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Chase J. Young STUDENT FACILITATION AND PREDICTORS OF ENGAGEMENT IN PEER-LED LITERATURE CIRCLE DISCUSSIONS.

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Presentation on theme: "Chase J. Young STUDENT FACILITATION AND PREDICTORS OF ENGAGEMENT IN PEER-LED LITERATURE CIRCLE DISCUSSIONS."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chase J. Young STUDENT FACILITATION AND PREDICTORS OF ENGAGEMENT IN PEER-LED LITERATURE CIRCLE DISCUSSIONS

2 PREVIOUS LITERATURE CIRCLE RESEARCH Research in literature circles has typically focused on implementation and design (Almasi, O'Flahavan, & Arya, 2001; Bond, 2001; Brabham & Villaume, 2000; Burns, 1998; Clark, 2009; Daniels, 2002).

3 PREVIOUS LITERATURE CIRCLE RESEARCH Findings on student perceptions of literature circles usually note that students enjoy literature circles (Daniels, 2002; Flowerday, Schraw, & Stevens, 2004; Peralta-Nash & Dutch, 2000).

4 PREVIOUS LITERATURE CIRCLE RESEARCH A team of teachers and researchers (Paradis, Chatton, Boswell, Smith, & Yovich, 1991) collaborated to devise a rubric that monitored comprehension during discussion.

5 PREVIOUS LITERATURE CIRCLE RESEARCH Subsequent research (McElvain, 2010) used a pre/post-test to measure comprehension. McElvain studied the resulting comprehension from literature circle discussions and indicated that students were in fact developing their understanding of the text through dialogue, a finding that aligns with social constructivist theory (Vygotsky, 1978).

6 THE PROBLEM Some Literature Circles are Unproductive

7 GAP IN RESEARCH Investigating individual factors or behaviors that may influence LC discussions

8 PILOT STUDY In a pilot study conducted with third- graders, a regression correlated higher reading ability, increased extroversion, and lack of conscientiousness with increased quality of verbal engagement

9 RESEARCH QUESTIONS To what extent did personality factors, reading proficiency, and gender explain the quality of verbal engagement in literature circle discussions? How did students facilitate peer-led literature circle discussions?

10 OVERVIEW OF THESE LCS Goal: to create and support the environment for analytical (higher-level) thinking and reading skills through a community of readers, affording the unique opportunity for sharing and learning with peers, therefore creating the optimal self-directed, student-choice learning situation Students read designated chapters They wrote down “burning questions” and took note of interesting parts of the story Students discussed the text in small groups

11 ASSUMPTIONS/LIMITATIONS Teacher controls text difficulty to promote comprehension Small N (17) resulting in low degrees of freedom and low power

12 METHOD The researcher video-taped 17 fourth-grade students’ literature circle discussions for a total of minutes collected on two separate occasions across two weeks. To answer the first question student contributions in discussions were quantified into a measure of quality of verbal engagement score (cf. Costa & Kallick, 2000). This quality of verbal engagement score served as the dependent variable in a multiple regression. The seven independent variables were (1) extroversion, (2) agreeableness, (3) conscientiousness, (4) emotional stability, (5) openness, (6) reading ability, and (7) gender.

13 METHOD – CALCULATING QVE

14 METHOD – TEN ITEM PERSONALITY INVENTORY

15 METHOD – READING ABILITY This project used the spring 2012 administration of the Measure of Academic Progress (MAP; Northwest Evaluation Association, 2011) to determine students’ reading achievement. The Reading MAP test is a computer assessment that assesses student reading achievement and progress based on grade-level norms. The MAP provides a percentile score based on the normed performance of students at the same grade level. The test is an adaptive test using item-response theory where the test reacts to student responses, thus becoming more difficult or easier depending on prior student performance.

16 RESULTS – REGRESSION MODEL

17 RESULTS – POST HOC REGRESSION MODEL

18 QUANTITATIVE RESULTS Emotional Stability was significant ( p <.05) in regression This did not corroborate the pilot study, and needs further research Group size was significant in post hoc regression ( p <.01) The post hoc regression model was also significant (p<.05) and explained 66% of the variance

19 DISCOURSE ANALYSIS THEORETICAL MODIFICATIONS Scaffolding Not adding support, but carefully removing support to foster independence Students in LCs should be closer to independence

20 METHODOLOGICAL MODIFICATIONS Contextual Changes Lower number of subjects (N=17) Limited to one teacher

21 METHODOLOGICAL MODIFICATIONS Coding Changes: Tharp and Gallimore (1988) deemed insufficient and felt forced on the data Modeling – What is it in the context of peer-led LCs? Contingency Managing – Should students be responsible for this? Feedback – Does all feedback facilitate discussion? Questioning – Do all questions instigate deeper level discussions? Cognitive Structuring – Should this definition include how the brain changes? Instructing – Is this the job of the students?

22 METHODOLOGICAL MODIFICATIONS Coding Changes: Li et al. (2007) deemed insufficient and felt forced Planning and Organizing – Should this be done by the teacher prior to LCs? Topic Control – How do students control the topic? Acknowledgement – Is mere acknowledgement beneficial in LCs? Argument Development – Development assumes a thread of discourse rather than an utterance Turn Management – Does this inhibit free-flowing discussions?

23 THARP AND GALLIMORE Modeling – Eliminated Contingency Managing – Eliminated Feedback – Included only if elaborative Questioning – Included in Exploratory Talk if high-level Cognitive Structuring – Eliminated Instructing – Eliminated LI ET AL. (2007) Planning and Organizing – Eliminated Topic Control – Renamed Topic Management if facilitative (exploratory talk or confessional) Acknowledgement – Eliminated Argument Development – Eliminated Turn Management – Eliminated FLOW OF CODING FACILITATIVE FUNCTIONS

24 Deemed Facilitative Exploratory Talk (CC) Elaborative Feedback (CC) Topic Management (CC) Confessionals (Open) Accountability (Open) Non-Facilitative Feedback Unrelated FLOW OF CODING FACILITATIVE FUNCTIONS

25 QUALITATIVE RESULTS The researcher observed students facilitating discussions in five ways: Exploratory Talk Asking questions that are open ended that expect high-level responses and statements that allow for debate Elaborative Feedback Agreeing or disagreeing and providing reasoning or text evidence Topic Management Introducing important topics and big ideas as well as changing topic through facilitation Confessionals Admitting when meaning breaks down and asking for help from group members Accountability Making sure all group members participate and back up their contributions and questions with text-evidence

26 FURTHER RESEARCH Teaching Facilitative Functions to improve student discourse Facilitative Function Order of Importance Benefits of LCs on higher and lower readers Personality’s impact on LC discussions Personality’s impact on LC discussions across grade levels Group size and quality of LC discussions Measuring comprehension on the go

27 LESSONS LEARNED Recruiting is not as easy as it seems The importance of training participating teachers and quality control When number of subjects decrease, the ability to look more closely at the data increases Expectations that students can proficiently use sophisticated methods such as scaffolding Forcing frameworks on data The nonlinear process of discourse analysis utilizing the constant comparative and grounded theory methods Research can leave us with more questions than answers


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