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Title:Social influences on the development of relational thinking during small-group discussions
Author(s):Lin, Tzu-Jung
Director of Research:Anderson, Richard C.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Anderson, Richard C.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Hummel, John E.; Perry, Michelle; Ryan, Allison M.
Department / Program:Educational Psychology
Discipline:Educational Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):relational thinking
social status
social interaction
Collaborative Reasoning
Abstract:This microgenetic study investigates the process by which children’s relational thinking develops through interaction with peers and teachers during small-group discussions, and whether peer relationships mediate or moderate the instantaneous social and cognitive events of discussions. The social influences were investigated in a peer-led small-group discussion forum called Collaborative Reasoning (CR). A total of 176 CR discussions from 18 discussion groups in 6 fourth-grade classrooms were coded for rhetorical moves serving social and relational thinking functions. Qualitative and quantitative analyses implemented in this study showed that the dynamic social network overlaid systems of thinking. Relational thinking developed within (micro-level) and across (macro-level) CR discussions over a five-week CR intervention, and was stimulated by social support and cognitive conflict. Social support was mediated by friendship and social status, while cognitive conflict was mainly mediated by social status. Receiving support from friends further facilitated students to think more relationally. Teachers’ scaffolding contributed to the growth of relational thinking, but was more effective when it was in the form of a probe or praise than when the teacher modeled relational thinking. The dissertation study documents the proximal effects of friendship and social status on the social and cognitive dynamics of collaborative discussions.
Issue Date:2012-09-18
Rights Information:Copyright 2012 Tzu-Jung Lin
Date Available in IDEALS:2012-09-18
Date Deposited:2012-08

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