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ERIC Number: ED517040
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 187
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1240-2817-0
Resistance in Teaching Assistant Education: Surrendering through Learning-Centered Assignments
Vassett, Christine Lawannah
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Arizona State University
Recent scholarship in rhetoric and composition has come to identify the English teaching assistant preparation seminar as a polemic site. In general, the seminar exists for the purpose of preparing graduate students to teach first-year composition. The fuel igniting this research lies with the teaching assistants and their educators who have acknowledged a shared experience of resistance occurring in the seminar. There are several contributing factors connected to the resistance. For example, disciplines outside of rhetoric and composition often perceive teaching first-year composition as undesirable, due to the difficult work of teaching new academic writers. Also, the content of the seminar, praxis in rhetoric and composition, is not visibly in line with the interests of new graduate students who expect they have come to study Shakespeare, sociolinguistics, American literature, or creative writing, and not the discourse of a discipline outside of their own. Though the seminar participants are usually English majors, often there are deep disciplinary divides that can manifest during the seminar as political, academic, and cultural grandstanding that can stir a platform of resistance, rather than one of learning. Resistance can often be a powerful transformative learning tool, however this dissertation responds to a non-productive type of resistance-the type that interferes with critical learning. In order to address resistance, some scholars argue over what should be taught in the seminar, and while this study engages that research, it also addresses an area less recognized, which is how the curriculum should be delivered. This dissertation suggests a learning-centered model should be implemented in assignments as a remedy for nonproductive resistance to learning. Using a heuristic of eight learning-centered hallmarks, developed by Mary E. Huba and Jann E. Freed, this research makes a textual analysis of four assignments commonly found in teaching assistant seminar syllabi from eighteen university writing programs in the United States. The results suggest that educators could assuage non-productive forms of resistance by introducing more learning-centered hallmarks into their written assignments. With less resistance, teaching assistants are likely to have more access to learning and experience greater satisfaction and efficiency while teaching writing. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A