Effects of the Paideia Seminar on Fourth Grade Informational Writing in Science

This action research study examines the effects of the Paideia Seminar, a discussion strategy, on the writing attitudes and performances of the researcher’s current fourth grade Dual Immersion classroom located in southern California. The study used a triangulation of mixed-methods that included Likert Scale surveys, writing rubric scores and open-ended questions. The Paideia Seminar consists of two main components: a democratic learning philosophy and three levels of learning that include didactic, coaching and Socratic Seminar learning. The researcher chose the Paideia Seminar for this study because it provides access to all the students who have varying language abilities in this Dual Immersion classroom. Overall, the research findings suggest that the Paideia Seminar improved student attitudes, but not significantly. Writing skills and the process of drawing conclusions were not improved either, but both English Only and English Learners favored this strategy because it allowed them to orally express themselves.