SAAP Annual Meeting 2015

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Discussion as a Form of Query: A Perspective on Buchler’s Educational Theory and Practice

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In his 1954 essay, “What is a Discussion,” published in the Journal of General Education, Justus Buchler describes the purpose of a college education as one that stimulates students and their professors to engage in query. Buchler (1985) defines query as a purposive and systematic investigation that involves the “ramifying of judgments.”
In this paper, I briefly provide an analysis of Buchler’s educational theory as it relates to his concept of query, which is an essential aspect of his epistemology, and I present three significant elements of the classroom discussion that influence student engagement in query. Finally—in light of the growing phenomenon of online courses—I show how the theory and practice of query can enrich current online instructional models as well as how query can benefit from particular online educational frameworks.


Pamela Crosby    
NASPA: Journal of College and Character
United States


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