Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Curriculum & Instruction/Literacy Studies

Committee Chair

Audra Slocum

Committee Member

Malayna Bernstein

Committee Member

Sharon Hayes

Committee Member

Sarah Morris


This study centers on one early-career English language arts (ELA) teacher’s development of his critical pedagogical discourses (CPD) within the contextual discourses of collaboration and data informed instruction. These contextual discourses circulated assumptions of teaching and learning that are privileged by the political ideologies of the neo-liberal agenda, which can erode the democratic purposes of education. Data is drawn from an eight-month interpretive qualitative case study that included classroom observations and semi-structured interviews. The two research objectives for this study included: to come to understand the range of ways an early-career ELA teacher navigated the tensions between his belief and the contextual discourses of teaching and learning and to complicate the role of the teacher’s CPD of student-centered learning in filtering the contextual discourses for pedagogical affiliation in a community of practice. Discourse data analysis indicated that the CPD simultaneously filtered and was refined through the filtering process, which informed the teacher’s membership across teaching contexts, compartmentalized monologic and dialogic practices within and across teaching units, and provided him the opportunity to realign his beliefs and practices through reflection on the use of dialogic tools in an instructional unit and the vision he had for himself and his students. This study suggests that teacher education and professional learning needs to purposefully provide dialogic spaces for teacher candidates and teachers to inquire into how their practice aligns with their beliefs and curricular visions of themselves as teachers and their students as learners and citizens. This study indicated that there is a need for future studies to address how pedagogical tools influence teachers’ curricular visions of their teaching and the pedagogical reasonings of their past, present, and future teaching.