Award Date

May 2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Psychology & Higher Education

First Committee Member

LeAnn Putney

Second Committee Member

Lisa Bendixes

Third Committee Member

Stefani Relles

Fourth Committee Member

Chyllis Scott

Number of Pages



Research concerning teachers’ pedagogical beliefs shows a strong relationship between planning and instruction; however, the sources of pedagogical beliefs have not been researched thoroughly. Because teachers bring their histories and experiences to their interactions with students, their pedagogical beliefs may also be present in their instruction, mediating the relationship between knowledge (planning) and action (writing instruction). Framed by Sociocultural Theory (SCT), the purpose of this qualitative, multi-site, multi-case case study was first to understand teachers’ expectations for teaching writing based on their beliefs about learning. A secondary intent was to examine ways in which high school English teachers’ learning expectations are embodied in their classroom praxis for writing. A third intent sought to illustrate the impact of external pressures on teachers’ writing praxis.

Through multiple sources of data, and analytic techniques, the perspectives of six teachers from three high schools in the Southwest United States were illustrated in individual case reports and interpreted from cross-case analysis. Using a combination of discourse and event mappings, Burke’s Pentad, situated meaning, and domain and taxonomic analyses data were triangulated resulting in a model of English teachers’ writing praxis based on their learning beliefs. Findings suggest that teachers’ writing praxis was grounded in a transmittal paradigmatic pedagogical perspective, resulting in a focus on function and form of writing rather than teaching for relevance and meaning. External pressures of professional and content standards, lack of adequate preparation, and push to graduate students have added to English teacher frustration and reliance on traditional teaching methods.


Sociocultural Theory; Teacher Beliefs; Writing Praxis


Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Linguistics | Sociology | Teacher Education and Professional Development

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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