Type of Culminating Activity

Graduate Student Project

Graduation Date


Degree Title

Master of Arts in English, Education



Major Advisor

Bruce Robbins


There is a danger as new teachers struggle with how to implement their educational theories in the classroom to fall back into teaching how they have been taught, regardless of whether or not that method is appropriate to their beliefs or considered best-practice. In order to combat that tendency, this teacher-research project was designed to problem-solve the often-times conflicting relationship between curriculum and theory that all too often results in fall-back teaching. But also, this project aimed to collect and analyze student work in order to better inform instruction in a way that was both reflective and active. Specifically, the context of this project was a student-internship in a ninth grade English classroom in Boise, Idaho where intern, Kaidi Stroud, and mentor, Sarah Veigel explored the instructional benefits of teaching students how to question texts, rather than simply respond to texts. This specific instructional intervention evolved from an exploration of a new district-wide program, AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination), and utilized Costa’s levels of questioning and Bloom’s hierarchy of cognitive skills (AVID Center, 2008). The findings indicate that providing direct and explicit instruction on this questioning framework promotes critical literacy, debate, responsibility, and higher-level thinking in students.