Date of Award

12-2019

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

English

First Advisor

Matthew A. Vetter

Second Advisor

Dana Lynn Driscoll

Third Advisor

Gloria Park

Abstract

The success of embracing and developing the industry of olive planting and producing olive oil in Hollow (pseudonym) led the region to be proud of being a unique region in the kingdom. However, this uniqueness is threatened by many environmental issues that someday will distort Hollow’s environment. The Hollow region is just one example of many other contexts that have been jeopardized because of the negative consequences of climate change. The personal experience and interconnectedness with land and olive trees have prompted me to develop an interest in ecocomposition and ecological writing. I believe that actions to save our planet would effectively happen if we provide mass education relevant to our locations, places, and environments.

This qualitative study aimed to evaluate and rejuvenate the existing writing curriculum at Essence University (pseudonym). The dissertation argues for the importance of embracing ecological thinking in the writing curriculum to understand the relationships and interconnectedness between writers and the local ecology. The guiding questions for the dissertation are:

1. In what ways do the textbook units, taught in the writing course at Essence University, promote ecological thinking or include local ecological concerns?

2. How familiar are students and instructors at Essence University with issues of sustainability?

3. In what ways do writing instructors at Essence University engage the ecological concerns or sustainability concepts in their teaching?

The investigation of the writing curriculum adapted Cunningsworth’s coursebook content evaluation which allowed the researcher to see its drawbacks. Additionally, doing interviews with students and instructors of ENGL 101 provided an examination of their experiences and insights about issues of sustainability and views of the current writing curriculum. The findings suggest that the implemented textbook elides the values of ecocomposition and the issues of the local place. Students and instructors interviewed agree that writing is meaningful if it is relevant to their local context and places. Such exploration points out views and insights necessary to enhance the development of the current writing curriculum. After this examination, the dissertation introduced a model of ecologically-focused writing curriculum that provides a holistic framework encompassing the relationship between ecology and discourse production.

Available for download on Wednesday, December 01, 2021

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