Maieutic frame presence and quantity and quality of argumentation in a Paideia seminar Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Orellana, Pelusa
    • Affiliation: School of Education
  • The purpose of the current study was to explore the potential associations between the number of maieutic frames and the number and quality of arguments high school students produced in a Paideia Seminar. A maieutic frame is the structure of the kind of talk that occurs when discussants use intellectual dialogue to collaborate to make meaning out of sophisticated text, by responding to open-ended questions. Participants from two different high schools discussed seven seminar texts during the 2002-2003 and 2004 and 2005 school years. The seminar discussions were transcribed and coded for number of maieutic frames, number of arguments, quality of arguments, and type of maieutic question. A nonparametric test was conducted to determine whether the seminars from two different schools could be collapsed across schools. Main analyses were conducted to explore whether when discussions contained more maieutic frames, more arguments were produced, and whether the arguments exhibited a higher level of quality. Similarly, main analyses explored whether more challenging maieutic questions were associated with higher quality of argumentation. The conclusions from the current study were the following: a) degree of maieutic frame presence is highly positively associated with both degree of quantity and quality of argumentation in a Paideia seminar, and b) degree of challenging maieutic question presence is highly positively associated with quality of argumentation. Conclusions from the current study suggested that the maieutic frame is an effective construct to describe the structure of the Paideia seminar discussions, and a helpful tool to explore the conditions that were related to particular outcomes. Because the current study is the first about maieutic frames and argumentation in Paideia seminars, it opens up several new avenues for research about maieutic frame presence and argumentation beyond the context of Paideia seminars.
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  • Fitzgerald, Jill
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