Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name




First Advisor

Gwendolen Gorzelsky


This dissertation describes and analyzes the work of a semester-long teacher research study of inquiry-based and reflective teaching and learning strategies and their impact on students' preparation for future learning. I explore relevant scholarship on knowledge transfer, classroom ecologies, and student agency to set the stage for a discussion of several pedagogical strategies implemented to support students' development of inquiry and responsible rhetorical agency. Data analysis highlights three major arguments: first, that alternative pedagogical approaches like an inquiry approach take careful classroom construction and explicit teacher feedback, though it may seem counterintuitive to the politics behind these progressive approaches, which often de-center teacher authority and privilege student choice; second, that revisions to the first-year composition curriculum at Urban University can better support students' development of rhetorical identities and responsible agency; and third, that attention to the physical spaces of the classroom is integral to both our studies of transfer and our work with students on the development of rhetorical awareness.

Included in

Rhetoric Commons