ERIC Number: ED426434
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Dec
What Do Students Learn from Classroom Discussion? Exploring the Effects of Instructional Conversations on College Students' Learning.
A study investigated the relationship between classroom discussion and literacy development in a college developmental reading classroom. It explored the implementation of C. Goldenberg's instructional conversation model (1992/93), focusing on the relatively untested assumption that discussion promotes reading comprehension, interpretation, and thinking. The applicability of a model originally developed for use with elementary school children to a new student population was also assessed. Subjects were 14 students (ages 17 to 70) enrolled in a critical reading class in a public university on the basis of their poor performance on their reading/writing placement tests. Six students spoke English as their second language, while two students had diagnosed learning disabilities. Each week they read an assigned text, wrote a summary and an elaboration, and prepared two questions for an instructional conversation (IC). Students rewrote their written summaries and elaborations for homework and handed them in at the beginning of the next class so that pre- and post-discussion comprehension and writing could be compared. Data were collected in two conditions: guided discussions were conducted once a week; general discussions occurred once a month. Six instructional conversations were analyzed--three of the guided discussions and three general discussions. Six major findings emerged: students were more likely to incorporate IC ideas, phrases, and themes in the guided IC than the general IC condition; the IC's influenced students' thinking about texts but did not greatly affect the overall quality of their post-IC elaborations and summaries; when students' writing reflected the IC, it did not reflect one source of influence but rather various; students and teacher perceived many benefits of IC's; the learning-disabled students and the teacher expressed concerns about the IC's losing focus and moving too quickly; and student participation in the IC's was influenced by a variety of factors, particularly interest in and knowledge of the topic. (Contains 30 references.) (NKA)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A