English Ph.D. Dissertations


Teaching People, Not Writing: Civic Education & Critical Pedagogies in the Multimodal Writing Classroom

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


English (Rhetoric and Writing) PhD

First Advisor

Kristine Blair (Advisor)

Second Advisor

Sue Carter Wood (Committee Member)

Third Advisor

Donna Nelson-Beene (Committee Member)

Fourth Advisor

Steve Lab (Committee Member)


"Teaching People, Not Writing" proposes a perspective shift for the college writing classroom from a focus on teaching writing to teaching people to write. This shift facilitates improved post-college utility of writing, increased student personal investment, and an increase in the relevance of writing classroom curricula. As a theory into practice dissertation, teaching people, not writing draws upon three scholarly discussions for support: civic education, critical pedagogies, and multimodal composition/technology. Considering these discussions as well as the planning and delivery of two courses conducted at Bowling Green State University, this dissertation argues that by implementing a person focus over a writing focus, writing teachers can make college writing classrooms more active, participatory, and liberatory spaces that attend to the multi-disciplinary and multimodal writing needs of students.