Katie Alford PhD Defense: "Writing Together: A Study of Secondary ELA Preservice Teachers Participating in Peer Writing Communities"

Committee members are Dr. Jessica Early (chair), Dr. Anne Whitney, and Dr. Shirley Rose.  ::  ABSTRACT: This mixed methods study explores the work of five small writing communities formed within a university-based preservice English language art writing methods course. Fifteen pre-service 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 to 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. Qualitative data collected includes writing samples and participant interviews and quantitative data includes a pre and post writing and teaching of writing self-efficacy survey. 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 micro-communities of practice within preservice training courses and programs.

Sheila Luna
Monday, Apr. 8, 2019, 9 a.m.
Ross-Blakley Hall (RBHL)
Tempe campus