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Preservice Teachers' Development of Effective Approaches to Text-based Discussion

Busse, Tracy (2014) Preservice Teachers' Development of Effective Approaches to Text-based Discussion. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Text-based discussion is a dialogic instructional practice to promote reading comprehension among students. To enact this practice, a teacher engages students in authentic conversation about text as students read it, to assist them in building understanding of text ideas as they are encountered. Text-based discussion has the potential to promote the development of both low-level and high-level comprehension skills among students, yet teachers need support in learning to enact it. Research has indicated that text-based discussion is not well-represented in classrooms today, likely because not many teachers have access to this support.
Recently, some teacher educators have focused on teaching preservice teachers (PSTs) to enact text-based discussions during teacher preparation programs, in an attempt to increase the presence of the practice in classrooms. Practice-based methods courses have been developed which attempt to provide preservice teachers with the knowledge and skill needed to enact text-based discussions successfully. This study investigated the ways in which six preservice teachers’ enactments of text-based discussion developed over the course of their one-year student teaching placements, after completing one such methods course in which they learned to enact the practice.
Data were collected at three time points during student teaching, and included transcripts of enactments of text-based discussion, lesson plans, interview transcripts, and assessments of lesson quality using the Instructional Quality Instrument (Junker et al., 2004). Analysis of the data suggested that the PSTs entered student teaching with the ability to enact text-based discussions with a moderate level of success, and that the quality of the discussions continued to improve over the course of the school year. The methods course seemed to support PSTs in learning to link student comments and press students for accuracy and reasoning. PSTs were more successful in eliciting student linking and recall of explicit text information than in eliciting elaborated responses from students; the participation structure enforced by the PST seemed to influence the extent to which students provided elaborated responses. This study supports the use of practice-based methods courses to teach PSTs to enact text-based discussions, and uncovers several areas that are in need of additional focus during these courses.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairScott,
Committee MemberGodley, Amandaagodley@pitt.eduAGODLEY
Committee MemberChisholm,
Committee MemberKiesling, Scottkiesling@pitt.eduKIESLING
Date: 15 January 2014
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 17 September 2013
Approval Date: 15 January 2014
Submission Date: 19 November 2013
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 163
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Instruction and Learning
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: teacher education, reading instruction, reading comprehension, text-based discussion, dialogic instruction, gradual release of responsibility
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2014 23:08
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:15


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