Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Education (MEd)


School of Teacher Education and Leadership

Committee Chair(s)

John C. Carlisle


John C. Carlisle


One of the most remarkable developments of the present age is the apparently large increase in the reading public. The vast output of reading materials being purchased would seem to be evidence that reading is playing an increasingly important part in the daily lives of most people. Magazines and other publications crowd our stores, our homes, our very tables; at first glance, one would think that reading matter usurps our attention, and that we have come to depend upon it. The modern reader glances at the label on a can to learn its contents and uses. He reads the weather forecast and dresses accordingly; he looks to the want-ads for a second-hand typewriter, an apartment, or a lost purse. If the world were suddenly deprived of all printed material, it is probably that many people in the United States would find life exceedingly empty. That the educational world is coming to realized the fundamental importance of reading in the life of the individual citizen is shown by the increasing amount of attention which is being given the subject by scientific investigators. Interest in and a desire for knowledge concerning the reading habits of adults and the factors which affect these habits have developed rapidly during the past few years. Some of the most significant contributions which have been made recently in the field of educational research have been studies of phases of the reading process. The studies reveal that the dominant reading interests of the American people have varied with their changing needs and ideals. Furthermore, these same reading interests have exerted a strong influence upon the nature of the materials supplied for school reading, for religious study, and for the influencing of the people's loyalty to the nation. There are several reasons for the new emphasis upon the reading habits of adults: first, the efforts of librarians and educators generally to promote adult education, and second, the increased interest in reading by adults because of their own realization of its social utility. Also the fact that useful learning is not prevented by advancing age has had a great deal to do with the place of serious reading in a modern society, for it implies that serious reading is helpful at any age.