A self study :teaching question source and discussion behaviors to improve classroom discourse


Hill, Crag.. (2008). A self study :teaching question source and discussion behaviors to improve classroom discourse. Theses and Dissertations Collection, University of Idaho Library Digital Collections.

A self study :teaching question source and discussion behaviors to improve classroom discourse
Hill, Crag.
Questioning--Case studies Critical pedagogy--Case studies Literature--Study and teaching (Primary)--Case studies
In classroom discussions of literature, students form interpretations, gather and utilize evidence from text, test other students' interpretations, and rework or reinforce their own as a result of the discussion. However, research has found that teachers dominate discussion, establish the subject to be discussed, pose most of the questions, choose who speaks and for how long, and position their interpretations in the forefront, directing students toward recitation of that interpretation. Since discussion technique is not routinely included in teacher preparation, novice teachers enter the classroom without training in what could be one of their most valuable teaching tools, a tool that encourages critical thinking and improves reading comprehension. As a high school teacher for eighteen years, I have observed that many students do not possess the cognitive and social skills that exploratory talk about literature requires. The purpose of this self-study was to test a two-part curriculum that teaches students what kinds of questions they can ask of a text and what kinds of behaviors to practice in classroom discussions so that they can participate fully in classroom discussions. The two-part curriculum was implemented over a six week span in the fall of 2006 in my five English classes. Audio recordings of 20 classroom discussions, including discussions before the curriculum was implemented, after teaching the kinds of questions students could ask, after teaching positive and negative discussion behaviors, and at the end of the semester, were analyzed for growth in student question-making and for growth in positive discussion behaviors such as using text evidence, building comments on another student's comments, and others. My discussion behaviors as teacher were also analyzed. Though there were instances of effective discussion that occurred during the study, overall the curriculum as currently designed did not produce meaningful changes in student question-making and other positive discussion behaviors. Adjustments in the two-part curriculum are discussed and future implementation planned.
Thesis (Ph. D., Education)--University of Idaho, August 2008.
Major Professor:
Georgia Johnson.
Defense Date:
August 2008.
Format Original:
x, 184 leaves ;29 cm.

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