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"In the English Department at Chapman, all graduate students are eligible to apply for positions as GTAs after they have completed a graduate seminar in teaching composition. Those who are offered and accept GTA positions take a second graduate seminar, composition pedagogy and research practicum, simultaneously with their first semester of teaching. In order to encourage GTAs to develop identities as teacher-scholars, GTAs develop IRB-approved action research projects (Buyserie; Hawkes; Hudson et al.; Souleles) as their major work in this second seminar. These action research projects allow GTAs to research a question they have about the teaching of composition, using their own students as the sources of their data. Thus, they are learning how (their own) teacher-knowledge can be a source of expertise in the fields of pedagogy and composition, and the action research project becomes a central component of and bridge between their teaching (their identities as teachers, since they initiate, shape, and undertake the research as the instructor of their first-year composition class) and their scholarship (their identities as students, since they are learning how to undertake an action research project and are completing it as a graduate student assignment). Many GTAs have gone on to use their action research projects as the basis for MA theses and conference papers."

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The WAC Clearinghouse and University Press of Colorado


Fort Collins and Denver, CO


Educational Methods | English Language and Literature | Higher Education | Rhetoric


In William J. Macauley, Jr., Leslie R. Anglesey, Brady Edwards, Kathryn M. Lambrecht, and Phillip K. Lovas (Eds.), Threshold Conscripts: Rhetoric and Composition Teaching Assistantships.


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Program Profile 8: Chapman University: Bridging the Gap with Action Research