Nationwide Poll Finds K-12 Parents Overwhelmingly View Printed Materials as Essential Part of Stude

Posted By: Matt Baehr Industry,

Following a year of extraordinary disruption to the nation’s educational system and the necessary shift to online instruction, parents of students in grades K-12 have reached a clear consensus: When it comes to books, the physical version matters.  

Parents are acutely focused on what their children learn and are convinced they will learn more via printed materials, according to national study conducted recently by pollster Frank Luntz. The survey of 1,000 parents with school-aged children across the country found the following:

  • Virtually every parent wants physical materials as a part of student learning. 85% of parents want physical books in some form, and 88% think they are essential learning tools for long-term student success.
  • 76% of parents find physical books “extremely/very” impactful, compared to 68% for online/digital books.
  • When given the choice of only one or the other, 69% of parents prefer physical materials and only 31% choose online materials.
  • Physical books matter greatly in school board elections. 71% of parents would be more likely to vote for a school board member who supports students learning with physical materials – over the 29% who would prefer a member who wants online materials.
  • The frustrations with online learning during COVID are real. More than 80% of parents from all backgrounds (including 74% of those who typically favor online materials) believe physical materials would have made their jobs easier helping their students from home.

“This has been a most difficult year for parents and students alike, despite truly heroic efforts by educators across the country,” said Matt Baehr, Executive Director of the Book Manufacturers’ Institute. “This research demonstrates parents are engaged and informed about what is needed to ensure their children have the best learning environment possible. Its findings are conclusive. Having printed materials such as physical textbooks and workbooks as a core part of instruction gives children the very best chance to learn and to succeed in school and in life.” 

More information about the poll and its results can be found on the BMI website.

BMI has launched an annual research program for 2021. This whitepaper and survey are the first pieces of the program which will also include a State of the Industry report and a follow up study to BMI’s 2019 project regarding inkjet printing. A number of companies stepped up to sponsor this year’s research: LSC Communications, Rolland Sustana Group, Lindenmeyr Munroe Paper, Canon, HP, Core Publishing Solutions, Crown Van Gelder and Screen USA.