Bridging the Gap between Social Reasoning and Action: Impacts of Collaborative Small-Group Discussion

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This study examined whether participating in dialogic discussions could enhance students’ social reasoning and in turn help them use it to shape their social-moral action. A total of 250 fifth-grade students in a Midwestern city in the U.S. were assigned to the Collaborative Small Group condition-CSR, Read Aloud condition-RA or Regular Instruction-RI condition. Students’ social reasoning and social behavior were assessed before and after the intervention. CSR students experienced greater improvement in social reasoning compared to RA and RI students. CSR students demonstrated greater improvement in social behavior, whereas RA students failed to translate social reasoning into their social action. The better alignment between social reasoning and social behavior can be attributed to the social constructivist approach that CSR adopts.


Education and Human Ecology: 1st Place (The Ohio State University Edward F. Hayes Graduate Research Forum)


social reasoning, dialogic inquiry, social behaviour