Date of Award

2017

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Master of Science in Rhetoric, Theory and Culture (MS)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Humanities

Advisor 1

M. Ann Brady

Committee Member 1

Robert R. Johnson

Committee Member 2

Marika Seigel

Committee Member 3

Kedmon Hungwe

Abstract

This research sought to examine how writing was happening in high schools. States across the country, including Michigan, began implementing the Common Core State Standards in 2010. The standards place a heavy focus on informational texts particularly as a student reaches high school. The standards also suggest that writing should be a shared responsibility among teachers, acknowledging the importance of cross-disciplinary writing skills. Using a grounded theory approach to analyze the semi-structured interviews conducted with eight English teachers in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, this research revealed a disconnect between theory and practice when it comes to how educational standards related to writing were - or were not- being implemented in the classroom. This does not suggest fault on the part of teachers; on the contrary, it suggests a problematic division between how administrative powers conceive standards (in theory) and the support given to actually implement these standards in the classroom (in practice). While solutions to these tensions require systemic change to take place in education, this dissertation uses the concept of technê to illustrate the importance of theory and practice working together, as well as giving us insight into the implications that such divisions create.