The effects of reading to prepare for argumentative discussion on cognitive engagement and conceptual growth

Brian W. Miller, Richard C. Anderson, Joshua Morris, Tzu Jung Lin, May Jadallah, Jingjing Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Dialogue based approaches to education have been shown to benefit students through the quality of shared discourse. Warm conceptual change theories propose that these benefits are also mediated by increasing student engagement. Discourse and engagement effects were isolated in this study by having 130 third and fourth grade students read a science text for different purposes (no stated purpose, to prepare for a regular classroom discussion, or to prepare for an argumentative discussion) and then testing children before the discussion took place. Children who anticipated a discussion, especially an argumentative discussion, read more slowly than other children after controlling for fluency. A subset of reading times predicted conceptual growth. Finally some children who participated in argumentative discussions had higher rates of conceptual growth. Results substantiate the efficacy of argumentative discussion as a context for reading scientific texts, and they support the central mechanism of dual-processing theories of warm conceptual change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-80
Number of pages14
JournalLearning and Instruction
Volume33
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2014

Keywords

  • Argumentative discussion
  • Conceptual change
  • Engagement
  • Science learning

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