Discussion and Democracy : Supporting Students with Disabilities In Historical Thinking and Online Civic Reasoning Through Small Group Discussion
In the past decade, misinformation has become more challenging to decipher. While separating fact from fiction has always been difficult, it has only grown more difficult with the increasing ubiquity of social media and ongoing political polarization. This is especially the case for students with disabilities, who have traditionally struggled with evaluating written texts. This cross-case analysis, a qualitative review of student experiences, examined how three students responded to an intervention developed to improve their historical thinking skills, including lateral reading, to help them identify misinformation. Grounded in sociocultural theory and shaped by the Universal Design for Learning framework, the intervention consisted of lessons on historical thinking and lateral reading and participation in a structured, peer-mediated small group discussion. Findings showed that while small group discussion may hold promise for supporting students with disabilities to learn lateral reading and historical thinking, it requires further development to help students with the most significant challenges. UDL-informed lessons and associated educational technologies were also evaluated in classroom settings with the case studies students. Results suggest that students with disabilities were aided by the lessons and associated technologies, however, students with more significant disabilities were much less impacted. Finally, this study was conducted during teaching conditions influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic. Findings suggest that certain case study students benefitted from learning in these conditions, but others struggled due to a lack of interpersonal communication with teachers or peers. Overall implications included considerations for how small group discussion is developed and used by teachers in high school social studies and how historical thinking skills and lateral reading are introduced and shared for students with disabilities. Implications for researchers and theorists of sociocultural theory and cultural-historical activity theory are also presented.Read
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Electronic Theses & Dissertations
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- Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
- Material Type
Daley, Shawn T.
- Thesis Advisors
Okolo, Cynthia M.
- Degree Level
- 349 pages