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The Reading Habits Of Up Education Students Education Essay

Introduction

The reading activity has always been seen as an important element in a person’s culture and education. According to Bamberger (1975), reading develops one’s intellect therefore making it an ideal form of learning. Books and the reading ability are necessary for an individual’s lifelong education. In promoting the reading habit, especially in children, he emphasized the role of parents and teachers as effective influences for them to become readers as well. Libraries also have a very important function, which is to provide opportunities for development of reading interests and habits through making materials accessible to readers, in addition to instilling in them the skills in using the library.

In 1967, Ibne Insha studied the situation of reading habits of Asians and outlined the common hindrances to the development of the reading habit, which included factors such as illiteracy and low purchasing power. He implied however, that libraries could help in promoting the reading habit if only they were used well. He echoed the value of the role played by libraries in acquiring materials needed and preferred by its community of users. Library instruction was also seen as an integral part in achieving the goal of reading promotion.

In many of these reading researches, the example set by parents and teachers by having good reading habits have likelihood in stimulating children and pupils to read. Some literacy surveys show however, that students who are training to become professional teachers have no positive attitudes towards reading (Applegate & Applegate, 2004; Su-Yen, 2007). Specifically, the students of education they have studied were engaged in little extracurricular reading. The implication from these surveys is that as future educators, they should become role models if their students are to emulate the reading habit.

The College Library

The academic library is attached to the academic institution it serves. Its main clients are composed of students and faculty. For this reason, the resources and services it offers should mirror the academic goals of the institution, and meet the information needs of these users. The library’s core collections should help them in fulfilling their academic pursuits by providing them with appropriate resources and materials related to their fields. Aside from these, the collections should also support research and provide materials for recreational purposes (Coughlin, 1992). It is important then, that libraries continue to assess the needs of its users.

According to Baker (1990), the library should develop its collections and services with their users’ needs, and the satisfaction of these needs, in mind. He outlined the priorities that must be made regarding library resources and services as follows:

“1) information (the communication, in any form, of knowledge or data made available for the patron’s use); 2) education, including self-education, support for the educational endeavors of groups and institutions, and support for formal education with supplementary and enriching materials, and; 3) recreation”. (Bakewell, p. 155)

Bakewell, Managing user-centred libraries and information services

In colleges of education, specifically, where the training and education of teachers is the main objective, the provision of materials to satisfy the academic, research and extension information needs of the faculty and students is important especially when liberal education is increasingly becoming the aim (Platt, 1972).

The UP College of Education

The UP College of Education was established in 1918 through the resolution of the Board of Regents and has since developed into an institution of excellence for the education and training of teachers (UP College of Education, 1976-77).

Today, the College offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs with different fields of specialization. The undergraduate programs include the Bachelor of Elementary Education (BEEd) and Bachelor of Secondary Education (BSE) have several areas of concentration namely: Art Education, Mathematics, Science and Health Education, Special Education, Teaching in the Early Grades, and Communication Arts - English, Communication Arts - Filipino, Biology, Chemistry, Health Education, Mathematics, Physics and Social Studies. (UP College of Education website)

The UP College of Education Library

The UP College of Education Library was founded in 1950 through donations and funding support from agencies and institutions such as PHICUSA/MSA, Colombo Plan, Ford Foundation, Ford-Mellon Grant, and UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). It is considered as one of the largest libraries in the UP System.

The Library is located at the 3rd floor of Benitez Hall. It serves students, faculty, and staff of the University of the Philippines as well as students and researchers from other institutions. According to the library’s website, its collection consists of more than 50,000 books, 4,000 theses and dissertation and research papers, 200 standardized tests, 100 current journal subscriptions. There are also special collections such as children’s books, microfiches, newspaper clippings, educational documents, and electronic databases like the ERIC CD-ROM and Philjuris. (UP College of Education Library web page)

In its 2009 Annual Report, the College of Education Library’s collection grew by 2.33% with areas such as Special Education, Education Research, Educational Foundation, Language Teaching and Counselor Education having the highest acquisitions for the year. Several projects were also started in that year such as implementing the library orientation program to better assist users, and the cataloging and indexing of library resources to provide better access to these by users. The Library is headed by Ms. Verna C. Lee.

Statement of the Problem

The study is concerned with the reading habits of the UP College of Education students and their use of resources and services at their college library. It also examined whether a relationship exists between these two aspects. Specifically, it aimed to answer the following questions:

How do the Education students use the library’s collections and services?

What are the reading habits of the UP College of Education students?

a. How much time do they devote in reading?

b. What materials do they usually read, whether for academic or recreational purposes?

Is there a significant relationship between the students’ use of the UP College of Education Library collections and services and their reading habits?

Objectives of the Study

The study aimed to meet the following objectives:

To determine the students’ use of the UP College of Education Library resources and services

To determine the length of time that students devote to reading

To determine the types of materials they read often

To determine whether a significant relationship exists between the students’ use of library resources and services and their reading habits

Significance of the Study

The study will gain insight into the reading habits of the UP College of Education students. Librarians will also be guided on what types of materials education students read and subsequently use this information to assist them in the selection priorities for library collections and design of services. They may be able to provide resources that contribute to the students’ academic advancement and growth in their individual interests and pursuits. Librarians could also become significant influences in the reading development of their patrons. The library may look into approaches that will promote the students to read in the library; encouraging them to use the library may hopefully translate to their acquiring better skills at using the library and its resources. It is hoped that if education students are induced to read, they may become role models to their future students, an example which could also be done by the librarians themselves.

Scope and Limitations of the Study

The study is concerned with the reading habits of the UP College of Education students particularly focusing on the types of materials and subjects they often read. In addition, the time they spent in academic and pleasure reading. The frequency and duration of library use were also determined as well as the level of use of library resources and services. These two variables were examined whether a significant relationship exists between them.

The respondents of the study were UP College of Education undergraduate students during the summer term of academic year 2009-10. For the purpose of the study, only the UP College of Education Library was considered to limit the library usage aspect to one library institution.

CHAPTER II

REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

Foreign Studies

In 2004, Applegate and Applegate surveyed 195 sophomore students who were enrolled in certification programs in elementary education. Their aim was to determine their reading habits and attitudes, and to shed light on the influences that might have formed these attitudes. It was found that the students were not very avid readers and also did not enjoy the reading experience. Interestingly, the respondents stated that their teachers had an influence on their reading attitudes but that they also developed reading habits and positive attitudes towards reading during their college years. It was implied that students who are preparing to become teachers must develop positive reading habits and attitudes to become role models to their future students. This study focused however, on the importance of attitudes in the reading experience in influencing others to those same attitudes, in this case, of teachers and students in the classroom setting.

In 2007, Su-Yen conducted a study on the extracurricular reading habits of first and third year Taiwanese college students. Factors such as gender, parental educational level, institutional type, and college major were analyzed whether they have an effect on the amount of time spent on extracurricular reading. Results indicate that males tend to read more than females for both year levels. Third year students were found to read more than do first year students. A comparison made between the academic skills of students as reflected in the type of institution they belong to (public or private) show that students who had lower academic skills spent more time in extracurricular reading than those with better academic achievement. Interestingly, students with lower grades spend more time in extracurricular reading although students with the highest grade averages remain as the group with highest amount of time spent for reading. Arts and architecture majors spent the most amount of time spent for reading. Humanities majors were avid readers and read more than natural science and education majors confirming Applegate and Applegate’s findings (2004). Newspapers and magazines were the preferred reading materials by the students.

Oguz (3009) did a survey of the reading habits of students who were taking up education – classroom teaching – in different Turkish universities. It was held previously that young people, as well as teachers in Turkey do not have high levels of reading habits. In view of the responsibility of future teachers of being role models in inculcating a love of reading to their pupils, Oguz sought to determine their reading habits in connection to their socio-demographic features. It was found that the students seldom or rarely read books, stating the lack of time as their primary reason. Those who do read books express that they often read novels. It was surprising that more than a third (35.7%) of the respondents spent only an hour or less for reading. However, most of the respondents state that they read newspapers regularly. It was also found that there was a slight difference in the reading habits of different genders; women were more likely to read, compared with men. Owning of bookshelves had a positive effect on the reading habits of the students. In addition, reading time and level of reading habits were also positively correlated. It was concluded however, that these students still have inadequate reading habits and action must be done to strengthen them. The study did not, however, look at the sources of information and reading materials that the students utilized.

Ajala (2008) did a study on the use of the University of Ibadan Library resources by graduate students in the view of assessing whether library resources are being used by the students and if they meet the students’ research needs. The respondents consisted of young adult students from various fields such as education, science, technology, arts, social sciences, and agricultural fields. Most of them indicate that they use journals as their main source of information followed by textbooks, reference books, and theses and dissertations. A third of the respondents use the library either daily or twice a week; most of them spend one to two hours per library visit. They also use other libraries aside from the University of Ibadan Library. The study concluded by recommending that the library should engage in library user education, promotion of services to increase user awareness, and acquisition of books and journals which should be made accessible to the students.

Whitmire (2001) did a three-year longitudinal study of 1,046 undergraduate students where factors such as gender, race, age, critical thinking scores and high school library use were considered whether they influence library use. The effect of college experiences on library use is also explored. The results show that the students who used their libraries in high school are more likely to use the academic library. It was a factor consistent to all year levels considered. Another predictor of the high use of the academic library is the students’ writing activities. Sophomore and junior students who took up courses in arts and humanities also showed increased use of the library while enrollment in natural sciences, mathematics, technical and professional courses did not significantly change students’ library use.

Local Studies

Studies on Reading Habits

Several studies were done concerning the reading habits, interests and information needs of different user communities with the view of building library services that will meet these needs. It is important that libraries conduct these studies to ascertain the relevance of services and resources being provided for their users.

Viray (1987) studied the reading interests, habits and information needs of the urban poor in Constitution Hills Quezon City so that decisions about the provision of a library could be facilitated, as part of promoting the development in underprivileged areas. Library service was seen as a means for information dissemination which could help residents in their livelihoods and other aspects of their life. They considered reading an interesting activity while many other recreational activities were available to them. However, most of them express that they read only once a week. Differences in the materials being read were seen among adults and the youth, as well as respondents coming from different educational and occupational backgrounds. Most of them expressed the interest in having a community library built in their area.

Taclibon (1988) also did an assessment of the information needs, reading habits and interests of a community with the implication of providing library services for them, but her study focused on 550 residents of Bambang Nueva Vizcaya. The interview method was used to gather information from members of households in the area. It was found that they read, listen to the radio and watch television during their leisure time. They use more of printed materials, such as newspapers, magazines and pamphlets, for their reading which they do daily or at least twice during the week. They also expressed positive feedback about the idea of building a library in their community. It was recommended that the library should make materials accessible and relevant to the needs of the residents.

Lantican (1985) surveyed the reading habits of rural people in three barrios of Pila, Laguna in view of the rural developmental project being done in the area by UPLB-Southeast Asian Regional Center for Research and Graduate Study in Agriculture (SEARCA). The study aimed to determine whether the residents were open to having a rural library service and how effective it would be to the community. The results would then be essential in developing library collections and services to meet the needs of the different sectors of the rural community, including men folk, women folk and the youth. The fact that the community was considered literate was an encouragement that building a community library will benefit them.

There were differences in the types of activities that people engage in during their leisure time, with the children stating reading as their top recreational activity. This may be attributed to their literacy level as being higher than the adults. They also tended to have high library use, that of their school libraries in order to accomplish their homework. As a whole, the community had high frequency of reading ranging from daily to at least once during the week. Majority of the residents stated their need and eagerness in having a library facility. It was recommended that in order to be useful and effective, the library service should provide materials for the community’s reference, informational and recreational needs. This way, the library would become a part of the development approach to the community.

The following literature deals about reading habits with students as their focus. Many of the studies encountered in the literature search were concerned with reading interests especially of elementary and high school students. For the purpose of this study, however, the literature outlined here focused on reading habits which were accessible to the researcher. In most of them, the differences in reading habits among different groups of subjects were examined by looking at different factors such as the respondents’ personal information such as age, gender, family background, educational attainment, and economic status and their possible influence on the reading habits of the respondents.

Goforth (1976) conducted one of the earlier studies about the reading habits of Filipino students in which her survey focused on young adults from four high schools located in the Greater Manila. Respondents consisted of 435 third year level students who were asked about their reading habits and other extracurricular activities. Findings show that Filipino young adult females read more than young adult males. There are slight differences in preferences of reading materials among them. Females opt more for magazines while males prefer newspapers and comic books. Mass media seems to have an influence on the reading habits of these young adults as many of the titles that they read have been made into movies. Students are also likely to read more if they have access to varied reading materials. Whether extracurricular activities have an influence on the reading habits of students was unclear in the study.

In 1992, San Juan did a study on the reading interests of 425 randomly selected students from the different colleges in Central Luzon State University. It focused on reading materials used by the students aside from textbooks and reference books. These consisted of fiction and nonfiction books, journals, magazines, newspapers and comics. Demographic factors such as age, sex, educational attainment of parents, economic status, and academic achievement of students were examined as possible influences in their reading interests. The findings show that fiction and nonfiction books are the most favored materials for reading followed by newspapers, magazines, comics and journals. However, although 63.29% of the respondents indicated that they read fiction books, they only read them once in a while. The same can be said about the reading of newspapers, with majority of students reading them only occasionally. Only the demographic factor of gender has an influence on the reading interests of the college students. Females are more likely to choose romance books, movie and picture magazines, while males opt for sports magazines and science and technology books. The common reasons given by respondents for reading are to increase knowledge, gain information, improve vocabulary, and improve reading comprehension.

Manansala (2009) also did a study on the reading interests of high school students at the Parada High School. The respondents consisted of second, third and fourth year high school students. Majority of them indicate that they most often read books. There are slight differences in the preferences of reading materials among different year levels. Second year students opt for newspapers, comics and magazines while third and fourth year students choose comics and magazines. Academic performance does not have an effect on the reading interest of the students. They read mainly to learn, gather additional information and to support them in their academics. Students also indicate their top influences in reading: teachers, parents, classmates, friends, and self.

Manalo (2009) also made a study on the reading interests of elementary students of Diliman Preparatory School who are in their 4th, 5th and 6th grade. She found out that their recreational activities influence the types of materials that the students prefer to read in terms of fiction and nonfiction books. They express that they visit the library for leisure reading. Significant differences between the reading interests of the different grade levels were also found.

Villapando (2009) examined the reading interests and information needs of Quezon National High School students in the view of developing the school library’s collection. Freshmen students who were part of different programs were asked about the materials that they read. Enrollment in different programs does not affect the reading interests of the students. The positive perception towards reading increases with the increase with age while gender does not seem to affect it. Students state that parents and teachers influence them most in reading.

Borja (2007) did a survey on the reading interests and habits of 119 freshmen students at the University of the Philippines Diliman who were taking up English classes on the second semester of academic year 2006-2007. The study was done in the context of the effects of pleasure reading on the students’ performance in their classes. The survey revealed that respondents stated that the library’s collections meet their pleasure reading needs and that the library is conducive to studying. However, they seldom do pleasure reading although they indicate that the materials they read for pleasure help them in their English classes. The materials they prefer most are fiction of which bestsellers is the favored subgenre. They mostly borrow these materials according to frequency: textbooks/reference books, journals, newspapers, multimedia resources, and novels. The results also indicated that the most common reason for using the library was for academic purposes such as doing research and homework; pleasure reading was their last priority.

Sta. Ana (2009) analyzed the use of the Young Adult collection by students at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral School-High School Library. She sought to determine how often students use their library, their reasons for using the library, what types of materials they borrow as well as the subjects they mostly prefer, and whether they use the Young Adult collection of the library. These were also examined in the context of the students’ personal traits like age, gender, socioeconomic level, family background and academic performance. These factors did not have a significant effect on the students’ use of the Young adult collection. Most of the respondents stated though that they read for leisure and they spend an hour and a half or less on this activity. It was noted however, that the Young Adult collection was perceived as inadequate by the students. Consequently, it was only rarely used.

In 2006, De Dios did a study on the role of the library and its resources and activities, in the promotion of reading habits of school children. Specifically, she focused on the activities and resources of Aklatang Pambata and their effects on the reading habits of public school children who used them. It was implied that the children’s library should be able to provide interesting books and activities so that children may be encouraged to read more. Promotional events and marketing of library services should also be utilized to further gain the support of schools and parents.

Studies on Library Usage/ Use of Library Resources and Services

In 1992, Blones conducted a survey as an initiative for determining the student-use patterns of the Filipiniana Section’s resources and services as a way of assessing their effectiveness in meeting users’ needs. This way, improvements can be made in order to better serve the clientele. Some Filipiniana resources included in the survey were books, periodicals and newspapers, whereas reference services, bibliographic assistance, indexing of periodicals, compiling of research/finding aids, library orientation and hours of service, were the considered aspects of Filipiniana Section’s services. The results indicated that the library orientation is an effective way of making the existence of the Filipiniana section known to students. Majority of the students indicated that

Theoretical /Conceptual Framework

Reading is an important activity for acquiring the knowledge and critical thinking that people need in a rapidly changing world where information, society, and communication media are becoming dynamic. Moreover, reading may also be a way for personal and cultural growth. It is often asserted that the development of literacy stems from the people’s reading capacities and tendencies. Literacy also entails having reading and comprehension skills, which is an element for the development of societies. Different persons and institutions are involved in the promotion of literacy, foremost of which are families and the home, as well as teachers and schools. Libraries and librarians too can be involved in this aspect by being the intermediaries between resources and the readers.

College students have varied information and reading needs as well as different reasons for having so. Indeed, the academic library remains one of the important sources of information for this group of users to satisfy their needs. It is hoped that library resources and services will encourage students to seek information for their advancement in their fields as well as for their personal growth.

The study will focus on the reading habits of the UP College of Education students and the factors which may affect it. The conceptual framework of the study consists of the following variables: use of library resources and services as independent variable; UP College of Education students’ reading habits as the dependent variable.

Hypotheses

H0: There is no significant relationship between the students’ use of the library resources and services and their reading habits

Ha: There is a significant relationship between the students’ use of the library resources and services and their reading habits

Definition of Terms

Academic library – A library that is an integral part of a college, university, or other institution of postsecondary education, administered to meet the information and research needs of its students, faculty and staff. (Reitz, 2004)

College library – a type of academic library maintained by an independent four-year college, or by one of several colleges within a larger university, for the use of students and faculty. (Reitz, 2004)

Library use – the extent to which the resources and services of a library are utilized by its clientele (students and faculty in the case of academic libraries; the general public for public libraries). Common measures include overall or per capita circulation, turnover of collection (s) , gate count, program attendance, Internet use within the building, interlibrary loan and reference transactions, etc. (Reitz, 2004)

Library resources –

Library services –

Library materials – all the items purchased by a library or library system to satisfy the information needs of its users, including books, newspapers and periodicals, reference materials…(Reitz, 2004)

Reading habits – refer to the behavior with respect to the interpretation of printed and written words which are more or less fixed. These are also patterns or traits developed early in life and manifested in the curiosity and desire to read frequently enough to make the action unconscious and compulsive. (Viray, 1987)

CHAPTER III

METHODOLOGY

Research Design

The study used the descriptive approach which utilized the survey method. Questionnaires were distributed to the sample respondents to gather data about their personal information, library usage and their reading habits. The results obtained from the survey were tabulated and analyzed using frequency counts, rankings and percentages. To find out the relationship between the variables considered in the study, the Pearson correlation statistic was used.

Respondents

The respondents of the study were composed of the U.P. College of Education undergraduate students who were taking up summer classes during the summer term of academic year 2009-10. Due to time constraints, convenience sampling was utilized in order to include a significant number of respondents for the study.

Research Instrument

The study made use of the questionnaire as the primary data-gathering tool in order to determine the reading habits of the UP College of Education students. The survey instrument was composed of several parts: 1) the respondents’ personal information; 2) usage of library resources and services; and 3) their reading habits.

The questionnaires were distributed to Education students who entered the library. Permission was sought from the library’s Head Librarian in order to do this. The researcher also requested consent from the College Dean to distribute the survey questionnaires to students.

Data Collection

The collection of data was done through the distribution of questionnaires to respondents. The researcher secured permission from the Head Librarian of the College of Education Library to allow her to distribute questionnaires to students who enter the library. The researcher also asked students at the College whether they were available to answer the survey questionnaire. In addition, some contacts were made through electronic mail where the questionnaires were also mailed and administered to respondents.

Data Analysis

The data gathered from the surveys were tabulated. Statistical methods such as frequency counts, percentages and ranking were used to analyze and present the results. The Pearson correlation statistic was utilized to find out the relationships between the variables considered in the study.

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