Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair
Secondary Advisor/Reader One
The research question addressed in this project was, how can textbased debates increase empathy in upper elementary students? It explores research around critical literacy, socialemotional learning, and debates with a specific focus on alternative perspectives and empathy development. The researcher combines research around different forms of debate, argumentation and collaborative reasoning, to create a textbased debate protocol. The action research studies the impact on students’ empathy development for characters found in read aloud texts through participation in weekly textbased debates and written reflections. Students debated two opposing perspectives regarding a character’s personality and wrote reflections in which they explained both perspectives and if or how their thinking had changed as a result of their debate. Reflections were scored using a rubric and pre and postassessments were compared to determine growth. The findings demonstrate that exploring alternative perspectives through textbased debates can increase the empathy students have for the characters in read aloud texts.
Ogden, Melissa M., "How Can Text-Based Debates Increase Empathy in Upper Elementary Students" (2016). School of Education Student Capstone Theses and Dissertations. 4149.