The Love to Read Programme

  • Emily Oxley UoE


The Love to Read Programme

Oxley, E; Ricketts, J; Shapiro, L & McGeown, S.


Collaborative research practices, which involve children, young people, teachers and/or stakeholders partnering in research, draws upon the distinct, yet complementary knowledge, expertise and experience of each.  Collaborative research approaches have potential to narrow the gap between educational research and practice (NFER, 2017) and position the needs and experiences of stakeholders at the centre of the research (Calderón López & Theriault, 2017).


This poster describes the Love to Read project, which aims to increase children’s reading motivation and engagement by synthesising relevant theory and research, with children’s ideas and experiences, and teachers' pedagogical expertise. In Phase 1, (Phase 1 preregistration:, 59 demographically diverse children from across the UK, with different reading attitudes and experiences, participated in online or in-person interviews.  An inductive data-driven approach to thematic analysis was used (Braun & Clarke, 2006) to understand the diversity of children’s book reading experiences and children’s ideas for practices to promote reading motivation and engagement. In Phase 2, children’s insights were shared with teachers, as the research team and teachers collaborated to co-design a professional development programme aimed at increasing reading motivation and engagement in children (Phase 2 preregistration: The final part of Phase 2 aims to evaluate the co-design process, from participating teachers’ and researchers’ perspectives.

While pre-registration has recently gained momentum in qualitative research, especially experimental studies, open science practices are used considerably less in qualitative research. The Love to Read project has pre-registered all qualitative methods for Phases 1 and 2, including interview schedules and data analysis protocols. Traditionally, preregistration is a tool used to distinguish exploratory and confirmatory research. Qualitative research, however, is exploratory by nature. For example, using data-driven thematic analysis meant hypotheses could not be drawn in advance, as this could have created bias in our analysis. Furthermore, interview schedules can change or adapt depending on the responses from the interviewee. Therefore, strict compliance to methods such as those which would take place for quantitative data collection are not wholly possible. Nonetheless, using pre-registration should still be encouraged for qualitative researchers to add credibility and transparency of their research.

This project uses co-design, with children, teachers and other professionals, creating a unique opportunity to develop a professional learning programme which is likely to be engaging and relevant to children, and acceptable and feasible to teachers, maximising the likelihood of uptake, and successful and sustained implementation.  The project completion will result in free and openly available continued professional development materials for teachers.