Date of Award

8-2012

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Curriculum and Instruction, Literacy

Advisor

Reinking, David

Committee Member

Bradley , Barbara

Committee Member

Deaton , Cynthia

Committee Member

Gillis , Victoria

Committee Member

Green , Robert

Abstract

This dissertation describes a formative experiment that investigated how strategy instruction paired with collaborative blogging could promote disciplinary literacy among eighth-grade students in a social studies classroom and among pre-service teachers in a social studies methods course. Qualitative methods were utilized to collect and analyze data in this study. To determine modifications to the intervention, an embedded, single-case study was designed to analyze data iteratively using constant comparative methods. Post-study, qualitative methods were also used to conduct retrospective analysis to connect overall findings to theory. Three modifications were made, in the middle-school setting, to the intervention, which enhanced participants' progress toward the pedagogical goals of the study. Results indicated middle-school students' disciplinary-literacy skills and pre-service teachers' instructional methods improved during the intervention. Findings suggested: (a) In-service and pre-service teachers may struggle with beliefs about disciplinary literacy and technology, but practice and experience may shift those beliefs; (b) writing on a blog may be motivating for adolescents and heighten their awareness of audience; and (c) eighth-grade students are capable of engaging in disciplinary literacy, but explicit strategies may be necessary for their success.

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