Date of Award

5-2012

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Department

Education and Human Development

Abstract

This was an inquiry-based research study exploring the impact of using dialogue journals to support independent reading within a fourth grade classroom. The research was qualitative in nature and featured multiple case studies. The overarching aim of this study was to investigate the following question: How does using a dialogue journal to support independent reading impact students' learning? The study sought to answer this question by exploring how writing in dialogue journals supports students' understanding of their independent reading, writing for a specific audience, and critical appreciation of books and reading attitude. Data collection included observations, interviews, and writing samples from dialogue journals. This data was then coded for understanding of reading, writing for an audience, and critical thinking about the text. Analysis showed all students indicated a positive attitude toward dialogue journals and an appreciation for the texts they had chosen to read. Most students were able to demonstrate their comprehension within their dialogue journals, and all students could be pushed to deeper thinking by the feedback from their teacher. Students kept their audience in mind by writing about the parts of their text they found interesting. Limitations to this study were the small number of participants and the short duration of the study. Future studies may seek to follow a larger population of students over the course of a year or multiple years.

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