Social Studies Research and Practice
Volume 6, Number 1, Spring 2011
Engaging Public Issues Through Dialogue Journals: Pre-Service Teachers and Elementary Students Read and Respond
Steven P. Camicia
Utah State University
In a qualitative study, 50 pre-service teachers were partnered with 50 elementary students to write each other in dialogue journals responding to texts on public issues. Based upon our analysis of the journals, written reflections from pre-service teachers, and interviews with the elementary teachers in the project, three findings emerged: student motivation for reading and writing increased, both types of students gained perspective consciousness, and elementary teachers found meaningful ways to integrate social studies with language arts. These findings suggest multiple avenues for future research surrounding dialogue journals, student engagement with public issues texts, and teacher education.