Student Engagement Within Peer-led Literature Circles: Exploring the Thought Styles of Adolescents

by Smiles, Tracy.

Abstract (Summary)
This dissertation is a teacher research study of student engagement within peerled literature circles. Collaborating with 10 seventh grade students in my writing and literature classroom who asked to read 1984 in literature circles, I explored how students engage with each and with literature within peer-led discussion circles of a relatively difficult text. Participants were taped during peer-led literature circles and interviewed about their experiences and perspectives on engagement with peers within the context of the classroom. Using Fleck’s (1935) notion of thought style and thought collective I noted that participants’ talk about the novel and their perspectives on the experience was shaped by their dynamic, ever changing subject positions as adolescents, students, boys and girls, and as members of the middle class. This study explores their subject positions and how they shaped student engagement as reflected their interactions and talk for the purpose of generating a theory of social learning within this particular classroom context. Implications include the role of teacher inquiry as an integral part of literacy teaching, and the use of discourse analysis as tools for teachers, teacher educators, and researchers in developing a critical perspectives on the classrooms and teaching. Additionally, the study offers a framework for supporting teachers, teacher educators, and researchers in listening to and critically assessing peer-talk within the classroom and how such knowledge can guide reflection and inform practice. 12
Bibliographical Information:


School:The University of Arizona

School Location:USA - Arizona

Source Type:Master's Thesis



Date of Publication:

© 2009 All Rights Reserved.