Date of Award

Fall 12-2017

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Curriculum & Instruction


Curriculum and Instruction

Major Professor

Dr. Richard Speaker

Second Advisor

Dr. John Barnitz

Third Advisor

Dr. Paul Bole

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Kenneth Farizo


This dissertation will examine the efficacy of peer-led team learning (PLTL) in a humanities and social sciences program, at a midsize Texas university. It will be conducted exclusively within the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS), and the academic subjects to be evaluated include English, history, and philosophy. Its primary function is to disclose whether or not PLTL facilitates in student participants improvement in critical thinking skill acquisition and deeper process content knowledge. Of primary interest in this qualitative, narrative case study is deducing how breakout sessions – supplementary meetings led by student participants, in the absence of instructors, designed to enhance classroom instruction – aid in concept synthesis and retention. Of equal importance is evaluating how the implementation of a PLTL instructional framework cultivates in its participants the acuity necessary to demonstrate that positive learning outcomes are occurring, or have the potential to occur; thereafter, collected data, in the form of participant and instructor narratives derived from questionnaires, interviews, researcher observations, writing samples, and essay-based examinations will support or refute whether improvement in critical thinking skill acquisition and deeper process content knowledge is evident in student participants.

Keywords: Peer-led Team Learning (PLTL), Critical Thinking Skill Acquisition, Deeper Process Content Knowledge, Positive Learning Outcomes, Humanities and Social Sciences, Qualitative, Narrative, Case Study


The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.