Teaching reading and the appreciation of literary works in elementary school: an inquiry into the self-reported practices and the conceptions of Québec teachers

In order to better understand the self-reported teaching practices and the conceptions of teachers with regard to reading and the appreciation of literary works, we conducted a questionnaire-based survey with Quebec teachers in the three elementary cycles.

In doing so we were pursuing three objectives: 1) to identify and describe self-reported teaching practices related to activities, materials and assessment; 2) to identify and describe the conceptions of elementary school teachers with regard to ministerial requirements, reading/appreciation and the teaching thereof; 3) to compare these practices and conceptions between cycles.

Most teachers reported greatly enjoying the teaching of reading/appreciation of literary works.

The data analyzed indicate that the use of literary works is widespread in the teaching of reading/appreciation at the elementary level, but to varying degrees according to the two main teacher profiles that we identified through inferential statistical analysis: the more passionate and the less interested.

When it comes to self-reported teaching practices, personal reading periods and reading time after students have finished their work are the most common activities carried out each week.

Most teachers reported greatly enjoying the teaching of reading/appreciation of literary works, and that they are most strongly influenced by their own tastes and personal interests.

This research shows that, since the introduction of the education reform in the early 2000s, primary teachers in Québec have intensified their teaching practices for reading/appreciation of literary works and that their conceptions on the matter have evolved compared to previous surveys. Given this rather positive overall picture of the teaching reading/appreciation of literary works, various challenges remain for teachers and further research is needed to refine the analysis and to study practices observed in the classroom. 

Main researcher

Martin Lépine, Université de Montréal

Research report

Call for proposals

Deposit of the research report: September 2017