Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Studies ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 4-9-2018


Even as current critical research in the teaching of English calls for a widening of traditional secondary texts and curricula choices, the presence of certain district, local, and state policies continue to permeate classrooms in extensive and oppressive ways that have limited the literature, the instructional strategies, and the autonomy that teachers bring into educational spaces. This qualitative study examines the pedagogical choices of four secondary language arts teachers within the framework of both historical and critical perspectives on the teaching of literature and within the realities of a high-stakes, evaluative teaching environment. Utilizing participatory action research (PAR) and collaborative inquiry, this community-based research at a highly diverse, urban high school in the southwest examines the text selection of four practicing language arts teachers. It analyzes whether the pedagogical choices of these teachers align with the holistic goals of critical literacy or return to more historically traditional forms of literature instruction. Ultimately, this study seeks to add to scholarship within research and theory in the teaching of English by exploring how current secondary teachers choose and approach a variety of texts within a larger trajectory of shifting frameworks and methods for secondary literature instruction.


English Education, Text Selection, Canon Formation, Critical Perspectives, Literacy, History of Secondary Education

Document Type




Degree Name

Language, Literacy and Sociocultural Studies

Level of Degree


Department Name

Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Studies

First Committee Member (Chair)

Richard Meyer

Second Committee Member

Don Zancanella

Third Committee Member

Katherine Crawford-Garrett

Fourth Committee Member

Ashley K. Dallacqua

Fifth Committee Member

Mia Sosa-Provencio