Date Approved


Date Posted


Degree Type

Campus Only Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department or School

Teacher Education

Committee Member

Robert Carpenter, PhD, Chair

Committee Member

Ann Blakeslee, PhD

Committee Member

Christopher Robbins, PhD

Committee Member

Andrea Zakrajsek, OTD


The purpose of this research is to understand how secondary English language arts (ELA) teachers’ identities as writers and teachers of writing are shaped by their own writing and teaching experiences, as well as their backgrounds and educational experiences, especially in their teacher preparation programs, and how these identities shape their pedagogical beliefs. This research helps fill the knowledge gap about how ELA teachers make meaning of themselves as writers and as teachers of writing in the development of their writing identity. The research explores how secondary ELA teachers experience themselves as writers and teachers of writing, as well as the ways those identities intersect. This study uses a sociocultural linguistics theoretical framework recognizing the socially constructed nature of reality that takes the perspective that identity is contextualized, socially constructed, and dynamic. The review of literature focuses on teacher development, identity and self-efficacy, and writing pedagogy to inform this study’s overall purpose and specific research questions. This dissertation research study uses the qualitative approach of interpretative phenomenological analysis, which allows for an in-depth exploration of particular teachers’ lived experiences with the phenomena of writing identity and writing teacher identity in their particular contexts. The thematic findings that emerged from the data include the training, relational, and affective components of identity; the intersection of the relational and affective components; and the impact of the training, affective, and relational components on the participants’ pedagogies. The findings are considered in the context of literature on identity and the riskiness of writing, education reform and narrowing conceptions of writing, and teachers as models for adolescent writers and suggest implications for changes to teacher education programs and ensuring there is ongoing professional writing support for practicing teachers.