Date of Completion


Document Type

Open Access Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Patricia S. Davidson

Second Advisor

Wanda Teays

Third Advisor

Steven Schwartz


Many traditional approaches to teaching literature depend on lecturing and asking pointed or leading questions which require correct answers. Through such lessons have their value, they do not engage students in earnest and thoughtful discussions of literature. Such methods may be useful for reviewing material, but they are not sufficient to foster critical thinking. The Dialogue Teaching Model evolves in eight phases. It allows students to respond to literature at their own level of understanding by giving students the opportunity to interpret readings on their own. Using a dialogue approach, the teacher has students make judgments or decision about their reading which they must explain and defend during a class discussion. The discussion allows students to test the soundness of their decisions by comparing their arguments to those of others. In a later phase of the lesson, students reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of their interpretations. The teacher facilitates the learning process by guiding the discussion and by helping students examine their own thinking. After the dialogue has been completed students may maintain or revise their initial decisions, depending on how well they were able to defend their positions. Evaluation is an ongoing process in the Dialogue Teaching Model, since the teacher observes and assesses students during the dialogue and reflection phases of the lesson. Students also demonstrate their knowledge and improve their skills through writing and/or speaking assignments at the end of the lesson. Evaluation is viewed as part of the learning process and is not limited to a testing procedure. The Dialogue Teaching Model gives students the opportunity to become more active learners. By considering a number of different viewpoints, students can develop a deeper understanding of both literature and critical thinking . Students are not told what to think: they decide for themselves through discourse and reflection. In the process of teaching literature and critical thinking, the Dialogue Teaching Model encourages effective speech, attentive listening, improved writing skills, and autonomy of thought.

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