Matching Items (9)

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Teachers, texts, and transactions: towards a pedagogy for teaching literature

Description

A simple passion for reading compels many to enter the university literature classroom. What happens once they arrive may fuel that passion, or possibly destroy it. A romanticized relationship with literature proves to be an obstacle that hinders a deeper

A simple passion for reading compels many to enter the university literature classroom. What happens once they arrive may fuel that passion, or possibly destroy it. A romanticized relationship with literature proves to be an obstacle that hinders a deeper and richer engagement with texts. Primary research consisting of personal interviews, observations, and surveys, form the source of data for this dissertation project which was designed to examine how literature teachers engage their students with texts, discussion, and assignments in the university setting. Traditionally text centered and resolute, literature courses will need refashioning if they are to advance beyond erstwhile conventions. The goal of this study is to create space for a dialogue about the need for a pedagogy of literature.

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Date Created
2013

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Investigating agency in multilingual writers' placement decisions: a case study of the writing programs at Arizona State University

Description

This yearlong project examines how multilingual undergraduate writers--including international visa students and U.S. permanent residents or citizens who are non-native English speakers--exercise agency in their first-year composition placement decisions. Agency is defined as the capacity to act or not to

This yearlong project examines how multilingual undergraduate writers--including international visa students and U.S. permanent residents or citizens who are non-native English speakers--exercise agency in their first-year composition placement decisions. Agency is defined as the capacity to act or not to act contingent upon various conditions. The goal of the project is to demonstrate how student agency can inform the overall programmatic placement decisions, which can lead to more effective placement practices for multilingual writers. To explore the role of agency in students' placement decisions, I conducted a series of four in-depth interviews with eleven multilingual writers between Fall 2010 and Spring 2011 in the Writing Programs at Arizona State University. To triangulate these placement decisions, I interviewed some of the multilingual student participants' academic advisors and writing teachers as well as writing program administrators. Findings showed that when conditions for agency were appropriate, the multilingual student participants were able to negotiate placement, choose to accept or deny their original placement, self-assess their proficiency level as deciding to choose a writing course, plan on their placement, question about placement, and finally make decisions about a writing course they wanted to take. In the context of this study, conditions for agency include the freedom to choose writing courses and information about placement that is distributed by the following sources: advisors' recommendations, other students' past experience in taking first-year composition, the new student orientation, and other sources that provide placement related information such as an online freshman orientation and a major map. Other findings suggested that the academic advisor participants did not provide the multilingual students with complete placement information; and this affected the way the multilingual students chose which section of first-year composition to enroll in. Meanwhile, there was no formal communication about placement options and placement procedures between the Writing Programs and writing teachers. Building on these findings, I argue for improving conditions for agency by providing placement options, making placement information more readily available, and communicating placement information and options with academic advisors, writing teachers, and multilingual students.

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Date Created
2012

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From home to public homeplace: creating a space for working-class rhetoric in composition studies

Description

The topos of home is fraught with ideological baggage. This piece works alongside others that labor to rework home as a space for rhetorical topos. I spend the majority of my text analyzing three books from which I explicate the

The topos of home is fraught with ideological baggage. This piece works alongside others that labor to rework home as a space for rhetorical topos. I spend the majority of my text analyzing three books from which I explicate the topos of "home." These books are Mike Rose's 1989 work Lives on the Boundary: A Moving Account of the Struggles and Achievements of American's Educational Underclass, Victor Villanueva's 1993 Bootstraps: From and American Academic of Color, and Ellen Cushman's 1998 The Struggle and the Tools: Oral and Literate Strategies in an Inner City Community. I've chosen these books for two interrelated reasons. First, these texts aided in establishing working-class rhetoric as a field of study within the paradigm of rhetoric and composition. And second, in their individual ways, each of these books is anchored in a profound sense of "home." Each of the texts also experiments and resists scholarly conventions to include some autobiographical passages. Central to these passages is the topos of home, a theme that both enriches the author's autobiographical account and informs his or her theory forwarded in that work. These features add fruitful theory building to both the authors' individual texts and the paradigm as a whole. I ground my work in working-class theory, analyzing the work of Steve Parks, Nick Pollard and Nancy Welch, alongside scholarship that analyzes those labeled as "other" in higher-level academia. The stories that Parks, Pollard and Welch quote, the works of Rose, Villanueva, Cushman and even myself, all work toward discussing and creating not only a "home" for working-class academics but also room for more working-class research and theory-building. As I argue in this project, through these very acts of rhetorical/scholarly experimentation, Rose, Villanueva, and Cushman defied conventional standards for what counts as "good scholarship" in order to initiate a scholarly trajectory for working-class rhetoric in the academy. These authors' discussions of the "home" -specifically personal and political references to working-class homes--were instrumental tools in creating a public homeplace and space for further working-class theory building for rhetoricians in our field.

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Date Created
2012

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The rhetoric of surveillance in post-Snowden background investigation policy reform

Description

In June 2013, United States (US) government contractor Edward Snowden arranged for journalists at The Guardian to release classified information detailing US government surveillance programs. While this release caused the public to decry the scope and privacy concerns of these

In June 2013, United States (US) government contractor Edward Snowden arranged for journalists at The Guardian to release classified information detailing US government surveillance programs. While this release caused the public to decry the scope and privacy concerns of these surveillance systems, Snowden's actions also caused the US Congress to critique how Snowden got a security clearance allowing him access to sensitive information in the first place. Using Snowden's actions as a kairotic moment, this study examined congressional policy documents through a qualitative content analysis to identify what Congress suggested could “fix” in the background investigation (BI) process. The study then looked at the same documents to problematize these “solutions” through the terministic screen of surveillance studies.

By doing this interdisciplinary rhetorical analysis, the study showed that while Congress encouraged more oversight, standardization, and monitoring for selected steps of the BI process, these suggestions are not neutral solutions without larger implications; they are value-laden choices which have consequences for matters of both national security and social justice. Further, this study illustrates the value of incorporating surveillance as framework in rhetoric, composition, and professional/technical communication research.

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Date Created
2017

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Second Language Writing in Intensive English Programs and First Year Composition

Description

The study develops a better understanding of what is valued in L2 academic writing in IEP and FYC programs through a comparative case study approach, identifying the assumptions and underlying values of program directors and instructors in both types of

The study develops a better understanding of what is valued in L2 academic writing in IEP and FYC programs through a comparative case study approach, identifying the assumptions and underlying values of program directors and instructors in both types of instructional settings. The goal of the study is to understand more about second language writing pedagogy for international students in these programs, as well as to provide university administrators with a better understanding of how to improve writing instruction for multilingual students, who have become a key part of the U.S. higher education mission. Data include program-level mission statements, course descriptions and objectives, curricular materials, as well as interviews with teachers and program directors. Major findings show that there is a tension between language-focused vs. rhetoric-focused approaches to second language writing instruction in the two contexts. IEP instruction sought to build on students' language proficiency, and writing instruction was rooted in a conception of writing as language organized by structural principles, while the FYC program emphasized writing as a tool for communication and personal growth. Based on these findings, I provide recommendations for improving graduate education for all writing teachers, developing more comprehensive needs analysis procedures, and establishing administrative structures to support international multilingual students.

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Date Created
2014

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Come Gather ‘Round, People: Building a Constitutive Writing for Publics Pedagogy Through Rhetorical Analysis of Folk Music Recorded by Bob Dylan and Odetta During the Civil Rights Movement

Description

My dissertation contributes to the field of rhetoric and composition by introducing “folk pedagogy,” a pedagogical approach grounded in rhetorical theory that effectively prepares students to write for public audiences. This pedagogical theory answers calls from scholars of rhetoric and

My dissertation contributes to the field of rhetoric and composition by introducing “folk pedagogy,” a pedagogical approach grounded in rhetorical theory that effectively prepares students to write for public audiences. This pedagogical theory answers calls from scholars of rhetoric and composition for teaching in a manner that encourages civic engagement. Folk pedagogy is a pedagogical approach that views folk music as a metaphor for public writing in order to prepare students to write impactfully on social issues. The approach is derived from my analysis of the folk music of Bob Dylan and Odetta, in which I utilize close textual analysis in order to better understand the ways in which their music was able to constitute activist communities around the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Through this analysis, I argue that Bob Dylan and Odetta constituted audiences through appeals to American civic identity, including references to travel across U.S. landscapes and rearrangement of traditional American folk songs. In making this argument, I engage the scholarship of Gregory Clark, Michael Calvin McGee, Maurice Charland, and Rachel Donaldson, among others. I then use this analysis to build folk pedagogy, a subgenre of writing for publics that uses folk music as a metaphor for public writing in order to effectively prepare students to engage audiences through composition. In creating this approach to teaching composition, I draw on the work of scholars such as Brian Gogan and Laurie Gries. This pedagogical approach is inspired by my own teaching experiences in both the university and prison setting and is therefore designed in a manner that is accessible and adaptable for different learning contexts. Finally, I share a syllabus that engages folk pedagogy at the university level. Through this dissertation, I hope to inspire other educators to adapt folk pedagogy for their own classrooms. I also aim to extend our field’s understanding of the civil rights movement by drawing attention to the essential role that folk music played in constituting activist communities around it.

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Created

Date Created
2021

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“We’re Still Writing That Story”: How Successful Women Engineers Use Narrative Rhetoric to Open Possibilities for Change

Description

Women are under-represented in engineering, in school and in the workplace. Reasons for this include the socio-historical masculinization of technology, which has been established by feminist technology researchers such as Faulkner, Lohan and Cockburn, and makes developing role models of

Women are under-represented in engineering, in school and in the workplace. Reasons for this include the socio-historical masculinization of technology, which has been established by feminist technology researchers such as Faulkner, Lohan and Cockburn, and makes developing role models of women engineers difficult. The under-representation of women in engineering is a social problem that typically lies outside the area of interest of rhetoricians. However, my dissertation considers storytelling by women engineers as a powerful rhetorical tool, one that is well-suited for the particular structural inequalities endemic to engineering. I analyze stories told by participants in an oral history project conducted by the Society of Women Engineers, with women engineers who worked between the 1940’s and the early 2000’s. I use a textual coding research method to reveal the claims participants make through stories, themes that are evident across those claims, and how women engineers effectively use stories to advance those claims. My study extends the scholarly understanding of the rhetoric of engineering work. I find that in their stories participants argue for a complex relationship between social and technical work; they describe how technical thinking helps them work through social problems, how technical work is socially situated, that an interest in technical work impacts family and interpersonal relationships, and how making career decisions is facilitated by social relationships. They also demonstrate considerable rhetorical expertise in their use of narrative. As a collection these stories meet a pressing need: the need for an understanding of engineering and women engineers that creates possibilities for change. They meet this need first by helping the audience understand both significant systemic oppressions and the problem-solving individual actions that can be taken in response (in ways that highlight possibilities without placing the full responsibility for change on women engineers), and second by illustrating a heterogenous understanding of engineering and women engineers (in order to avoid essentializing women and essentializing technology). As a result of these qualities, the stories are a way to get to ‘know’ engineers and engineering from a distance, which is exactly the pressing lack felt by so many potential women engineers.

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Date Created
2020

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Writing together: a study of secondary ELA preservice teachers participating in peer writing communities

Description

This mixed methods study explores the work of five small writing communities formed within a university-based preservice English language arts writing methods course. Fifteen preservice English language arts teachers took part in the study and participated across five peer writing

This mixed methods study explores the work of five small writing communities formed within a university-based preservice English language arts writing methods course. Fifteen preservice English language arts teachers took part in the study and participated across five peer writing groups. The study shares the instructional design of the course as well as the writing activities and practices that took place within the groups over the course of one 15-week semester. The study draws on Wenger’s (1998, 2009) theory of communities of practice as well as activity theory (Engeström,1999, 2001; Russell, 1997) to understand the social supports, practices, and learning activities that assisted these preservice teachers as writers and as teachers of writing. The qualitative data included writing surveys, writing samples, and participant interviews as well as pre and post writing self-efficacy surveys as quantitative data. This study documents the affordances and constraints of peer writing groups in methods courses for preservice English language arts teachers and how these groups may influence their identities and practices as writers and as teachers of writing. These findings provide insight into ways we might strengthen the preparation of English language arts preservice teachers as teachers of writing and build communities of practice within preservice training courses and programs.

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Date Created
2019

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“it’s Just the Tip of the Iceberg”: Interrogating Theories of Language and Race During First Year Composition Teacher Training

Description

Until recently, second language writers were typically separated from their peers in mainstream composition courses. However, as the field considers the possibility of integrating second language writers into mainstream composition classrooms, important questions arise. For instance, how are teachers of

Until recently, second language writers were typically separated from their peers in mainstream composition courses. However, as the field considers the possibility of integrating second language writers into mainstream composition classrooms, important questions arise. For instance, how are teachers of First Year Composition (FYC) prepared for valuing and responding to the linguistic resources of students representing a range of linguistic backgrounds? Also, what would happen if teachers of FYC had a broader view of multilingualism in the mainstream composition classroom (one that includes fluent bilinguals, English-dominant bilinguals, and second language writers)? This study addresses interests and questions such as these by examining whether and how new Teaching Assistants/Associates (TAs) take up or respond to critical perspectives on language and race introduced during their first semester teaching. Specifically, I analyzed how a group of new TAs are thinking about language and race in relation to learning and writing. Through surveys, observations, and interviews, I documented and analyzed how they engaged in conversations about language, writing and race; made sense of readings and activities on the theoretical concepts of raciolinguistics and translanguaging; and responded to information presented during two workshops on these topics. I also explored what these TAs said about the relationship between their own critical perspectives on language and their teaching practices (current and future). Findings show that participants’ critical language awareness and their ability to envision a critical language pedagogy grew over the course of the semester. Findings also show that, even though they expressed uncertainty about the precise meaning of theoretical terms such as raciolinguistics and translanguaging, their stated beliefs align with the central claims of scholarship advocating such perspectives. The findings of this study shed light on ways to help new teachers of FYC support multilingual students from a range of backgrounds–especially those TAs who work in contexts where ideologies of race and language devalue multilingualism and nonstandard varieties of English and influence what counts as academic writing.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2022