Conceptions of Literacy
210 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
Release Date:01 May 2020

Conceptions of Literacy

Graduate Instructors and the Teaching of First-Year Composition

Utah State University Press
Addressing the often fraught and truncated nature of educating new writing instructors, Conceptions of Literacy proposes a theoretical framework for examining new graduate student instructors’ preexisting attitudes and beliefs about literacy. Based on an empirical study author Meaghan Brewer conducted with graduate students teaching first-year composition for the first time, Conceptions of Literacy draws on narratives, interviews, and classroom observations to describe the conceptions of literacy they have already unknowingly established and how these conceptions impact the way they teach in their own classrooms.
Brewer argues that conceptions of literacy undergird the work of writing instructors and that many of the anxieties around composition studies’ disciplinary status are related to the differences perceived between the field’s conceptions of literacy and those of the graduate instructors and adjuncts who teach the majority of composition courses. Conceptions of Literacy makes practical recommendations for how new graduate instructors can begin to perceive and interrogate their conceptions of literacy, which, while influential, are often too personal to recognize.

'Brewer’s book refreshingly explores writing pedagogy—and the voices of those teaching it—in meaningful and personal ways that will engage readers from start to finish'
Community Literacy Journal
'The strength of her book lies in weaving New Literacy Studies and WPE scholarship together to better understand all teachers in writing programs and how the decisions we make are grounded in assumptions about writing and learning.'
Composition Forum
Meaghan Brewer is assistant professor at Pace University, where she directs the writing across the curriculum program and teaches courses in composition, rhetoric, and literacy. Her research includes teacher education for graduate students, literacy, disciplinarity, and women’s science education. She has published articles in Peitho, Composition Studies, Composition Forum, Applied Linguistics Review, and the Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy.
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