Date of Award

1-19-2012

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

English

First Advisor

Patrick Bizzaro, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Michael M. Williamson, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Crystal Machado, Ed.D

Abstract

Teacher supervision is closely related to teachers' professional development and effective teaching as well as students' learning. This study is grounded in critical/feminist theory. It offers a rhetorical analysis of the phenomenon of teacher inspection and the role of liberatory education and critical pedagogy in combating oppression, and it lays the foundation for a subsequent empirical examination as much rhetorical research does. For teacher inspection to achieve its end (improving students' learning and teachers' teaching practices), it has to be descriptive, differentiated, collaborative as well as collegiality-oriented. Dialogue should play an important role in the teacher-supervisor relationships instead of fostering fear and hatred, instead of the-supervisor-knows and the teachers-do not-know autocratic attitudes. Therefore, this study rhetorically shows that democratizing and humanizing teacher-supervisor relationships is essential to a better and healthier education. This dialogue should also serve as the first building block in solving political crises of the sort going on currently in Syria. This dissertation argues that education is a freeing, liberating force that leads us back to our natural condition where oppression and autocracy have no room. The educational mirrors the political, and for the former to be healthy and effective in developing students' and teachers' learning, the latter has to step down from dictatorship to democracy, from being the oppressor to being an active participant in the welfare of all people. The political has to know and be aware of the fact that the pen is stronger than the gun, that light is stronger than darkness, that the natural is stronger than the unnatural, that the democratic is stronger than the autocratic and that love is stronger than hate.

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