This dissertation presents reflective teaching practices that draw from an object-oriented rhetorical framework. In it, practices are offered that prompt teachers and students to account for the interdependent relationships between objects and writers. These practices aid in re-envisioning writing as materially situated and leads to more thoughtful collaborations between writers and objects.
Through these practices, students gain a more sophisticated understanding of their own writing processes, teachers gain a more nuanced understanding of the outcomes of their pedagogical choices, and administrators gain a clearer vision of how the classroom itself affects curriculum design and implementation. This argument is pursued in several chapters, each presenting a different method for inciting reflection through the consideration of human/object interaction.
The first chapter reviews the literature of object oriented rhetorical theory and reflective teaching practice. The second chapter adapts a methodology from the field of Organizational Science called Narrative Network Analysis (NNA) and leads students through a process of identifying and describing human/object interaction within narratives and asks students to represent these relationships visually. As students undertake this task they can more objectively examine their own writing processes. In the third chapter, video ethnographic methodologies are used to observe object oriented rhetoric theory in practice through the interactions of humans and objects in the writing classroom. Through three video essays, clips of footage taken of a writing classroom and its writing objects are selected and juxtaposed to highlight the agency and influence of objects. In chapter four, a tool developed using freely available cloud-based web applications is presented which is termed the “Fitness Tracker for Teaching.” This tool is used to regularly collect, store, and analyze data that students self-report through a daily class survey about their work efforts, their work environment, and their feelings of confidence, productivity, and self-efficacy. The data gathered through this tool provides a more complete understanding of student effort and affect than could be provided by the teacher’s and students’ own memories or perceptions. Together these chapters provide a set of reflective practices that reinforce teaching writing as a process that is affective and embodied and acknowledges and accounts for the rhetorical agency of objects.
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