Date of Award

Summer 2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Director

Kevin Eric Depew

Committee Director

Louise Wetherbee Phelps

Committee Member

Karen Sanzo


This study developed after a program review of my current English department. The review pointed to a lack of coherence within our required writing curriculum. To learn more about my colleagues’ practices and values in writing instruction and to discover similarities and strengths that might guide our curricular revisions, I devised a multiple method, descriptive study of my colleagues’ pedagogies. I initially distributed surveys and used four key pedagogical taxonomies from writing studies scholarship (current-traditional rhetoric, expressivism, cultural studies and critical pedagogy, and rhetoric and argumentation) to analyze the survey data. Finding these taxonomies to be inadequate frameworks for understanding my colleagues’ practices, I then constructed three schemas (reading/writing, academic/real world/personal writing, and institution/instructor/student goals) and used them to analyze the writing pedagogies of three colleagues in detailed case studies, whose data consisted of interviews, classroom observations, and course documents. The data and my analysis revealed that faculty members engage in a complex process to determine and implement their pedagogy, a process I label crafting a pedagogical identity. I suggest that this process, in combination with David Gold’s argument for a values-based view of pedagogy and Bruce McComiskey’s connection of identification and articulation, may be beneficial for writing program administrators as they seek to balance faculty members’ pedagogical interests and identities with curricular coherence.


In Copyright. URI: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).