From Indigenous Elders’ Stories to a Critical Thinking Curriculum: a Discussion-Based Literacy Intervention Using Indigenous Students’ Cultural Narratives
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Nyeu, Maung Ting
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CitationNyeu, Maung Ting. 2020. From Indigenous Elders’ Stories to a Critical Thinking Curriculum: a Discussion-Based Literacy Intervention Using Indigenous Students’ Cultural Narratives. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard Graduate School of Education.
AbstractThe children of the Indigenous communities of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT), Bangladesh, have very low literacy achievement and a high risk of dropping out before completing school. Indigenous students, on average, read three years below grade level in Bangla, the language of instruction, and the only official language of the country. Yet, very few studies have investigated academic language skills in this population or evaluated instructional approaches to enhance them. In this thesis, I investigated the relationship between classroom discussion with cultural resource-based content and academic word knowledge in Bangla of CHT students.
The first chapter provides the context and settings of the education system in the country and the challenges encountered by Indigenous students in the region. In the second chapter, I describe the Cultural Resource-based Classroom Discussion (CRCD) curriculum design and the intervention model. In the third chapter, I describe the methods and findings of the intervention study. Analysis with multilevel modeling (n=2865) shows strong and positive relationship classroom discussion with cultural storybooks and academic world knowledge for all students. I found that Indigenous Bangla language learners (BLL) learned more academic words than native Bangla speakers, Result also suggests discussion has a positive effect on student engagement and engagement partially mediates the relationship between discussion and academic word knowledge outcome. Data also reveals that discussion improves students productive use academic language in writing. Finally, findings show that cultural stories can serve as a source for moral and ethical education, willingness to take civic and ethical actions, and discussion produces more and a variety of such lessons from cultural stories.
The fourth chapter examines implications for classroom practice from these results, such as curriculum design with engaging content that students can relate to their lives, instructional changes that create opportunities for classroom discussion. The thesis concludes with suggestions for approaches to advance the field of discussion research.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37364529