Students' reading achievement during the transition from primary to secondary school
Hopwood, B and Hay, I and Dyment, J, Students' reading achievement during the transition from primary to secondary school, Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, 40, (1) pp. 46-58. ISSN 1038-1562 (2017) [Refereed Article]
Adolescent literacy achievement has been, and continues to be, a hot topic in the educational community, with concerns about studentsí literacy capabilities consistently dominating the educational landscape, particularly in the area of reading. What is known from years of educational research, high stakes testing and teacher testimonials is that reading is an area of difficulty for many adolescent students. The focus of this research was to investigate adolescentsí reading attainment at one of the most important times in a studentsí educational career; the transition from primary school (Year 6) to secondary school (Year 7). Seven co-educational government schools from the state of Tasmania, Australia, participated in the research, whereby a combination of primary and secondary schools from both rural and urban areas were included. Conducted over a two phase process, the research utilised the Progressive Achievement Test in Reading (PAT-R) to determine changes in studentsí reading ability. Methods of quantitative analysis were utilised and employed a series of statistical tests. Results revealed that, for the overall cohort, studentsí PAT-R scores significantly declined from Year 6 to Year 7, indicating that the transition to secondary school can have serious negative effects on studentsí reading attainment as they transition into secondary education. The research findings raise attention to the impact that transition can have upon adolescent studentsí educational success and concludes with suggestions for how schools and educators can enhance the transition process and support students into effective secondary school literacy learning.