Date of Award

Spring 2011

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Graduate Group

Education

First Advisor

Stanton E. F. Wortham

Abstract

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This microethnographic study investigates the classroom interactions and demonstration teaching sessions of novice English language teachers in a M.S.Ed.-TESOL course on teaching writing. The purpose of this investigation is to examine how novice language teachers integrate theory and practice in teaching writing to English language learners during routine interactions in a teacher-education course. First, it examines how novice English language teachers interpret the theory and research presented in a M.S.Ed.-TESOL course on teaching writing. Specifically, it investigates what theory and research are presented to novice language teachers and how they then select among and reinterpret course subject matter, based on their own pre-existing ideas and based on their professional goals and aspirations. Second, the study examines how novice English teachers enact research-based theories of writing pedagogy. Focusing on demonstration teaching sessions, the structure and content of the demonstration teaching activity is analyzed. Student behavior during these demonstration teaching sessions reveals their interpretation of the subject matter being enacted. Findings from this study may help language teacher educators to craft curricula that better address the issues of socializing novice teachers to make theory-practice connections. Furthermore, this study also contributes to our knowledge of how theories of writing are interconnected with actual teacher practices, and thus may lead to theory construction in the field of rhetoric and composition.

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