Mary Turner

Doctor of Philosophy, (Education)
Study Completed: 2014
College of Humanities & Social Sciences


Thesis Title
The effects of book reading over the summer holidays on the reading skills and attitudes to reading of Year 3 students

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Disparities in educational achievement across different ethnic and socio-economic groups in New Zealand schools have long been recognized. Despite decades of reforms these differences persist. Ms Turner examined the impact summer learning loss has on widening the achievement gap between students from low socio-economic backgrounds and their higher income peers. She conducted an experimental study on the effects of a voluntary summer reading intervention (across 10 primary schools in Auckland) on students’ reading achievement. Ms Turner’s results indicate that summer learning loss does have an impact on student achievement and that providing appropriate books over summer is beneficial for all students, particularly at-risk readers from low decile schools (schools with the highest proportion of students from low socio-economic communities). This is a significant result as these students are typically the lowest achievers. Identifying strategies that improve these students’ educational outcomes is paramount if all students are to realize their potential.

Professor Thomas Nicholson
Distinguished Professor William Tunmer
Dr Keith Greaney

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