PIRLS 2021 International Results in Reading
Students’ Reading Attitudes and Behaviors
The results in this section about Students’ Reading Attitudes and Behaviors are based on students’ responses to the PIRLS 2021 Student Questionnaire. The TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center conducted a series of analyses to establish that there was little or no discernable impact in the responses to the Student Questionnaire due to COVID-19 or delayed testing. The exhibits include the results for all 57 countries and 8 benchmarking entities that participated in PIRLS 2021 (with the 14 countries that delayed testing highlighted in pink).
Many of the PIRLS 2021 Context Questionnaire items were combined into scales measuring a single underlying latent construct related to reading achievement. This section provides results for two scales: Students Like Reading and Students Confident in Reading.
PIRLS used item response theory (IRT) scaling methods, specifically the Rasch partial credit model (PCM), to place items on a scale and produce scale scores (see Chapter 15 in Methods and Procedures: PIRLS 2021 Technical Report). Each context questionnaire scale enabled students to be classified into regions corresponding to high, middle, and low values on the construct. The “About the Scale” tab associated with each exhibit contains the questionnaire items. It also describes how the three regions reported in the exhibit were defined in terms of combinations of response categories.
PIRLS assessments have contributed to a considerable body of research showing that students with positive attitudes toward reading typically have higher reading achievement. However, it is unclear whether students’ positive attitudes toward reading lead to higher reading achievement or whether their positive attitudes result from higher reading achievement. There is evidence in the reading research literature that attitudes and reading achievement have a reciprocal rather than a causal relationship.