Place based education; service learning; standpoint theory; writing instruction; curriculum design
Drawing on literature about place-based education and service-learning, as well as three groups* perspectives about their service-learning experiences, this research describes how place (understood simultaneously as a material agent, a setting for human activity, and a factor in an individual*s situatedness) and identity (understood in terms of one*s social position) are socially- constructed concepts that impact students* writing and learning experiences. More specifically, this project presents place-based education as a teaching method that can focus and reinvigorate service-learning in a writing course. Including place-based content and service-learning projects in a writing course requires careful design and reflection. However, course design should not be an activity limited to just teachers. In alignment with feminist research methods and standpoint theory, this research values and privileges the perspectives of stakeholders who are not normally included in the course design process: students and community partners. To present a rich account of these stakeholders* experiences designing, implementing, and participating in a place-based service- learning project, a combination of qualitative data methods (interviews, classroom observations, and textual analyses) is used. This information serves as the basis for the design of a place-based writing course with a local service-learning component. The proposed course asks students to work with community partners to identify a place-based need that can be addressed—at least in part—by writing-related service. By collaborating with community partners, creating writing products that address community needs, and reflecting on how their identities and learning experiences have been impacted by the places they*ve worked and the communities they*ve worked with, students can apply their knowledge in meaningful contexts, write for real audiences, and develop more thorough understandings of the places where they study, work, and live.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Writing and Rhetoric
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Arts and Humanities -- Dissertations, Academic; Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Humanities
Pompos, Melissa, "Investigating Place in the Writing Classroom: Designing a Place-Based Course with a Local Service-Learning Component" (2015). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 709.