Date of Award

8-9-2010

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

English

First Advisor

Claude Mark Hurlbert, D.A.

Second Advisor

Gian S. Pagnucci, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Michael M. Williamson, Ph.D.

Abstract

This dissertation studies a service learning model based on the work of Thomas Deans as a possible way to implement ecocomposition as defined by Sidney I. Dobrin and Christian R. Weisser. Writing-intensive service learning projects, which doubled as needed writing for community sites and graded classroom assignments, were designed and coupled with reflective writing to enable students‟ exploration of their dynamic, reciprocal relationships with environment and writing holistically. Through qualitative case studies, I provide multiple perspectives from myself, a co-researcher, and student research participants. I report this data in narrative form in order to explore not just the ideas presented in the data, but also how that data is situated ecologically. The data chronicled a variety of experiences with service learning, teaching, and qualitative research. The exploration of interconnectedness to environment through service learning resulted in positive writing experiences for some of the student research participants as perceived by them and the researchers. The data indicating less positive writing experiences is analyzed in consideration of the subsequently published scholarship in service learning, ecocomposition, and related theory and pedagogy. Possible solutions are proposed to the problems indicated in the form of refinements to the service learning model. Ultimately, this dissertation proposes that a service learning model designed to implement ecocomposition can cultivate motivation to explore the multifaceted interconnections to one‟s environment, confidence to write in complex rhetorical situations, and interconnectedness to environment that informs traditionally academic work.

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