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Impacts of discipline-specific morphology instruction on AP US History students' understanding of US Supreme Court Cases
AuthorOchs, Matthew D.
AdvisorTownsend, Dianna R.
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This study assesses the impact of morphological awareness and its ability to assist secondary aged students in Advanced Placement US History with interpreting Supreme Court case law. The study included a demographic cross section of an urban high school n = 41). Results suggested morphology instruction may have had a positive impact on students’ production of morphologically complex words and the quality of their written summaries of United States Supreme Court Cases relating to the 14th Amendment of the United States’ Constitution. This work addresses the need for more research on the complex nature of academic language broadly and discipline specific language in social studies specifically. Because this study was completed by a classroom teacher and practitioner it offers, tentatively, pragmatic guidance for educators in bringing morphological awareness and its generative effect on academic language to the foreground. Finally, the study reveals practices that assist teachers with integrating their disciplinary content with the disciplinary language that will help students and their comprehension.