2018 – International Workshop on Advanced Learning Sciences
Liwei Wei from the Quality Talk team presented the poster entitled: Promoting English Language Literacy through Quality Talk: An Intervention with Mandarin-Speaking Students at the 6th IWALS conference.
AERA 2018- International Reception
Dr. P. Karen Murphy Awarded Distinguished Professor of Education
Updated: Jan. 23, 2018
P. Karen Murphy, Ph.D., has been awarded the title of distinguished professor in the College of Education at Penn State.
“The title of distinguished professor recognizes the academic contributions of current, full-time faculty members who hold the rank of professor. Distinguished professors are acknowledged leaders in their fields of research or creative activity; demonstrate significant leadership in raising the University’s standards in teaching, research or creative activity and service; and exhibit excellent teaching skills.
Murphy joined the Penn State faculty in 2002 as associate professor of education (educational psychology). She was promoted to professor in 2008.
“Dr. Murphy is a master at transcending the tradeoffs that can exist between rigor and relevance,” said Monk. “Her work is squarely focused on problems of practice and she brings the full weight of deep and rigorous analysis to the explorations she leads.”
Murphy has broken new ground in the analysis of discourse in classroom settings. She has developed applications such as Quality Talk for practicing teachers that test the insights she has gained from her research. These applications have been applied to multiple areas of the curriculum, as well as to learners from differing ages and backgrounds, including students from low-income families and from across different cultures and languages.
“The cross-cultural dimensions of Dr. Murphy’s work are especially noteworthy and speak to the broad reach of her impact as a scholar,” Monk said. “I know from firsthand experience that her work has been well-received in Taiwan where a major effort is being made to implement Quality Talk throughout the entire Taiwanese school system.”
Rayne Sperling, associate dean for undergraduate and graduate studies in the college, said Murphy excels in all areas where she has responsibility as a tenured faculty member. “She is a gifted and dedicated teacher in a demanding area of our curriculum,” Sperling said.
“She works very effectively as an adviser and can point to an impressive track record of her students developing into independent and productive scholars. Her publications are numerous and highly influential, and she has distinguished herself as a principal investigator on large grants from major funding sources, including the National Science Foundation and the Institute of Education Sciences.”
In the college, Murphy, had a two-term appointment as the Eberly Faculty Fellow and earned the Cotterill Leadership Enhancement Award in recognition of her work as the chair of the College’s elected Faculty Council. Murphy also has been recognized for her accomplishments from organizations including the American Psychological Association and the American Educational Research Association.”
Dr. Murphy’s research involves the investigation of processes underlying students’ abilities to read and understand text and content, to critically examine and evaluate the information presented, and to make reasoned judgments as a result of reading. Her ongoing projects pertain to the role of critical-analytic thinking in teaching and learning, promoting high-level comprehension and content area learning through classroom discussion in elementary language arts classrooms, and the use of discourse to enhance content learning and conceptual change in high school physics and chemistry classrooms. Her research is funded by both the Institute of Education Sciences and the National Science Foundation.
Dr. Murphy frequently publishes in such prestigious journals as the Educational Psychologist, Journal of Educational Psychology, Contemporary Educational Psychology, and the Educational Researcher. She also recently co-authored a book on instructional leadership and learning for school administrators and has contributed to multiple book chapters, including two recent chapters in the Handbook of Educational Psychology. In addition, Dr. Murphy is a regular presenter at national and international conferences including the annual meetings of the American Psychological Association, American Educational Research Association, and European Association for Research in Learning and Instruction.
Currently, Dr. Murphy is the Editor of the Review of Educational Research, a former Executive Editor of the Journal of Experimental Education, and former Associate Editor of Learning and Instruction. She also serves on the editorial boards of numerous other journals including the Contemporary Educational Psychology, Journal of Educational Psychology, and the Educational Psychologist.
Active in several national organizations, she is the immediate past Vice President of Division C (Learning and Instruction) and served two terms on the Executive Board of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). She also serves as AERAs Chair of the Ethics Committee.
Among her honors, Dr. Murphy is a Fellow of both the American Educational Research Association and the American Psychological Association and was the recipient of the Richard E. Snow Early Career Achievement award by Division 15 of the American Psychological Association (APA) for her research on student learning.
Links to References:
Quality Talk South Africa
Quality Talk South Africa (QTSA) is an intervention aimed at adapting the Quality Talk Model from the United States to the South African rural context. This study is an extension to the Flourishing Learning Youth (FLY) project where resilience is studied in challenging education settings from an educational psychology perspective. The model was developed out of research by Prof Karen Murphy and her team from Pennsylvania State University in collaboration with researchers at Ohio State University in 2012. It is an evidence-based approach to reading and instruction that helps develop critical-analytic thinking through classroom discourse about, around, and with a given text. QTSA is led by project leaders Dr. Funke Omidire (Department of Educational Psychology, UP), Prof Liesel Ebersöhn (Director: CSR) and Prof Karen P. Murphy (Pennsylvania State University, USA). Co-researchers include Sheilla Tshegofatso Sefhedi, Marisa Leask, and Sipikelelo Mugari.
Classroom Discourse Intervention, March – September 2017
This year the research focus was on implementing the QTSA model in the Senior Phase with English teachers. The planned program started with teacher professional development training. The first training session provided an overview of the Quality Model and a mini-lesson was prepared for the students to introduce them to classroom discourse.
Group discussions on the text read with researcher Ms. Sipikelelo Mugari
The second training session included student leaders from the experimental group who would assist the English teachers in facilitating small group classroom discourse. The training included teaching teachers and students about different questions and response types. Both the control and experimental English lessons were observed to assess the quality of classroom discourse and its influence on critical-analytic thinking. Coaching and feedback sessions from the teachers and student leaders provided valuable insights on what worked and what was difficult to implement.
Prof Karen Murphy observing the group discussion
The data collection process concluded this year with semi-structured interviews with the teachers, student leaders, control group students and the Head of Department for English. The feedback from the teachers indicated that through discussion there was a deeper understanding of the text and students were starting to take responsibility for their learning. The student leaders felt that the model allowed for more participation and enabled them to contextualize the text. They further indicated to have developed skills to ask questions that could elicit more than one correct response.
Students who previously did not to interact with others in the classroom started to contribute to classroom discussions and they were all learning from each other. The Head of Department (HOD)remarked on the initial challenge in the changing role of the teacher as facilitator and students as having authoritative knowledge about the text. Although the intervention was introduced in the English lesson, the HOD commented on how more engaged students were from the experimental groups in other subject classes. The adaption of the intervention has been a slow process but with the commitment and buy-in from the teachers and students, it has been a valuable learning process for both the researchers and participants.
Capital Reading Council Workshop on What is Quality Talk?
Dr. P. Karen Murphy, Professor of Education at Penn State-University Park presented “What is Quality Talk?” for the Capital Reading Council (CRC), a local affiliate of Keystone State Reading Association, and BSED- Literacy Education on September 21, 2017. The audience included preservice and in-service teachers, local school administrators, and Penn State Harrisburg faculty.
Capacity Development Workshop on Systematic Review
On the 4th September 2017, Prof Karen Murphy from the Pennsylvania State University, shared her knowledge on systematic literature review during a capacity development workshop for the Faculty of Education, in the Dean’s Boardroom, Groenkloof Campus, University of Pretoria.
Prof Karen Murphy discussing systematic literature review with workshop participants.
From left to right: Dr Funke Omidire (Department of Educational Psychology), Dr Marlize Malan-van Rooyen (Department of Educational Psychology), Prof Salomé Human-Vogel (Department of Educational Psychology), Ms Liesl Stieger (Information Specialist: Educational Psychology) Prof Liesel Ebersöhn (Director: Centre for the Study of Resilience), Dr Suzanne Bester (Department of Educational Psychology), Ms Mosna Khaile (CSR Research Intern), Mr Tony Mays (Manager: Unit for Distance Education), Prof Karen Murphy (Pennsylvania State University), Dr Alfred du Plessis (Department of Educational Psychology), Prof Motlalepule Mampane (HOD: Department of Educational Psychology), and Ms Karien Botha (Department of Educational Psychology).
Updated on Oct. 14, 2017
Quality Talk South Africa
By Dr Funke Omidire
The Quality Talk South Africa (QTSA) team had a meeting with Prof Karen Murphy of the Pennsylvania State University, during her recent visit to the Centre for the Study of Resilience (CSR), Faculty of Education, University of Pretoria.
The Quality Talk intervention was developed in school-based intervention research by Prof Murphy and her team. It has proven effective for use by teachers in the United States to engage students critically and with comprehension in classrooms.
Quality Talk is an evidence-based approach to reading and instruction. It involves discussions that promote students’ high-level comprehension of text, where high-level comprehension refers to critical-reflective thinking and epistemic cognition about and around text. The approach is premised on the belief that talk is a tool for thinking, and that certain kinds of talk can contribute to high-level thinking skills.
The South African team include Prof Liesel Ebersöhn, Dr Funke Omidire, three Doctoral students; Ms Marisa Leask, Ms Sheila Sefhedi, Ms Sipikelelo Mugari; and four B.Ed (Hons) students of the Department of Educational Psychology; Ms Monique Meyer, Ms Meryke Mouton, Ms Crystal Momberg and Ms Mikayla McDonald.
From left to right: Ms Monique Meyer, Ms Marisa Leask, Prof Liesel Ebersöhn, Prof Karen Murphy, Dr Funke Omidire, Ms Mikayla McDonald, Ms Sheila Sefhedi (back), Ms Crystal Momberg and Ms Meryke Mouton.
Updated on Oct. 14, 2017
“Classroom Discussions in Education” Is Now Published!
P. Karen Murphy is Professor of Education and Harry and Marion Eberly Faculty Fellow in the Department of Educational Psychology, Counseling, and Special Education at The Pennsylvania State University, USA.
Written in language common to all scholars of Education and readable by the intelligent public, this book will aim to give readers a basic working knowledge of the topic.
The author’s reputation as a leading expert in the field ensures the book’s place as the preeminent primer for the topic. The unique “overview” format of this volume keeps references and citations at a minimum to ensure direct and distilled accounts of the book’s core concepts.
Classroom discussion is a concept familiar across the field of education and is often employed to support students’ comprehension of text. Edited by a leading expert on classroom discussion, this book situates the topic within the broader context of educational psychology research and theory and brings it to a wider audience. Five chapters describe in detail the different approaches to discussion and provide recommendations for best practices and curricular materials for student success. This concise volume is designed for any education course that includes discussion in the curriculum and is indispensible for student researchers and both pre- and in-service teachers alike.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 – Classroom Discussions: Building the Foundation for Productive Talk by Rachel M. V. Croninger, Mengyi Li, Chelsea Cameron, and P. Karen Murphy
Chapter 2 – Teacher and Student Roles: Walking the Gradually Changing Line of Responsibility by Liwei Wei and P. Karen Murphy
Chapter 3 – Pedagogical Decisions and Contextual Factors: Tipping the Scales Toward Highly Productive Discussions by Mengyi Li
Chapter 4 – Learning Processes and Products: Propelling Students Ahead Through Talk by Elizabeth M. Allen, Cristin Montalbano, and Rebekah F. Duke
Chapter 5 – Quality Talk: A Blueprint for Productive Talk by P. Karen Murphy and Carla M. Firetto
September 28, 2017 by Routledge
Reference – 148 Pages – 20 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9781138041219 – CAT# Y329280
Series: Ed Psych Insights
Updated Oct. 8, 2017
Quality Talk Increases Critical Thinking in High School STEM Classrooms
Link to the original article: https://ed.psu.edu/news/2017-07-09-news/quality-talk-high-school-stem
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Fifteen years after its creation, Quality Talk has continued to expand and now includes high school physics and chemistry curricula.
Designed to promote high-level comprehension and content-area learning, Quality Talk teaches students to generate oral and written arguments via small-group discussions. Discussions are led by students and facilitated by the teacher. The approach has seen success in improving elementary students’ comprehension of text as well as argumentative writing skills. Researchers now are applying the model to increase critical thinking and analysis in STEM classes.
“The central features of the approach haven’t changed,” said P. Karen Murphy, principal investigator of the Quality Talk project. “It’s very similar to the language arts project except we do it with science teachers and learners, and we provide scaffolds that are useful in understanding scientific phenomenon. Regardless of the content, the discussions still emphasize deeper thinking about, around and with the text and content, which is the key element of Quality Talk.”
Following the widespread adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) by many states, school districts were required to redesign their science curriculum to increase students’ understanding of scientific concepts and processes.
“Regardless of the content, the discussions still emphasize deeper thinking about, around and with the text and content, which is the key element of Quality Talk.”
— P. Karen Murphy, professor of educational psychology
“With NGSS, students are supposed to think more like scientists and engineers. It’s all about talking about the phenomenon,” said Ana Butler, who directs the Quality Talk project. “While the standards say ‘this is what you need to do,’ they don’t educate teachers on how to do it. That’s where QT Science comes in.”
Like other Quality Talk projects, QT Science comprises four components — instructional frame, discourse elements, teacher modeling and scaffolding, and pedagogical principles. Each component helps students and teachers to use talk as a tool to contribute to critical thinking and high-level comprehension.
Quality Talk follows a unique student-led approach where teachers learn to slowly release leadership control of their classroom discussions and allow the students to lead their own discussions on theories and ideas relating to an observation (i.e., a phenomenon) they witnessed. To do this, teachers receive professional development training from QT Science coaches who help with the transition. Butler, who was a teacher for 23 years before coming to Penn State, said this can sometimes be very difficult.
“I speak for myself as a teacher, you have to be pretty confident with your own knowledge and abilities as well as your students to release the responsibility of providing affirmation and guidance over to students,” she said.
In order for Quality Talk to be successful, students also must learn how to ask questions that promote critical thinking and invite thought-provoking responses. The teacher gives a series of lessons explaining the different types of questions and responses that are used for argumentation to prepare students for their independent discussion.
“As a former teacher, I know what it is like to ask a student ‘Why do you say that?’ and they say, ‘Because,’” Butler said. “So, we provide teachers and students with the tools necessary to help develop more critical thinking skills and we’ve seen tremendous changes from the beginning of our baseline to our QT post-tests.”
Butler also said it is important to understand that Quality Talk isn’t designed to be used for every lesson in every class. For example, she said, a four-day sequence of a 40-minute class could be broken down to include a 10-minute Quality Talk lesson to teach students some aspect of the different types of questions or responses of argumentation. The next day, the teacher could incorporate that lesson into their science lesson.
“We’ve designed a template for our science content lessons that incorporate QT and we have a QT Science catalyst worksheet that helps students get the conversation going by encouraging consideration of potential questions, claims and arguments,” Butler said, explaining that the lessons and worksheets are designed to follow the five E’s — engage, explore, explain, elaborate and evaluate.
To collect data, the researchers record classroom sessions, which teachers later view.
“The videotaping is very important because it allows the teacher to go back and observe not just the members of the discussion group but also how they as a teacher responded to the group members,” Butler said. “This helps the teacher become a facilitator. Essentially, watching the video is a form of professional development that lets the teacher see what’s working and what needs improvement.”
When starting QT Science four years ago, Murphy and Butler worked primarily with honors and advanced placement classes before moving on to regular academic classes at the request of teachers.
“When you do QT with students that are very driven, you’re going to get strong results, and it was amazing to hear some of the conversations that students were having,” Butler said. “But then teachers wanted to do it in the academic classes — classes where students tend to struggle with science content and it turned out that we had great results in those classes too.”
“It’s great to hear kids say things like ‘This is the first time I’ve gotten to say what I think about science,’ or ‘Nobody has ever asked my opinion about science before,’” she said, adding that one school has a very high transient rate and it was common for students to come and go frequently.
QT Science is funded by a $2 million National Science Foundation grant and will conclude next year. However, Murphy and her team are looking to the future and hope to explore the use of Quality Talk in other K-12 classrooms.
Updated Sept. 27, 2017
Quality Talk Science Summit Successfully Held at Penn State
The Quality Talk Science Summit was held on June 16, 2017 at the Penn Stater Conference Center, Penn State. In total, 22 science teachers participated in the summit.
The theme of the summit was “Quality Talk in Science: How to make critical-analytic thinking happen in your classroom.” The summit served as a professional development workshop for middle and high school science teachers to learn about effective small group discussions and scientific practices in science classrooms. The workshop included presentations and interactive activities where participating teachers learned to increase skills in using and analyzing student discourse and to incorporate Quality Talk in their classrooms.
During the summit, P. Karen Murphy, professor of education at Penn State, introduced how Quality Talk can be used as a tool to promote students’ critical-analytic thinking and reasoning in physics and chemistry as well as how to analyze Quality Talk discourse. Jeffrey A. Greene, associate professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, demonstrated how to incorporate Quality Talk in science classrooms to promote students’ argumentation skills and content learning. The last section of the summit focused on modeling authentic STEM research which was presented by Dr. Annmarie Ward, the director of Center for Science and the Schools (CSATS) at Penn State.
Updated: June 21, 2017
Pictures by Quality Talk Team
Quality Talk Research Presented at the 2016 IES PI Meeting
Updated: Dec. 15, 2016
Quality Talk Research Presented on 2016 Materials Day at Penn State
After developing Quality Talk in 2002, Penn State Professor of Education P. Karen Murphy has continued researching and expanding the teacher-facilitated discussion instructional approach to advance the academic skills of school-aged children. In a recent project that spanned three years, she found that Quality Talk not only is a successful intervention for comprehension of text, it also increases students’ ability to do argumentative writing.
Updated Aug. 19, 2016
P. Karen Murphy Appointed Editor of Review of Educational Research
“P. Karen Murphy, Pennsylvania State University, has been appointed editor of Review of Educational Research (RER) for the 2017–2019 volume years. She will begin to receive manuscripts on July 1 and will become editor of record in January 2017. She succeeds Frank Worrell, University of California, Berkeley, who will complete his four-year term of service in 2016.
RER publishes critical, integrative reviews of research literature bearing on education. Such reviews include conceptualizations, interpretations, and syntheses of literature and scholarly work in a field broadly relevant to education and educational research. RER encourages the submission of research relevant to education from any discipline, such as reviews of research in psychology, sociology, history, philosophy, political science, economics, computer science, statistics, anthropology, and biology, provided that the review bears on educational issues. RER does not publish original empirical research unless it is incorporated in a broader integrative review. RER will occasionally publish solicited, but carefully refereed, analytic reviews of special topics, particularly from disciplines infrequently represented.”
Read original news article on the website of AERA:
Updated on May 25, 2016
Quality Talk at AERA 2016
The Quality Talk (QT) team is excited to give a number of presentations related to Quality Talk language arts and Quality Talk science at AERA 2016 in Washington, DC. Please check out the schedule for QT presentations below.
Toward an Integrated Taxonomy of Teacher Discourse Moves in Small-Group Text-Based Discussions
- In Event: Roundtable Session 9
In Roundtable Session: Rethinking Teacher Knowledge: Frameworks and Contexts
Fri, April 8, 2:15 to 3:45pm, Convention Center, Level Two, Exhibit Hall D Section C
Small-group discussions about text are common in language arts classrooms. What teachers say during the discussion necessarily affects the content and quality of the discussion. There is a need to learn more about teacher discourse moves and how they influence and promote discussions. In this proposal we: (a) synthesized existing research on teacher moves; (b) iteratively sorted and coded the teacher moves into an integrated taxonomy of teacher moves; and (c) tested the feasibility of the rubric as a coding mechanism. This integrated taxonomy is both practically and theoretically significant. Researchers can utilize the taxonomy to assist in the investigation of the effects of teacher moves in small-group discussions; discussion practitioners can use the taxonomy to enhance their classroom discussions.
Enhancing Students’ Comprehension and Critical-Analytic Thinking Through Quality Talk Discussions
- In Event: Poster Session 2
In Poster Session: Division C Section 2a Poster Session 4: Cognitive Processes
Sat, April 9, 10:35am to 12:05pm, Convention Center, Level Two, Exhibit Hall D
In this presentation we will describe how students’ comprehension and critical-analyitic thinking was enhanced over the course of a small-group classroom discussion intervention called Quality Talk (QT). We model subsequent changes in students’ critical-analytic thinking, high-level comprehension, argumentative writing, and examine the ways in which the QT model influenced classroom discussions. Over the course of the intervention: (a) teachers reduced their role in class discussions, as evidenced by fewer instances of teacher-initiated discourse indicators; (b) students exhibited enhanced critical-analytic thinking, as evidenced by increased student-initiated discourse indicators associated with critical-analytic thinking; and, (c) students displayed improved high-level comprehension and argumentation performance, as evidenced by gains on comprehension and argumentative writing assessments.
See full-size poster: AERA Poster_Year 1
Examining the Effect of Homogeneous and Heterogeneous Grouping in Classroom Discourse
- In Event: School-Based Education Research in Diverse Democracies in Three Countries
Sat, April 9, 12:25 to 1:55pm, Convention Center, Level One, Room 149 A
Session Type: Invited Speaker Session
Diverse democracies require a literate, educated public who can engage in thoughtful, informed discourse about complex issues. Unfortunately, global literacy scores indicate that a majority of students are not sufficiently prepared for such discourse (Kelly et al., 2013). Research has shown that classroom discourse can promote basic comprehension, but only particular kinds of discourse are likely to promote the kind of higher-order critical-analytic thinking necessary for effective democratic participation (Murphy et al., 2009). To address this need, we have developed and studied Quality Talk (QT; Murphy, Wilkinson, & Soter, 2011), which is a model of small-group classroom discussion that includes instructional materials on effective discourse, professional development for teachers to implement this model, and assessments that capture changes in both comprehension and critical-analytic thinking. Our ongoing research has shown gains in students’ literacy skills commensurate with involvement in QT (Firetto et al., 2015). In this study we investigated whether these gains differed across different types of student grouping.
We implemented QT in two fourth-grade (n = 28) and two fifth-grade (n = 33) classrooms in a school in the northeastern United States. Oral fluency scores, collected at the beginning of the school year and prior to the QT intervention, were used to classify students as being low, medium, or high performers at that time. Students were matched by performance and then randomly assigned to either homogeneous discussion groups (e.g., all low performers, all medium performers, etc.) or heterogeneous groups (e.g., a mix of low, medium, and high performers).
Two kinds of assessments were used to track students’ literacy performance over the course of QT. At three time points over the course of the academic year, students read a different short text and then completed a multiple-choice comprehension assessment. They also wrote a persuasive essay based upon a prompt about the text. On average, over the course of the intervention students in both grade levels displayed a statistically and practically significant increase on both assessments (i.e., all p-values less than .05, Cohen’s d values ranging from .27 to .83).
Mixed effects ANOVA results showed no statistically significant difference in the growth trend between homogeneously and heterogeneously grouped students, in both grades. We also collected feedback from the teachers on their perceptions of the grouping. While responses were mixed, in general teachers felt that homogeneous grouping was more beneficial overall for reading comprehension, but homogeneous groups were also more challenging to facilitate. On the other hand, some teachers reported there was lower overall discussion quality in the low performing homogeneous group.
Should this proposal be accepted, in the final paper and presentation we will present quantitative findings along with qualitative analyses of videotaped discourse that further illustrate how students with differing oral fluency performance interacted in heterogeneous and homogeneous groups. In sum, we have found evidence that type of grouping does not have a large-scale effect on literacy gains while engaged in QT but particular subgroups of students experience such grouping in differing, important ways.
Measuring Reading Comprehension Through Automated Analysis of Students’ Small-Group Discussions (NCME)
Saturday, April 9 from 2:15-3:45pm in the Mount Vernon Square room
Audra Kosh1, 2, Jeffrey Greene1, Karen Murphy3, Hal Burdick2, Carla Firetto3, Jeff Elmore2
1University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 2MetaMetrics, Inc. 3The Pennsylvania State University
The Malleability of Relational Reasoning: Effects of Direct or Indirect Interventions on Learning Processes and Outcomes
Sun, April 10, 8:15 to 9:45am, Convention Center, Level One, Room 144 B
Session Type: Symposium
Relational reasoning, or the ability to discern meaningful patterns within any stream of information, is a foundational cognitive ability associated with academic success. However, the degree to which relational reasoning can be enhanced or encouraged by educators is still an under-researched question within the educational and psychological literatures. In this symposium, researchers present findings from classroom-based intervention studies in which relational reasoning was a measured outcome. Results show that relational reasoning may be a highly malleable cognitive factor that can be statistically and practically improved as a result of certain instructional practices.
Using Quality Talk to Foster Transfer of Students’ Critical-Analytic Discussions to Their Argumentative Writing
- In Event: Oral and Written Argumentation
Sun, April 10, 10:35am to 12:05pm, Convention Center, Level One, Room 144 C
Session Type: Paper Session
Quality Talk (QT) is an approach to small-group, text-based discussion that supports students’ critical-analytic thinking and high-level comprehension. Students are explicitly taught how to generate strong oral arguments, and they practice co-constructing oral arguments during weekly QT discussions. Research is needed to identify the extent to which students transfer their newly acquired oral argumentation skills into written argumentation. In the proposed presentation we will overview two studies. First, we considered the transfer effect of QT on written argumentation; two classes evidenced improved written argumentation performance after QT. Second, students who subsequently received writing transfer support scored statistically and practically significantly higher in written argumentation, compared to students not receiving the writing transfer support. Implications for research and practice are forwarded.
Quality Talk Research Re-Contextualized for South Africa
On Feb. 22, PSU Research in Africa Symposium was held in Millennium Science Complex at Penn State, University Park. The symposium showcased campus-wide research in Africa across different disciplines. At the symposium, P. Karen Murphy introduced Quality Talk project implemented in the United States and addressed how Quality Talk could be a potential solution to solve education problems in South Africa.
Updated on Feb. 23, 2016
Navigating the Hazardous Waters of Grantsmanship
P. Karen Murphy was invited as a guest speaker to present at the Research Brown Bags organized by the Department of Educational Psychology, Counseling, and Special Education at Penn State. The presentation included an introduction to Murphy’s current funded project Quality Talk that aims to promote students’ high-level comprehension of the text and included a discussion on the strategies for obtaining research funding and managing grant projects.
Updated on Oct 9, 2015
Quality Talk Research Recontextualized for Research-Practice Partnership with National Taiwan Normal University
To access the original news article: https://www.ed.psu.edu/news/2015-07-09-news/Penn-State-NTNU
Penn State enhances its research-practice partnership with National Taiwan Normal University
Quality Talk research was recognized in Dean Monk’s presentation at the International Workshop on the Advanced Learning Sciences (IWALS) in Tokyo. The Advanced Learning Sciences (IWALS) was built upon the partnership between Penn State and National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU) focusing on the learning sciences that include areas of language acquisition, science education and application of technology.
“Murphy’s “Quality Talk’’ project is an approach to conducting discussions that promote students’ high-level comprehension of text, where high-level comprehension refers to critical-analytical thinking and epistemic cognition about, around and with text.
The approach is premised on the belief that talk is a tool for thinking and that certain kinds of talk can contribute to high-level comprehension. Findings showed that after participation in Quality Talk discussions, native English speakers evidenced transfer effects via improved persuasive and expository writing as well as increased argument generation in social studies and science classes.
It also revealed that Quality Talk can provide opportunities for Taiwanese students to participate in more engaging discussions in English by teaching them how to ask questions linked to deeper learning and better explain their responses. It can also help enhance Taiwanese students’ English proficiency and comprehension by letting them co-construct meaning with their peers.”
Updated on Oct 8, 2015
Quality Talk Research Highlighted in Education Week
The Common Core Raises Questions About Teachers’ Questioning Skills
New PD initiatives aim to help teachers elicit deeper responses and interpretations from students
There are no stupid questions. But when it comes to the common core, teachers are finding that their questions could be asking a lot more of students.
Educators have called the focus on “close reading” one of the most critical shifts in the Common Core State Standards’ approach to literacy, and one that many teachers need practice to perfect.
Using questioning techniques, teachers can guide students to think critically about complex literary and informational texts and to construct evidence-based arguments based on them. But getting students to dig into deeper meaning requires going beyond simply asking them to cite an example or find an answer in the text. It means encouraging them to build interpretations and analyses from what they’ve read.
Updated on Oct 2, 2015
Quality Talk Science Recognized at the NSF 2015 Teaching and Learning Video Showcase
Link to the video: http://resourcecenters2015.videohall.com/posters/532
Updated on June 9, 2015
Swinging for the Fences
Education interventions make a difference for learners.
By P. Karen Murphy and Carla M. Firetto
From the left: Sechaba Mahlomaholo (University of the Free State, South Africa),
Karen Murphy (Pennsylvania State University, United States of America), Dipane
Hlalele (EASA Chair-Elect, University of the Free State, South Africa) and Sari
Lindblom-Ylänne (WERA President-Elect, University of Helsinki, Finland).
From the left: Ronél Ferreira (EASA Chair-Elect, University of Pretoria, South
Africa), Liesel Ebersöhn (Executive Editor: South African Journal of Education,
WERA (Secretary General-Elect), University of Pretoria, South Africa), Karen
Murphy (Pennsylvania State University, United States of America), Sari Lindblom-
Ylänne (WERA President-Elect, University of Helsinki, Finland), Irma Eloff
(University of Pretoria) and Ruth Mampane (University of Pretoria).
Updated on Feb 18, 2015
Education Program Encourages Students to Talk Their Way to Higher Comprehension
[Click to enlarge image]
Extracted from The Social Science Research Institute ANNUAL REPORT 2013 – 2014.
Updated on Jan 8, 2015
Murphy presents on her NSF-funded research on group talk in science classrooms
“P. Karen Murphy (Pennsylvania State University) presented her research on Quality Talk Science, funded by the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR). Quality Talk provides professional development for physics and chemistry teachers in high-need schools in Pennsylvania to encourage higher level thinking among students and engage their interest through student-led class discussions.”
AERA Features Innovative Research at Capitol Hill Exhibition
Murphy presents on her NSF-funded research on group talk in science classrooms
Updated on May 7, 2014