Date

9-2015

Department

School of Education

Degree

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Chair

Charles K. Smith

Keywords

Blended Learning, Collaboration, Communication, Sense of Community, Social Constructivism, Social Networking

Disciplines

Curriculum and Instruction | Curriculum and Social Inquiry | Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Methods

Abstract

The population of English as the Second Language (ESL) students continues to rise throughout the United States especially among those of Latino/Latina heritage. An important aspect to help these students succeed is to build a sense of community through a social constructivist framework. By using and developing 21st century skills through social networking, students can develop a sense of community which could lead to an increase in academic achievement. Utilizing a philosophical assumption of methodology allowed for flexibility and ongoing reflection for the current study, and it was applied in the conceptual framework of social constructivism and sense of community. The purpose of this collective case study was to explore the development of the students’ sense of community through a social networking platform, known as Edmodo, for seven Latino/Latina 7th grade civics students who qualified for ESL services, two civics teachers, and one ESL consultation teacher within a large Central Florida school district. Three research questions, derived from the literature, drove the study. The focus centered on, “How does the social networking system, Edmodo, influence the sense of community for Latino/Latina ESL students in 7th grade civics?” Data was collected through observations, interviews, and discussion board threads and analyzed by mining the data, categorical aggregation, establishing patterns, and generalizing the categories and patterns. Though the results of the study were inconclusive, four major themes emerged from the data. These themes included social networking, sense of community/zone of proximal development (ZPD), content relevancy, and cultural influence.