The present study examined the process whereby elementary school students foster the meaning of ground rules (GR) for discussions in their classroom. One sixth-grade class (12 girls, 10 boys) was studied. When these students were promoted to the next grade, the new teacher's beliefs about learning were different from those of the previous teacher. The children completed a questionnaire and were interviewed about their own meaning of the classroom ground rules. In addition, their Japanese language classes were observed when the students were fifth and sixth graders. The results showed that the students were aware of (1) the importance of even subtle differences among ideas, (2) the feeling that their learning deepened through maintaining and thinking reflectively about their own opinions, and (3) the possibility of learning by paying rapt attention to others' opinions. A comparison of the discourse processes of the fifth- and sixth-grade lessons suggested that impetuses for learning were (1) deepening learning based upon a diversity of views, and (2) the encouragement of discussion in which students participated actively. Using discourse strategies such as revoicing, this class's teachers provided opportunities in the classroom for sharing others' points of view and reflecting upon the students' own standpoint.
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