English Ph.D. Dissertations


Feminist and other Intertwining Pedagogies of Writing Instruction in The University of Findlay's Intensive English Language Program

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


English/Rhetoric and Writing

First Advisor

Sue Carter Wood (Committee Chair)

Second Advisor

Kristine Blair (Committee Member)

Third Advisor

Priscilla Coleman (Committee Member)

Fourth Advisor

Richard Gebhardt (Committee Member)


Feminist pedagogy is a rich and current teaching method in the field of composition and rhetoric. However, it is virtually unexplored in ESL writing pedagogy. Perhaps too engrained in applied linguistics, ESL teachers and researchers have been slow to embrace scholarship in other fields such as composition and feminist pedagogy. A pilot research study was designed to determine the extent to which English as a second language (ESL) instructors at The University of Findlay (UF) draw on feminist pedagogy or practices associated with the approach to decide how the pedagogy could best be implemented into ESL composition instruction. Classroom observations and instructor interviews were conducted to determine the extent to which instructors used feminist teaching practices in their writing courses. From the data collected, it was evident that ESL instructors would benefit from further training in other teaching practices in addition to feminist pedagogy. The findings from the study were used to create a teacher training for UF ESL writing instructors that will be conducted during the 2009-2010 academic year. From the data collection, it was clear that while some faculty unconsciously applied traits of feminist pedagogy in their teaching, they would benefit from training in other types of teaching methodologies. Three conclusions were made. 1) UF ESL writing instructors would benefit from additional training in student-centered pedagogy. 2) Instructors would benefit from additional training in composition pedagogy. 3) Instructors would benefit from a very basic training in feminist pedagogy.

Because instructors would benefit from a teacher training that focuses on teaching methodologies other than feminist pedagogy, the training will focus on how good teaching practices such as student-centered, composition, and feminist pedagogies intertwine. Thus, through the training sessions, instructors will discuss how good teaching practices are interconnected instead of viewing them in isolation. The in-services were designed for instructors to reflect not only on their current teaching practices but also to grow as educators where in which they apply student-centered, composition, and feminist pedagogies in order to best prepare ESL students for academic success in their undergraduate and graduate programs at UF.