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Using wikis to experience history

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Title: Using wikis to experience history
Author(s): Martin, Vance S.
Director of Research: Noffke, Susan E.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s): Noffke, Susan E.
Doctoral Committee Member(s): Parsons, Marilyn A.; Peters, Michael A.; Span, Christopher M.
Department / Program: Curriculum and Instruction
Discipline: Secondary & Continuing Educ
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: Ph.D.
Genre: Dissertation
Subject(s): action research history education technology in education community college wikis
Abstract: This dissertation is an action research study examining the use of technology to encourage critical thinking and digital literacy in a community college history class. The students are responsible for researching course material and teaching the class. They then use a wiki to contribute to and edit an interactive, online textbook that has been created by students over several semesters. The goal is to link more interactive technologies with what the author terms socially democratic education, by empowering students to create knowledge and encouraging them to consider biases in historical writing. Two main research questions are considered, each with related sub-questions. First, what do students experience using an educational wiki and an open classroom? Are the students able to think critically about history? The work of Giroux (1978) is used to discuss the critical thinking that emerged in the class. Second, what are the relationships between the wiki and open classroom, and democratic education? How is that observable? What role does the teacher play? Is this a critical pedagogy? Evidence of socially democratic learning is examined, and Freire (2009) is used to analyze the presence of a critical pedagogy. Several issues are raised as the result of the study, and their implications are discussed. These include the loss of teacher control with this type of pedagogy, the need for a balance between allowing freedom for discovery and organizational structure, and issues related to trust and identity.
Issue Date: 2011-05-25
Rights Information: Copyright 2011 Vance S. Martin
Date Available in IDEALS: 2011-05-25
Date Deposited: 2011-05

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