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Over 2 decades of sociolinguistic research describe the teacher's powerful role in creating the communication system that supports students' learning. Yet research evidence about how to prepare and develop professionals for this role beyond their natural discourse tendencies and style remains sparse. This study examined self-assessment as a means of teacher learning that develops teachers' understanding and use of discourse strategies that support instructional conversation. Using a discourse analysis tool and related procedures (transcription, analysis, and interpretation), 9 teachers examined the conceptual and social functions of their talk from videotaped excerpts of tutorial instruction over 5 weeks. Although the teachers' analyses did not grow more precise, their interpretations of their talk revealed a growing ability to treat their discourse as an object of knowledge. Repeated engagement in the 3-phase self-assessment activity may have provided a form of self-assistance that promoted conceptual understanding. Design features of the self-assessment activity as a learning structure are also discussed.


Roskos, Kathleen, Boehlen, Sophie, and Barbara J. Walker. "Learning the Art of Instructional Conversation: The Influence of Self-Assessment on Teachers' Instructional Discourse in a Reading Clinic." Elementary School Journal 100.3 (2000): 229-252.

© 2000 University of Chicago Press. Original published version is available at: JSTOR.

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