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Locating Pedagogy: An Ecological Framework for Teacher Development in a New Composition Landscape

Katherine Louise McWain, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Drawing on theories of critical geography, teacher development, and writing pedagogy education, this dissertation argues that instructors working in institutional locations beyond the university writing program deserve increased attention and scholarship within the field of Composition and Rhetoric. Employing an ecological research orientation, this study examines the positionalities of college-level writing teachers across a range of program contexts and analyzes their experiences with formal education, preparation for teaching, pedagogical development, support and resources, and challenges in different instructional environments. Using a qualitative, multisite case study design, this dissertation synthesizes data from interviews with sixteen participating teachers and five administrators; observations of professional development programming during academic year 2016-2017; and an analysis of pedagogical documents related to composition courses taught at a public university, a private university, and several two-year colleges and high schools located in the same Midwestern region. Based on study findings, the dissertation proposes a new taxonomy of teacher development models in composition: the traditional model, the accountability model, and the bricolage model. Drawing insights from these models, the study concludes by outlining interventions at the local, programmatic, and systemic levels for supporting the development of effective composition instructors across a range of institutional contexts and locations.

Subject Area

Pedagogy|Teacher education

Recommended Citation

McWain, Katherine Louise, "Locating Pedagogy: An Ecological Framework for Teacher Development in a New Composition Landscape" (2018). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI10790142.