shed light on how the reading process works in skilled readers and how children learn to read. To set the stage, the first few chapters of the Handbook present information about writing systems and about methods of studying reading, including those that examine speeded responses to individual words and those that use eye movement technology to examine the reading of sentences and texts. The chapters in the following section focus on the identification of single words by skilled readers. Insights that have been gained from studies of adults with reading disabilities due to brain damage are also discussed. Another section of the Handbook considers the silent reading of text by skilled readers. The chapters in this section address such issues as the role of sound in silent reading and how readers’ eyes move through texts, and detailed quantitative models of the reading process are proposed in some chapters. How children learn to read and spell and how they should be taught to do so is the focus of the chapters in the final sections of the Handbook. These chapters review research with learners of different languages and those who speak different dialects of a language; they discuss both typically developing children and children with specific disabilities in reading. These chapters also address questions about how reading should be taught with populations ranging from preschoolers to adolescents, and they show how research findings have influenced education.
A framework for conceptualizing the development of individual differences in reading ability is presented that synthesizes a great deal of the research literature. The framework places special emphasis on the effects of reading on cognitive development and on “bootstrapping” relationships involving reading. Of key importance are the concepts of reciprocal relationships—situations where the causal connection between reading ability and the efficiency of a cognitive process is bidirectional-and organism-environment correlation—the fact that differentially advantaged organisms are exposed to nonrandom distributions of environmental quality. Hypotheses are advanced to explain how these mechanisms operate to create rich-get-richer and poor-get-poorer patterns of reading achievement. The framework is used to explicate some persisting problems in the literature on reading disability and to conceptualize remediation efforts in reading.
Individuals who read more tend to have stronger verbal skills than those who read less. Interestingly, what you read may make a difference. Past studies have found that reading narrative fiction, but not expository nonfiction, predicts verbal ability. Why this difference exists is not known. Here we investigate one possibility: whether fiction texts contain more of the words typically evaluated by verbal ability measures compared to nonfiction texts. We employed corpus linguistic analyses to compare the frequency with which commonly tested SAT words appeared in both fiction and nonfiction texts, for 3 different corpora. Differences in SAT word frequency between the two genres were found to be negligible across all corpora. As a result, we conclude that there is little evidence that differences in word content between fiction and nonfiction texts can account for their differential relation to verbal ability. Other possible explanations are proposed for future research.
This study examined the efficacy of a supplemental, multicomponent adolescent reading intervention for middle school students who scored below proficient on a state literacy assessment. Using a within-school experimental design, the authors randomly assigned 483 students in grades 6–8 to a business-as-usual control condition or to the Strategic Adolescent Reading Intervention (STARI), a supplemental reading program involving instruction to support word-reading skills, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension, and peer talk to promote reading engagement and comprehension. The authors assessed behavioral engagement by measuring how much of the STARI curricular activities students completed during an academic school year, and collected intervention teachers' ratings of their students' reading engagement. STARI students outperformed control students on measures of word recognition (Cohen's d = 0.20), efficiency of basic reading comprehension (Cohen's d = 0.21), and morphological awareness (Cohen's d = 0.18). Reading engagement in its behavioral form, as measured by students' participation and involvement in the STARI curriculum, mediated the treatment effects on each of these three posttest outcomes. Intervention teachers' ratings of their students' emotional and cognitive engagement explained unique variance on reading posttests. Findings from this study support the hypothesis that (a) behavioral engagement fosters struggling adolescents' reading growth, and (b) teachers' perceptions of their students' emotional and cognitive engagement further contribute to reading competence.