Authentic discussions are dialogicatty oriented classroom interactions where participants present and consider multiple perspectives and often use others' input in constructing their contributions. Despite their instructional effectiveness, authentic discussions are reportedly rare in classrooms. This qualitative case study examines the features of the environment of a fifth-grade classroom community where authentic discussions were frequent. The examination used recorded class sessions, interviews, and field notes to identify seven aspects of the classroom environment that appeared to be essential to the presence of authentic discussions: physical environment, curricular demands and enacted curriculum, teacher beliefs, student beliefs about discussions, relationships among members, classroom procedures, and norms of classroom participation.
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