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ERIC Number: ED533768
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 318
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1248-4905-8
Inventing Teacher-Writers
Dawson, Christine
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Michigan State University
K-12 teachers are often encouraged to develop their own writing projects and practices, in order to enrich their writing pedagogy and share knowledge with other educators. Yet, in pursuing their own writing, teachers face a number of constraints, not the least of which is limited time. These constraints may be particularly salient for beginning teachers who seek to develop writing lives amidst the day-to-day complexities of learning to teach. This dissertation follows a group of beginning teachers as they worked with me, their former university instructor, in an online writing group, seeking ways to work within and against constraints in pursuing personally meaningful writing projects. I explore ways that we writing group members created and sustained opportunities for our own writing, supported by each other but not officially endorsed by any institution or organization. I situate this project first within existing literature on teachers-as-writers, and then within a theoretical framework that emphasizes invention, in order to frame an inquiry into what writing group members create, including multiple ways of being teacher-writers. The following questions guide this project: (1) How do teacher-writers use participation in a writing group to invent ways to work within and against constraints in order to initiate and develop personal writing projects? (2) What else, besides written texts, is invented by teacher-writers during writing group meetings? (3) How do the various "outcomes" of invention shape teacher-writers' experiences and future inventive acts in writing group meetings? Using methods associated with ethnographic and narrative inquiry, I explore the talk and written texts shared across thirteen months of biweekly writing group meetings. Members' written texts, as well as narrative accounts of writing group meetings, provide evidence of teacher-writers using a combination of writing and talk to invent ways into writing, ways of being, and ways of intervening in rhetorical situations. I demonstrate that teacher-writers extend these strategies to support their writing of professional and academic texts as well as personal and creative texts. In these ways, this project contributes a complex, nuanced view of teacher-writers developing writing projects across contexts. This dissertation contributes a line of inquiry into teachers' writing on its own terms, beyond looking at the publishable quality of their written texts or the classroom benefits that may come out of their writing. Ultimately, this project aims to help teachers, teacher educators, and education and writing researchers re-imagine teacher-writers, attending to the ways teacher-writers invent and are invented across writing group meetings, even amidst significant time constraints. [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:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A