Document Type



Doctor of Education (EdD)


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor's Name

Joyce Fine

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

George O’Brien

Third Advisor's Name

Laura Dinehart

Fourth Advisor's Name

Elizabeth Cramer


Reading Comprehension, Dialogue Journals, Expository Text, Metacognition, Scaffolding

Date of Defense



Poor informational reading and writing skills in early grades and the need to provide students more experience with informational text have been identified by research as areas of concern. Wilkinson and Son (2011) support future research in dialogic approaches to investigate the impact dialogic teaching has on comprehension. This study (N = 39) examined the gains in reading comprehension, science achievement, and metacognitive functioning of individual second grade students interacting with instructors using dialogue journals alongside their textbook.

The 38 week study consisted of two instructional phases, and three assessment points. After a period of oral metacognitive strategies, one class formed the treatment group (n=17), consisting of two teachers following the co-teaching method, and two classes formed the comparison group (n=22). The dialogue journal intervention for the treatment group embraced the transactional theory of instruction through the use of dialogic interaction between teachers and students. Students took notes on the assigned lesson after an oral discussion. Teachers responded to students’ entries with scaffolding using reading strategies (prior knowledge, skim, slow down, mental integration, and diagrams) modeled after Schraw’s (1998) strategy evaluation matrix, to enhance students’ comprehension. The comparison group utilized text-based, teacher-led whole group discussion.

Data were collected using different measures: (a) Florida Assessments for Instruction in Reading (FAIR) Broad Diagnostic Inventory; (b) Scott Foresman end of chapter tests; (c) Metacomprehension Strategy Index (Schmitt, 1990); and (d) researcher-made metacognitive scaffolding rubric. Statistical analyses were performed using paired sample t-tests, regression analysis of covariance, and two way analysis of covariance.

Findings from the study revealed that experimental participants performed significantly better on the linear combination of reading comprehension, science achievement, and metacognitive function, than their comparison group counterparts while controlling for pretest scores. Overall, results from the study established that teacher scaffolding using metacognitive strategies can potentially develop students’ reading comprehension, science achievement, and metacognitive awareness. This suggests that early childhood students gain from the integration of reading and writing when using authentic materials (science textbooks) in science classrooms. A replication of this study with more students across more schools, and different grade levels would improve the generalizability of these results.





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