English, Department of


Date of this Version



Rivera-Mueller, Jessica. “Cultivating a Learner’s Stance for Engagement in Teacher-Inquiry: An Aim for Writing Pedagogy Education.” Diss. University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2016.


A DISSERTATION Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Major: English (Women’s and Gender Studies), Under the Supervision of Professor Shari Stenberg. Lincoln, Nebraska: July, 2016

Copyright (c) 2016 Jessica Rivera-Mueller


This dissertation argues that writing teacher educators (WTEs) can more purposefully advance their commitment to sponsoring inquiry-oriented teacher development by helping pre-service and practicing writing teachers examine how they are developing as inquirers. Building from scholarship in Composition and English Education and the findings from a narrative-based qualitative study that included four secondary and post-secondary teachers of writing, I have named this attention to how teachers learn and grow their inquiry processes a learner’s stance for engagement in teacher-inquiry. This stance is a readiness to see and engage professional work with an eye toward growing one’s ability to engage in teacher-inquiry. Drawing from Jean Lave and Etienne Wenger’s theory of learning, legitimate peripheral participation, I present three kinds of learning activities that WTEs can foreground in teacher education contexts to cultivate a learner’s stance. These activities include: developing goals for teacher development, exploring tensions involved in the interpretation of teaching moments, and negotiating stakeholder positions. Using findings from the qualitative study, the dissertation chapters demonstrate how these learning activities enable teachers to examine and develop the frameworks supporting their inquiry practices. Additionally, the conclusion offers concrete ways that WTEs can implement these activities in teacher education courses.

Advisor: Shari J. Stenberg