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ERIC Number: EJ861185
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Aug
Pages: 25
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0022-0663
Examining the Effects of Classroom Discussion on Students' Comprehension of Text: A Meta-Analysis
Murphy, P. Karen; Wilkinson, Ian A. G.; Soter, Anna O.; Hennessey, Maeghan N.; Alexander, John F.
Journal of Educational Psychology, v101 n3 p740-764 Aug 2009
The role of classroom discussions in comprehension and learning has been the focus of investigations since the early 1960s. Despite this long history, no syntheses have quantitatively reviewed the vast body of literature on classroom discussions for their effects on students' comprehension and learning. This comprehensive meta-analysis of empirical studies was conducted to examine evidence of the effects of classroom discussion on measures of teacher and student talk and on individual student comprehension and critical-thinking and reasoning outcomes. Results revealed that several discussion approaches produced strong increases in the amount of student talk and concomitant reductions in teacher talk, as well as substantial improvements in text comprehension. Few approaches to discussion were effective at increasing students' literal or inferential comprehension and critical thinking and reasoning. Effects were moderated by study design, the nature of the outcome measure, and student academic ability. While the range of ages of participants in the reviewed studies was large, a majority of studies were conducted with students in 4th through 6th grades. Implications for research and practice are discussed. (Contains 2 figures and 5 tables.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
IES Funded: Yes
Grant or Contract Numbers: R305G020075