New ERC report explores pupils’ experiences of reading at home and at school in PIRLS 2016

The Educational Research Centre (ERC) is pleased to launch a new report that uses data from PIRLS 2016 to examine what Fourth class pupils thought about reading and how they experienced literacy at home and in the classroom. The report draws on questionnaires completed by pupils, their parents/guardians, and their class teachers. Findings from PIRLS 2016 are compared with those from the previous cycle of PIRLS in 2011. Additionally, data are compared by gender, and (with some limitations) by the DEIS status of pupils’ schools.

The report also considers the policy context of PIRLS 2016, which took place midway through the lifespan of the National Strategy: Literacy and Numeracy for Learning and Life 2011 – 2020 and in the final days of the 1999 language curricula. Policy implications from the report’s findings should be considered cautiously, given the very significant changes that have taken place since 2016 both within and beyond education systems. Nevertheless, this report provides a detailed picture of how pupils in Ireland thought about and experienced literacy learning before the COVID-19 pandemic, and as such forms a useful reference point from which to approach the post-pandemic PIRLS 2021 data that will be released in 2023.

The report can be downloaded here.

e-Appendices and information sheets summarising some key findings are also available here.