Title page for ETD etd-04152009-150221

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Roberts, Ann Mary
Author's Email Address aroberts@radford.edu
URN etd-04152009-150221
Title In Search of Discussion in the Standards-Based Middle School Social Studies Classroom
Degree PhD
Department Teaching and Learning
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Hicks, David Committee Chair
Kelly, Patricia Proudfoot Committee Member
Niles, Jerome A. Committee Member
Triplett, Cheri F. Committee Member
  • Discussion
  • Social Studies
  • Citizenship
  • Standards
  • Middle School
Date of Defense 2009-04-02
Availability unrestricted
The goal of this study was to determine what factors influence teachers in their use of discussion in the social studies classroom. I interviewed two middle school teachers and made classroom observations over a three month period. These teachers believed discussion was an important process for students to gain critical thinking and citizenship skills. These teachers believed they were conducting discussions but in fact were often conducting what Nystrand et al. (2003) termed recitation, in which students respond to questions and the teacher validates the response. The disconnect between belief and practice may be the result of a combination factors, including a lack of teacher facilitation skills, the timing of the research, and the tensions caused by the state curriculum standards.
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