Date of Award

Spring 5-13-2015

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Department

Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Debra Joseph- McEwen

Abstract

This paper investigated the findings of a previously conducted meta-analysis involving the impacts of peer discussion on student’s comprehension. This paper also examined, synthesized, and analyzed the previous quantitative studies that have been conducted regarding the effectiveness of engaging students in classroom discussion after reading, in order to enhance their comprehension of what they read. The present research serves the purpose of adding to and extending the current knowledge of the roles that teachers and students play in peer discourse, the ways in which classroom interactions can impact the comprehension of culturally and linguistically diverse students, make connections between the types of discourse used and teacher methods for facilitating effective communication among students, and the types of students that seem most receptive to the benefits of interactive discussion. The findings suggest that the quality of teacher prompts and questions throughout classroom discussion seem to play a significant role in student performance in regards to comprehension. The results also suggest that open-ended questions and higher order thinking skills should be integrated into conversations surrounding complex text so that students can think more deeply about the meaning of the text and share ideas with one another that will help build their understanding.

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