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Using dialogue journals with learning disabled students

1 July 1993


This qualitative study explores the use of a form of communication known as "dialogue journal writing" with learning disabled junior high students. The conceptual framework for this research is based on Jana Staton's (1988) work dealing with the journals kept by Los Angeles teacher Leslee Reed and her students in the 1960's. This study begins by reviewing the literature of journal writing through a variety of sources. By analysis of dialogue journal writing done by students during the 1993 -1994 school year, the following questions are addressed: 1.) What can a teacher learn . about students from their journal writing? 2.) How do dialogue journals affect the way students feel about themselves? and 3.) How can dialogue journals be used to meet the needs of both teachers and students? The research indicates that this type of writing is a valuable form of communication in the classroom, especially in reaching educationally and emotionally at-risk students who may not otherwise share their thoughts and feelings with teachers. While dialogue journal writing may not be a viable option in every classroom, the intent of this study is to bring awareness of this experience to educators with the hope that they may gain insight into the opportunities it offers.


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