Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Arts

Major

English

Date of Defense

4-20-2011

Graduate Advisor

Dr. Suellynn Duffey

Committee

Dr. Paulette Isaac-Savage

Dr. Benjamin Torbert

Abstract

This action research is a study of teacher, student, race, and pedagogy as an answer to the challenge posed to me from Lisa Delpit, Gary Howard and bell hooks. They believe that there should be more studies that look at what really goes on in multicultural classrooms in order to get a better understanding of how race and student engagement intersects with pedagogy. Like them, I am very concerned about these intersections, specifically in the composition classroom and specifically for the task of looking at how race and student engagement affect students' ability to actively interact with text. This action research offers a classroom level look at beginning writers trying to learn the skills for research. While many studies focus on the typical explanations beginning writers have trouble learning the skills for research such as not knowing what writers "do," being afraid of academic writing, or not knowing how to overcome writer's block (Emig 1971; Bartholomae 1985; Greenberg 1987), this study looks at contextual factors like student and teacher engagement, class structure, and class climate along with these more typical explanations as influences of student success in learning the skills for research.

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