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Research Update: Excitement and Enthusiasm are the Primary Outcome of Author/Illustrator Visits

By Avery Castellani, using data collected by the larger BoB Research Team

Hello, Busload of Books enthusiasts! We’re so glad you’re here for another research update!

Today we’re continuing our dive into the survey data we collected from over 500 educators at the NCTE conference last November. The goal of this survey was to better understand the perceived benefits and challenges associated with bringing authors and illustrators to K-12 schools. As you may be able to infer from this post’s title, we now have some big benefits to share! 

When asked to choose from a list of possible benefits of an author and/or illustrator visit for teachers, 64% of educators expressed that these experiences leave them feeling energized and inspired. The recharge they receive makes them enthusiastic about literacy, which encourages them to explore new reading materials for their students. This renewed excitement then benefits students too! 

In a similar vein, we also asked teachers to choose from a list of possible benefits of author and/or illustrator visits for their students. The enthusiasm we saw in educators is present in students as well, as 70% of teachers reported that their students feel more excited about reading, writing, and drawing post visit. One of the ways this excitement manifests is in the form of many students talking more about the minds behind the books they’re reading. Teachers also noted that about 50% of students are reading more in general.  

These results support the idea that excitement and motivation are connected to positive outcomes. An author/illustrator visit, much like a field trip or other out-of-classroom experiences, can be crucial in reminding teachers and their students of both how fun literacy can be and the real-world connections that stem from it. These connections allow for more authentic learning experiences within the classroom and can lead students to greater creative endeavors (such as writing/illustrating stories of their own), directly inspired by an author or illustrator’s spark (Gonzales 2020).  

Stay tuned for future research updates!



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