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ERIC Number: ED515927
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 281
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1097-0520-1
The Fishbowl and the Flies: A Classroom Study of the Relationships between Book Clubs, Talk, Reflection and Community
Brevig, Laurey
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Hofstra University
This teacher research study examines the literary talk and classroom community that emerged during Book Club meetings, fishbowl discussions, and a Retrospective Reflection session which transpired in my fifth grade classroom over the course of two thematic units. Themes of cultural awareness and belonging served to help students flesh out social and cultural issues with their peers while collaboratively constructing meaning and reflecting on others' perspectives. The study takes place in a Kindergarten through fifth grade suburban elementary school. It focuses on my classroom community of fifth grade readers and how they evolve through two Book Club units. Fourteen out of the twenty-three students speak a language other than English: Turkish (2), Japanese (3), Spanish (2), Korean, Bangladesh, Arabic, and Hebrew (4). Five are immigrant students from Chile, Egypt, and three from Japan. Heterogeneously grouped, students engaged in a continuous process of experience and reflection where they themselves became co-researchers, reflectively examining how their community of learners emerged through interaction with the literature and each other. Data revealed that students assumed roles such as expert, corroborator, moderator, peripheral participant, apprentice, clarifier, affirmer and note taker in order to navigate conversation and help facilitate the co-construction of meaning. The roles shaped their evolving social identities and assisted in strengthening the community as a whole. In the process of building a literary community of learners, we engaged in conversation, transformed the nature of talk, individually changed and matured across units, and grew into more critical thinkers through reflection. Through thinking and talking about characters and real life experiences, students moved toward developing a deeper understanding and appreciation of their social and cultural identities and views of others. The spaces created for talk, reflection, critical thinking, and literary exploration are crucial in each student's understanding of texts and the significant issues that have arisen. Book Clubs, fishbowls, and Retrospective Reflection sessions help students stretch their metacognitive thinking and build rich conversation around literature and important sociocultural themes. Findings from this study can inform teachers about the power talk and reflection have in the building of collaborative, literate, democratic and inclusive classroom communities. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 5
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Chile; Egypt; Japan