ERIC Number: ED394148
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996
Reference Count: N/A
Peer-Led Literature Discussion Groups: An Analysis of Recent Literature.
Lyons, Bridget A.
Many teachers are hesitant to incorporate peer-led discussion groups into their classrooms. Teachers worry that if they relinquish control in their classrooms students may miss the main theme of stories or may spend little time on task, groups may dissolve from excessive bickering, and their classrooms will be out of control. Nevertheless, the benefits of small group discussion for the students must outweigh these concerns. Research has shown that students who have participated in peer-led discussions have a better understanding of texts, express themselves in more complex ways, approach texts more confidently, write better analytical essays, and are more focused on their reading related tasks. Perhaps most importantly, students regularly show a preference for peer-led discussions in their classrooms, and when children are given the opportunity to do activities they enjoy, they tend to perform better. An examination of recent literature on peer discussion supports the use of student-led small discussion groups as an alternative method for literature discovery. Five recent journal articles which yield much information are those by Maryann Eeds and Deborah Wells (1989); William Sweigart (1991); Janice Almasi (1995); Cathy Roller and Penny Beed (1994); and Carol Gilles (1994). Further research is suggested in the area of peer-led discussion groups in lower elementary school, where some or all of the students may be unable to read the text in question. (CR)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Student Led Activities