From the Washington Post: “SAT reading scores for graduating high school seniors this year reached a four-decade low as the number and diversity of students taking the college admissions tests hit an all-time high, the College Board reported Monday. The average reading score for the Class of 2012 was 496, down one point from the previous year and 34 points since 1972….In writing, the average score was 488, down nine points since that subject was first tested in 2006.”
From Stanford University news: “The inside of an MRI machine might not seem like the best place to cozy up and concentrate on a good novel, but a team of researchers at Stanford are asking readers to do just that. In an innovative interdisciplinary study, neurobiological experts, radiologists and humanities scholars are working together to explore the relationship between reading, attention and distraction – by reading Jane Austen….
The experiment focuses on literary attention, or more specifically, the cognitive dynamics of the different kinds of focus we bring to reading. This experiment grew out of [literary researcher] Phillips’ ongoing research about Enlightenment writers who were concerned about issues of attention span, or what they called ‘wandering attention.’ …. Critical reading of humanities-oriented texts is recognized for fostering analytical thought, but if such results hold across subjects, Phillips said it would suggest ‘it’s not only what we read – but thinking rigorously about it that’s of value, and that literary study provides a truly valuable exercise of people’s brains.’ “
From paidContent: “In the UK, 7.8 percent of schoolchildren aged nine and up read e-books outside of class last year, according to new research. That rate is up from 5.6 percent a year earlier, according to the National Literacy Trust’s “Children’s Reading Today” survey (release). The survey of kids from 128 UK schools gives an insight in to how the next generation is using various platforms to read…It shows that: “Since 2005, reading across all formats has fallen – with the exception of text messages.”