Student Thought and Classroom Language: Investigating the Connection
Alina Reznitskaya

About the research


NAEd/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship

Award Year



Montclair State University

Primary Discipline

I propose to conduct an empirical investigation of the connections between 1) specific features of group interactions experienced by elementary school students and 2) individual student performance on multiple measures of argumentation. The study is designed to test increasingly influential, yet under-researched, theoretical assumptions regarding the role social interaction plays in individual learning. Processes of instruction and related outcomes will be examined concurrently, resulting in a comprehensive picture of argumentation development.Argument Schema Theory (AST) will guide the proposed investigation. AST refines social learning models by integrating them with schema theory, an independent theoretical tradition. AST will be examined in the context of Philosophy for Children (P4C), an alternative educational environment that places social interaction at the center of its pedagogy.The study will use pairwise random assignment to allocate classrooms to two treatment conditions: P4C and traditional instruction. Three discussions will be videotaped in participating classrooms at three time intervals. Numerical summaries of process variables will be generated from the analysis of discussion transcripts. Outcome variables will be extracted from pre- and post-intervention performance on individual argumentation tasks. The relationship between process and outcome variables will be examined through the use of regression-based techniques.
About Alina Reznitskaya

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