Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Curriculum and Instruction

Document Type



This study looks at a student writing culture in a fifth grade English language arts classroom through the lens of Foucauldian power dynamics to examine the power relationships in the classroom and curriculum. The research questions were: 1) What is the nature of a writing culture in a fifth-grade writing classroom? 2) What are students’ perceptions of writing in a fifth grade ELA classroom? The methodology for the study was case study research.

The research took place during the 2017-2018 school year at Southeast Elementary School in Lancaster County in the southeastern part of the United States. Data was collected from my English language arts classroom and included: student writing, student journals, student interviews, student questionnaire, anecdotal notes, teacher lesson plans, intervention plans, reflective journals, grant memos, faculty meeting memos, testing memos and documents, planning notes, and meeting notes. Triangulation of data, coding, and member checking determined themes and answered the research questions. Findings included power dynamics within the writing curriculum, student resistance and challenges in writing, and dissonance in student perceptions of writing.



Committee Chair

Skinner, Kim