Date of Award

Fall 5-10-2024

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Secondary & Middle Grades English Education


Department of Secondary and Middle Grades Education

Committee Chair/First Advisor

Jennifer Dail

Second Advisor

Darren Crovitz

Third Advisor

Robert Montgomery


This research seeks to better understand the attitudes and dispositions of advanced-level English Language Arts students toward the activities of academic research and writing, and to explore the ways that critical pedagogies focused on authentic inquiry and composition interact with these attitudes. The project draws upon research in student motivation, sociocultural definitions of literacy, and theories of hybrid identity in order to discover the potential impact of engaging students in critical reflection on their own meaning-making practices, and of curricular and pedagogical choices aimed at making the lessons of the classroom more relevant to the demands of real-world literacy practices and communities. Through the development of a case study of a high school English classroom engaged in a semester-long personal inquiry project, this research offers insights into effective methods for developing classroom communities and student identities that engage in productive academic and social risks, value inquiry and the ambiguity of knowledge, and undertake acts of composition for authentic audiences.