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ERIC Number: ED546393
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 251
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-1-2676-6437-2
Consequential Discourse: An Ethnographic Study of Discussion in a Children's Philosophy Club
Skinner, Kim R.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi
This year-long ethnographic study examined teacher and student discourse when interpreting text in a children's philosophy club. Specifically, the study investigated how the opportunities for learning a new discussion form, philosophical conversation, were acted, talked, and written into being as students and their teacher interacted with each other and with texts over time. The philosophy club members, twenty fourth-grade students and their teacher, met for one hour after school, once a week, September-May, at a small town Title I school in South Texas. Data for this study were analyzed in relation to the classroom studied, its members, and their participation. Collected through participant observation, the corpus of data analyzed included fieldnotes, audio- and video-tapes, interviews, participants' journals, and classroom artifacts. Using an interactional ethnographic approach, this study demonstrated the ways opportunities to construct and adopt particular practices of discussion in an after-school philosophy club became consequential for children's thinking and learning about texts, others, and the world. A telling case and contrastive analyses of the participants' discursive interactions demonstrated students participating in a philosophy club could and did discuss and interpret the meaning of text in sustained interaction with each other over time. There was, however, differentiation in the adoption of learning opportunities by individuals-within-the-collective and the collective. Findings revealed that, over time, the practices of discussion in the philosophy club were formulated and reformulated by the teacher and students, resulting in a hybrid discourse format containing features of both the new form of discussion and the traditional discourse structure commonly found in classrooms. Interviews with key participants conducted across time and events and participants' reflection journals were used to gain deeper insight into the perspectives of the participants and to triangulate the findings of the analyses of the discourse. [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: Grade 4; Intermediate Grades; Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Texas