Rus Articles Journal

Reading children and teenagers in Russia at the turn of the century. Whether part 1

Is a full picture of children`s reading in Russia today? Yes and no. It is very difficult to create a full and reliable picture of reading children today.

First of all it is connected by

with the fact that the state is insufficiently anxious with childhood problems. To anyhow explain the fact that in the last decade any All-Russian sociological research of children`s reading was not conducted? In safe Europe, for example, of Great Britain, in 1994 such research was conducted after at once how British found out that they have a falling of skills of reading children and teenagers.

the Data obtained in the international pedagogical research of estimation of knowledge of pupils (PISA) became then a basis for acceptance of a number of the state measures. In the last years and in Germany Germans also “were in a state of shock“ from the results demonstrating decrease in level of reading young Germans.

We, nevertheless, are not in a state of shock at least because results of the last international research PISA conducted in 2000 when Russia for the first time took part in it participation did not become property of the general public. In it results of training - literacy of pupils in reading, mathematics and natural sciences were estimated. The accent in research, carried out in 2000, was made on skills of reading. Among pupils 32 is x industrially developed countries of Russia took the 27th place. Of course, we can say that these tasks and tests are insufficiently adapted to our features, but, nevertheless, today we, as well as earlier British or Germans, we face an urgent need to understand that occurs today in reading younger generation. To understand urgently to take measures.

It is unconditional, reading, regardless of whether there is it in the form of a prochityvaniye of the book or the text from the computer screen - it is a fundamental principle for development of the personality. Today basic, interdisciplinary researches of process of reading, functional literacy (and illiteracy) young and adult, studying of psychological, pedagogical and other aspects of reader`s activity are especially necessary. However basic researches of reading, and especially, children and youth are practically not carried out today.

turned out so in the last decade that the reading child “dropped out“ of the sphere of the academic science and became object of applied researches. There are no relevant organizations, reading is almost not investigated within the academic institutes, and its researches actually from the sphere of fundamental science passed into the plane of applied fields of knowledge, and also into the sphere of practical activities. In it, certainly, there is no harm, however today we gain knowledge which is fragmentary, superficial and are not capable to lead to forecasts in this important area. And if reading adults and youth is investigated by scientists (for example, in the last decade of it the leading sociologists of VCIOM study), then reading children remains, one may say, out of sight of sociologists. As a result of the arisen sharp requirement to gain new knowledge of the happening processes it those who by the nature of work most of all is concerned by these problems research: teachers, psychologists, publishers and other experts. The main researchers of children`s reading are children`s librarians in the last decade.

Librarians - those who especially worry about children`s reading - were in great need in the last decade in receiving new and multidimensional knowledge of how the child - the reader changes how to update funds of libraries etc. Without obtaining such data, librarians began to study children`s reading in the context of library service of children. Today children`s librarians carried out not one ten such researches, however the problem remains. Basic research of children`s reading within all country is extremely necessary (carried out taking into account the techniques used in the international research PISA). We are in great need in monitoring of process of children`s reading in Russia.

the Picture of children`s reading at the turn of the century

We will try to build in general such picture of children`s reading in today`s Russia which reflects real processes and tendencies of development of children`s reading and which will give us the chance to see lines of the near future. Also we will create it, relying mainly on researches of libraries. Results of the researches conducted in recent years by the Russian State Children`s Library (RSCL) - the main thing scientifically - the methodical and research center for library work with children in Russia, and also materials regional and local researches of children`s libraries in regions are the basis for this article.

of Fear about “not reading children“, myths about “crisis of children`s reading“ are not casual, and have under themselves a real basis. At the beginning of the 21st century children, really, read “not that“ and “not so“ as the previous generations. However they, certainly, read. At the same time intensively there is a process of transformation, a basic change of reader`s habits of young readers. Practically all characteristics of children`s reading change: the status of reading, its duration (reading time at a leisure), character, mode of work with the printing text, repertoire of reading children and teenagers, motives and incentives of reading, the preferred works, etc. Change as well sources of receiving printed materials, information in general and many other things.

our researches allow to tell

about development of a number of tendencies in children`s reading, and also about that, there is a process of change old on new model of development by children of book culture. Alarms and fears arise because many adults are focused, first of all, on old model of “literary socialization“. Children, certainly, read, but differently, than earlier, and also not those works which were loved and popular with their parents, and, especially, their grandfathers and grandmothers.

“The leaving model“ of children`s reading

So, in reading children and teenagers today very serious changes happen. Let`s designate lines which characterize old model of reading - that image which meanwhile remains in consciousness of many:

At children and, especially, at teenagers, is added here:

Formation of “new model“ of children`s reading

In general we will depict a new picture and new “model“ (set of new lines of the young reader) at entry into literary culture. First of all, this picture is extremely non-uniform: and if in one regions of Russia the situation is rather safe, then in others there are negative processes of rejection of children from printing culture.

We will rely, first of all, on results of our sociological research of reading school students of 4, 7 and 10 classes. According to our data, the part of children and teenagers on average prevailing at a leisure read. Only the fifth part of respondents spent for reading till 30 min. a day. A third of the interrogated children and teenagers read of half an hour to an hour. About 42% read more than one hour a day. In the way, the most part of school students are the children and teenagers reading at a leisure now.

But, as a rule, those who like to read it is mainly children of younger school age. The is more senior, the less time occupies reading at a leisure, and the less they like to read. If the share of those who chose version of the answer “to me is pleasant to read, I read much“, at younger age makes 43%, then to the 10th class it falls to 17%, and, at the same time a share those who answered among younger version of the answer “I read seldom, I do not love“ increases from 8% up to 17% in the senior classes.

the Relation to reading - the important characteristic, and it demonstrates as that in general the positive relation at school students to reading remains as well as that academic loads, often formal, scholastic teaching literature, together with other factors lead to the fact that there is a rejection from reading in the senior classes. The school student is more senior, the more “business“ reading according to the school program“ restricts leisure, without leaving time for reading favourite books and just on an opportunity to reflect over the new book, to receive pleasure from the process of free reading.

On average about a third of respondents answered

“I like to read, but there is not enough time“, and almost every third chose the answer “when I read, I like to read something easy, entertaining“. Results of our researches say that only one of ten interrogated school students does not read anything except the books necessary for performance of lessons.

in general the repertoire of reading children and teenagers is quite various

: on the first place in it - obligatory school classics, fairy tales - at younger, fantasies at more seniors, with interest are read adventures and “horror films“, detectives (especially for children and teenagers), books about the nature and animals.

If to look at repertoire of reading teenagers in general, then about 40% in it is made mainly by literature of entertaining character whereas books scientifically - informative books occupy twice less (21%). Thus, the circle of reading teenagers “is displaced“ towards entertaining literature, and also illustrated magazines.

Not all that is necessary for teenagers, is published today and gets on counters of shops. Readers 10 - 15 are in great need years in modern books about the peers. These books are widely presented in repertoire of reading at school students in the West. For them the set of works so-called “socially - critical“ literatures is written and published. These are stories and novels which help young readers to learn world around, to adapt to realities and problems of modern life.

These books are practically not published by

in Russia today, and that small part which is published, almost does not get to the province. And this circumstance causes keen interest of teenagers in those books of the western writers where heroes of teenage and youthful age appear. Thus, very popular with children and teenagers became books of the Children`s Detective Story series (K. Kean, A. Hitchcock, E. Blayton, etc.) a series about girls - F. Pascale`s teenagers “School in the tender valley“, and also D. Roling`s series about Harry Potter (a fantasy where elements of the literary fairy tale and school life are successfully combined). We have an edition of new books for children and teenagers is complicated by the fact that publishers and distributors do not want to risk, publishing new, not famous writers; besides children`s books are quite expensive books as they have to be published on good paper, with illustrations. Therefore publishers and distributors prefer to publish and sell those writers and those works which are known and whose books will be bought up. But the repertoire of reading teenagers, thus, is deformed, and almost does not get to reading books, so necessary for their growing.

Reading girls and reading boys (or gender distinctions)

The is more senior than

, the it is more than distinction in reading girls and boys.

At teenage age the circle of reading boys and girls, in process of a growing, more and more differs: at boys and young men becomes more and more popular to literature on sport, equipment, computers, at girls - teenagers, and especially girls there are popular love stories. However the share of those who read literature mainly according to the school program sharply increases in the senior classes (it is considerable part of teenagers and more than a half of seniors). The motive “interestingly“, inherent in children of younger school age leaves, and to it for change there is an incentive “a school task“. It leaves to seniors few opportunities to choose those books which are interesting to them; and significant at the choice of literature is not council of the friend (as at many younger school students and teenagers), and the recommendation of the teacher.

Be continued.