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Record identifier : 569361
Personal Name - Primary Intelectual Responsibility : Brown, Michaele, J
Title and statement of responsibility : Constructing knowledge in online discussions: Supporting theory to practice in special education teacher education [Thesis]
Publication, Distribution,Etc. : New York University, 2008
Language of the Item : eng
Dissertation of thesis details and type of degree : Ph.D
Body granting the degree : , New York University
Summary or Abstract : The purpose of this study was to explore instructional design of online discussions effective at fostering critical thinking. The participants were pre-service teachers enrolled in a special education teacher education program. Undergraduate juniors in a practicum participated in online discussions about case studies of children with emotional and behavioral disorders. One case study presented information about a child in an interactive multimedia learning program. The other case study was of a real child in the participants' student teaching field placement.Prior research indicated a growing use of online discussion in educational programs blended with face-to-face instruction. Advantages that have been cited for using online discussions include: (a) time to think-through more structured and in-depth responses before posting; (b) exposure to multiple perspectives; and, (c) increasing higher-order thinking by helping students make connections and become better at critiquing, questioning, and analyzing. Online discussions offer opportunities for discourse to help teacher-candidates reflect upon their beliefs, the perspectives of others, and how those beliefs may influence their teaching practices. The effectiveness of online discussions requires careful balancing among the task design, facilitation of the interaction process and scaffolding of participants.In this quasi-experimental research design of two course sections, critical thinking evident in online discussions structured around authentic roles involved in working with children with special needs was compared with the critical thinking resulting from open-ended discussion forums. Critical thinking was measured using the Interaction Analysis Model's five phases of knowledge construction wherein phases III to V denotes critical thinking. No statistically significant differences were found. Evidence suggests, however, that the task requirement for group summaries of key discussion points, conclusions, or recommendations advanced critical thinking for both course sections. Evidence also indicates that the treatment may have lead to participants' postings that represented deeper, more critical understanding of the concepts and issues of the course materials..
Topical Name Used as Subject : Special education
: Teacher education
: Educational software
Information of biblio record : TL
 
 
 
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