Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


College of Education and Human Services


Family Science and Human Development

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Alina Reznitskaya

Committee Member

Helenrose Fives

Committee Member

Kathryn Herr


In this study, I investigated how a fifth -grade teacher engaged in epistemic cognition when he learned and facilitated inquiry dialogue. Inquiry dialogue is a type of talk in which participants use argumentation to search for the most reasonable answer to a contestable question. It has been suggested to represent the normative dialogue type to enhance students’ reasoning, as it is most aligned with the standards and practice of rigorous argumentation. Despite its importance, researchers have shown that it has not been widely implemented in classrooms and this is partly due to teachers’ epistemic cognition. Given the significance of inquiry dialogue, I sought to understand how teachers’ epistemic cognition informed the learning and facilitation of inquiry dialogue. I used Fives and colleagues (2016; 2017) Epistemic Cognition in Learning and Teaching Framework, Kuhn’s (1991) Developmental Model, and Reznitskaya and colleagues ( 2015, 2017) Argumentation Rating Tool to frame my work and understand how the different components of epistemic cognition interact with each other during teacher learning and facilitating inquiry dialogue in their classrooms. To conduct my research, I used previously collected data, focusing on one fifth grade art teacher, Eric. My data comprised classroom discussions, study group meetings, focus group interviews, coaching sessions, and reflective judgment interview. I conducted a case study analysis to provide a detailed and rich description of the phenomenon under investigation. I analyzed my data using the thematic analysis method with recursive emergent coding. My results indicated that Eric’s thinking about the dimensions of knowledge were inconsistent throughout the professional development phase suggesting that epistemic cognition is a complex process, which is domain, context, and task bound. In addition to the complexity, results suggest that the relationship between epistemic cognition and practice is not linear.

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