Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education




The pendulum of educators' interests often swings back and forth. In the current climate of high stakes assessment, there appears to be a greater emphasis placed on literal recall of information when reading. While in the short term, this may benefit score reports, there is a concern that higher order thinking skills, such as analysis, will fall by the wayside. In so doing, there may be long term effects on the citizenry of this country. A lack of shared experiences, paired with little or no opportunity to discuss and discern, could lead to an inability to participate in and manage a complex form of government, such as a democracy. In today's middle school literature classrooms, however, there is room for all types of thinking: from the simple to the complex. Teachers who desire to create an atmosphere that values the application of a variety of thinking can make their classrooms into communites that offer students the opportunity to think in a myriad of ways. These opportunities may be explicitly modeled by the educator and take the form of whole and small group discussion, developing questioning skills and using journal writing as a tool to develop meta-cognition.