Date of Award

Spring 3-19-2021

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ed.D. Transformational Teaching and Learning

First Advisor

Dr. Mark Wolfmeyer

Second Advisor

Dr. Catherine McGeehan

Third Advisor

Dr. Amy Lynch-Biniek

Abstract

Utilizing the Foucauldian concepts of governmentality and technologies of the self, this qualitative action research study explored how power dynamics inherent in higher education can be recognized and resisted as first-year writing students journal on the transition to college (JTC). Conducted in a suburban community college in the Mid-Atlantic United States during the Spring 2020 semester, the study investigated how college is a feature of governmentality, how writing instructors’ actions interrupt or reinforce college as governmentality, and if journaling on the transition to college acts as a technology of the self, in light of the ways college governs. Journal prompts provided students opportunities to critically reflect on the institution of college and their experience entering this new space. Foucauldian concepts were not taught, but they informed the journal design. Black feminist theory supplemented the Foucauldian theoretical framework to address factors of students’ intersectional social identities emergent in JTC and relative to their experiences with power in college. Findings indicated students confront institutional power structures including economic power, grades, policies, and institutional White supremacy, all of which affect professors’ role as authority figures. Underrepresented students experience power much differently than those belonging to dominant groups and JTC provides instructors with insight to interrupt oppressive power through feedback. Writing instructors’ implementation of JTC allows them to disrupt governmentality and provides students a technology of the self through which they develop agency. Though disruptive, COVID-19 provided unexpected opportunities to apply Foucauldian concepts to teaching and learning during emergency remote instruction.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Share

COinS
 
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.