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Globally, school leaders, teachers, families and communities are working to better engage children and young people in reading, with the objective of improving literacy achievement and therefore enabling a superior quality of life that typically accompanies a literate and well-read society. In some nations, this work is confronted by particular challenges, where conflict, extensive poverty and low levels of participation in schooling have impeded growth, development and the effectiveness of effort and achievement in their schooling sectors. However, even societies which are characterised by greater stability, wealth and educational opportunity are being tested by the need to enhance technology, media and communication preparedness for all students regardless of their backgrounds. Such preparedness is critical for various forms of functioning and productive participation in the twenty-first century world where adaptations of old literacies and skilfulness are inevitable. International testing results on reading (e.g. Programme for International Student Assessment [PISA]) have provided an empirical foundation for considering many of the critical issues involved in the objectives of improvement and adaptation, as school leaders, teachers, families and communities go about their work, engaging our children and young people productively and appropriately in the face of such challenges. These testing results, however, can also be a threat leading educators to a narrow vision of reading education driven solely by performance data.

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Book Chapter

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