Publication Date

Fall 2016

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Tony Norman (Director), Barbara Burch, and Pamela Petty

Degree Program

Educational Leadership Doctoral Program

Degree Type

Doctor of Education


As schools strive to develop 21st century learners equipped with skills in critical thinking and communication, the use of research-based teaching strategies, such as student-to-student discourse, is a necessary component of highly effective instruction. Research has shown that the way in which a teacher facilitates discourse in the classroom has a powerful impact on student learning and achievement. This case study examines the beliefs and instructional practices of a middle grades science teacher as they pertain to the use of student-to-student discourse, or students' use of a set of common language patterns in order to construct meaning or to develop understanding by communicating with other students in the same educational setting. The teacher participant of the study is a member of the SKyTeach teacher preparation program at Western Kentucky University and serves as mentor teacher for students currently participating in the program. As such, the teacher was trained to incorporate student-to-student discourse in her daily instruction. The purpose of this case study is to identify the beliefs of the teacher participant regarding the use of student-to-student discourse, to describe the strategies used to implement student-to- student discourse, and to describe the teacher's facilitation learning during student-to-student discourse.


Education | Educational Leadership