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ERIC Number: EJ1046807
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 10
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: EISSN-2327-3607
Moving beyond Journaling to Dialogues in Writing
Hail, Cindy; George, Sue; Hail, John
Critical Questions in Education, v4 n1 p42-51 Win 2013
The last two decades have produced theoretical-based methodology models emphasizing student-centered and learner-controlled writing experiences. During the 1990s, writing evolved into a function of learning. As more was learned about the writing process, it became evident that writing led to clarifying thinking and served as a forum for revealing students' thought processes and reasoning (Gordon & MacInnis, 1993). However, not all types of writing fit neatly into the writing process. One way of ensuring children's messages are heard and seen is through the use of dialogue journals (Peyton & Seyoum, 1988; Peyton & Staton, 1993; Staton, 1988; Staton & Peyton, 1986). Such exchange of information between writers in a dialogue fashion supports Vygotsky's social development theory that defines the power of the connection of thought and social interaction, supporting the view that social interaction promotes deeper understanding (Garmon, 2001; Gallimore & Tharp, 1990; Gavelek, 1986; Vygotsky, 1987). An essential question that emerges when thinking about implementing dialogue journal writing in the elementary classroom is: do dialogue journals help students become better at writing and who see themselves as writers? The purpose of this study was to determine if there was a significant difference in the quantity and content of written responses in fourth grade students' journals for students who had routinely dialogued with their teacher and those who had routinely dialogued with a peer. By investigating the difference between teacher-learner and learner-learner communication in dialogue journals, this study intended to offer significant data to aid teachers in determining the intrinsic value of student-to-student dialogue journals. Participants for the study included 52 fourth graders who were enrolled in two intact fourth grade classrooms in a rural Midwestern school in the United States. A quasi-experimental research design was used in which the quantity and content of written response was compared for the group of students participating in student-teacher dialogue journals (n = 26) and the group of students participating in student-student dialogue journals (n = 26). The findings of this study indicated that student-student dialogue journaling may have merit as a vital part of the regular elementary classroom writing program. With no significant difference found in the content, data revealed that these fourth graders discussed various topics and issues with their peers as frequently and openly as they did with their teachers. Further study is warranted in the area of dialogue journaling, but this pilot study may entice educators to look at dialogue journal writing from a different perspective.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 4; Intermediate Grades; Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A