In Pursuit of Literacy: Institutional Literacy and the Teaching of First-Year Writing
AdvisorMiller, Thomas P.
Committee ChairMiller, Thomas P.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis dissertation is an auto-ethnographic account of my curriculum in first-year writing that promotes institutional literacy and examines student responses to it. I frame my research with New Literacy Studies (NLS) in order to highlight the connections between the literate practices of students and larger social, cultural, economic, and ideological contexts. Not only is this helpful for my own understanding of how, when, and why literacy learning occurs, but NLS encourages a critical approach to literacy learning, one that I want my students to adopt as well. Because I was interested in student responses to my curriculum, I conducted interviews with students about their reasons for coming to college, their attitudes towards college, their life goals, as well as their backgrounds. My analysis of student interviews reveals student perceptions of self-efficacy and agency are largely situated along socioeconomic lines. The method of ethnography enabled me to see the exceptions and more nuanced groups of students, which allowed me to complicate the intersections of class and literacy learning.