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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Moral Realism of Student Question-Asking in a Classroom Ecology
by Gong, Susan Peterson, Ph.D., Brigham Young University, 2018, 158; 10831473
Abstract (Summary)

Question-asking has long been an integral part of human learning. In scholarly investigations over the past several decades, questions have been studied in terms of the answers they generate, their grammatical structure, their cognitive functions, their logical content, and their social dynamics. Studies of student classroom questioning have focused on science education and reading instruction particularly; they detail the reasons why students don’t ask questions and add a plethora of recommendations about teaching students how to question. This qualitative study addressed question-asking from a hermeneutic moral realist perspective, studying question-asking as it unfolded in the everyday practice of learning in a graduate seminar on design thinking. Findings of the study included seven themes that fit within three broader metathemes about the complexities and virtues of classroom questioning, the sociality of question-asking, and the temporality of questions in practice. Specific themes that emerged from the study concerned the complexity of overlapping practices within the classroom, ways in which students evaluated the quality and virtue of their questioning interactions, the moral reference points that guided student participation in various kinds of questioning (i.e., convergent questions, divergent questions, challenges to others), and the temporality of student question-asking that reflected the way questions mattered to students and how different aspects of the subject matter were disclosed and concealed in the process of learning. Findings from this study suggest that a moral realist-oriented inquiry can provide a wide-ranging and nuanced set of insights regarding question-asking as a part of student learning.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Yanchar, Stephen C.
Commitee: Faulconer, James E., McDonald, Jason K., Richards, LeGrand, Wilkins, Alan L.
School: Brigham Young University
Department: Instructional Psychology and Technology
School Location: United States -- Utah
Source: DAI-A 79/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational psychology, Higher education
Keywords: Graduate study, Hermeneutics, Learner questions, Moral realism, Practice internal goods, Question-asking
Publication Number: 10831473
ISBN: 978-0-438-19693-3
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