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Literacy Lab

Literacy Lab

Collaborative research practices, to understand and improve children and young people's literacy experiences and outcomes

The Young People’s Reading Project


Reading for pleasure is important for social, emotional and academic development. It helps us relax, learn new things, and explore our emotions. But motivation to read often declines during the teenage years. We worked directly with young people to get their perspectives on why this is the case, and what they think we can do about it.


Project overview – what did we do?

We worked with Scottish Book Trust and a Young People’s Advisory Panel – made up of 6 secondary school pupils (13-14 years old) from across Scotland – to design, plan and carry out the research.

We interviewed over 50 young people (13-15 years old) about what helps them feel more (and less) motivated to read for pleasure. We are now working with Scottish Book Trust to develop several pilot projects based on the research findings, which we hope will support more young people to read for pleasure. 

How we worked with the Young People’s Advisory Panel

Why we adopted a participatory approach


Resources – promoting reading for pleasure

We’ve developed some resources for education practitioners based on the findings from our research:

Benefits of reading for pleasure:

Promoting reading for pleasure in school:



Publications – academic research


Get in touch:

Contact Charlotte Webber on for:

  • Talks and workshops about teenage reading or participatory research methods
  • Information and further resources related to the project

Visit Charlotte Webber’s researcher profile for more information.


Project Team:

PhD Researcher: Charlotte Webber, University of Edinburgh

Young People’s Advisory Panel*: Teagan, Harry, Hannah, Sofia, Emily and Ava

First Supervisor: Dr Sarah McGeown, University of Edinburgh
Second Supervisor: Dr Lynne Duncan, University of Dundee
External Partner Supervisor: Katherine Wilkinson (Scottish Book Trust)

*some names may be pseudonyms, as requested by panel members


This project is funded by the Scottish Graduate School of Social Sciences and Scottish Book Trust. To learn more you can visit the project website or contact Charlotte Webber on


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