ERIC Number: ED390031
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995
Questions Children Want To Discuss about Literature: What Teachers and Students Learned in a Second-Grade Classroom. Reading Research Report No. 47.
Commeyras, Michelle; Sumner, Georgiana
Studying students' questions during literature discussions became the focus of a qualitative exploratory research project that a university teacher and second-grade teacher pursued over the course of one school year. Their research began as a study of the process of transferring responsibility from teacher to students in a literature discussion format designed to promote critical thinking. The research evolved into a study of what teacher-researchers and second graders learned when students' questions were the nucleus of literature discussions. Data collection involved three phases of study designed to represent points on a continuum from teacher-facilitated to student-only discussion.Results indicated that: (1) when responsibility for posing discussion questions was transferred to students, the discussion format being used became incompatible with the kind of questions students were interested in discussing; (2) students were eager to pose questions that addressed what they needed and wanted to understand about literature and life; (3) they generated numerous and varied written questions; and (4) they listened carefully to each other and willingly participated in discussing all the questions presented. The teacher-researchers learned more about their own tendency to impose teacher ideas about what constitutes a "good" discussion question on students' question-asking. Findings suggest that the study was more about the process the teacher-researchers underwent to accept that students provide the "right" kind of discussion questions when they have opportunities to ask about anything they find interesting, curious, or confusing. (Contains 86 references, 7 tables, and 3 figures of data.) (RS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Reading Research Center, Athens, GA.; National Reading Research Center, College Park, MD.