network - your ingrained habit - a penchant for a particular genre? In school this autumn, with the pressure to ensure academic ‘catch up’ and the persistent backwash of assessment, supporting students as volitional readers may prove challenging, but it is essential and potentially transformative.

Reading in teacher education

Fortunately for me, Morag Styles, my PGCE English tutor at Cambridge was inspirational. A passionate reader herself, she read to us and introduced us to stunning texts and authors, many of whom we met. It was like coming home, with new friends to meet and new places to adventure in. That year rekindled my love of literature and reshaped my whole career as a teacher, teacher educator and researcher, but that’s another story…

This autumn over 30,000 students started initial teacher education courses. Some of them will never have experienced the affective power of reading, still others may, like me, have drifted away from recreational reading. It is critical therefore that ways are found to encourage them as readers and as Reading Teachers (teachers who read and readers who teach and who explore the synergies therein). Teacher trainers do an ace job, but it’s tough with just 9 months on a PGCE for example. Teachers’ repertoires of children’s texts represent the cornerstone on which effective reading for pleasure pedagogy is built (Cremin et al., 2014), and their identities as readers influence the identity positions they make available to children (Kucirkova and Cremin, 2020). That’s why I’m delighted the Reading Agency partnered with the Open University to develop the Teachers’ Reading Challenge. This involves setting your own reading target, rich recommendations, curated reviews, space to blether and much more! The take-up has been phenomenal and it’s open until October 31st so do join us. Perhaps like me, you’ll choose to re-read a text from your childhood, and go back to learn about being a reader through revisiting your own reading history and let the red thread of reading for pleasure guide your way.


Cremin, T. Mottram, M. Powell, S, Collins R and Safford K. (2014) Building Communities of Engaged Readers: Reading for pleasure London and NY: Routledge

Kucirkova, N. and Cremin, T. (2020) Children reading for pleasure in the digital age: Mapping Readers’ Engagement, London: Sage

Mackey, M. (2016) One Child Reading: My Auto-bibliography Edmonton: The University of Alberta Press.

Mangan, L . (2018) BookWorm: A memoir of childhood reading London: Square Peg.

Waller, A. (2019) Rereading Childhood Books: A Poetics: Perspectives on children’s literature London, Bloomsbury.

Professor Teresa Cremin is a Professor of Education (Literacy) at The Open University in the Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies.

Reading for pleasure

If you want support to nurture readers, then visit the Open University’s research-informed practitioner website. It’s packed with ideas, resources, audits, videos and PowerPoints! FREE! Do sign up to the monthly newsletter to receive updates. @OpenUni_RfP Books for Keeps No.244 September 2020 13

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