Dr. Logan Cochrane, Associate Professor, and Dr. Ozcan Ozturk, Assistant Professor, were part of a recent case study titled “Fostering a reading culture: evidence from Qatar Reads”. It was published in the Open Access “Development Studies Research” journal. The study is the result of a successful multiversity initiative involving co-authors Hanieh Khattaee, Fatema Al-Malki, and Hisham Nourin from Qatar Foundation and Reem Al-Hababi from Qatar University.
Forming the background to the study is the role of Qatar Reads in the national vision’s aspiration to encourage life-long learning, strongly enabled by fostering a reading culture. The policy-oriented paper assesses the modalities Qatar Reads employs, thereby contributing evidence on the country as it undergoes its rapid transition.
The evidence suggests that the majority of children who participate in the Qatar Reads program significantly improve their attitude towards reading without any gendered differences. The findings also show that, compared to before joining the program, the majority of participants spend more time reading, and the majority of parents spend more time reading with/to their children. However, these positive behavioral changes are not experienced by all children or parents.
The authors also explore key barriers to change, including time limitations, challenges related to technology, and individual difficulties. Based on this case study assessment, the paper offers recommendations to enhance the activities of the program, particularly regarding barriers to expanding its coverage and broadening inclusion. The full paper can be accessed here.