Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction (PhD)

Degree Level



Curriculum and Instruction


Christian Z. Goering

Committee Member

Heather Young

Second Committee Member

Michael Daugherty


Language Arts, Multimodal Composition, Multimodal Literacy, STEM, Teacher Education, Writing, Writing Attitudes, Writing Instruction


Numerous studies have touted the importance of teacher self-efficacy on the motivation and achievement of their students (Ashton & Webb, 1986; Bandura, 1994 & 2002; Mojavezi & Tamiz, 2012). When teachers have high levels of self-efficacy (the level at which teachers believe they can affect student outcomes), their students achieve at higher levels and develop increased levels of motivation. By extension, we posit that if teachers have increased self-efficacy regarding their own writing abilities, it will translate into increased motivation and achievement levels for their students in the area of writing. The purpose of this three-article dissertation is to support effective writing pedagogy in elementary teacher education programs, by examining 1) changes in preservice elementary teachers’ attitudes toward writing resulting from their reflection upon connections between influential reading and writing; 2) effects of the intersection of influential multimodal compositions with writing on preservice elementary teachers’ attitudes about writing; and 3) the similarities and differences in the formation and implementation of both elementary STEM education and multimodal literacy instruction.

Findings from the first article, “How Influential Reading Intersects with Writing: Implications for Preservice Elementary Teachers’ Attitudes about Writing,” indicate the intersection of influential reading with writing appears to have a positive impact on writing attitudes of preservice elementary teachers. Findings from the second article, “Modes of Influence: The Intersection of Multimodal Compositions and Writing as it Affects Preservice Elementary Teachers’ Attitudes about Writing,” show the intersection of influential multimodal compositions with writing positively affect preservice elementary teachers’ attitudes about writing. In the third article, “Connections between STEM Education and Multimodal Literacy Instruction” we demonstrate that both STEM education and multimodal literacy instruction face similar challenges to consistent, effective implementation, and both programs lend themselves to interdisciplinary practice. Implications for teacher education from this dissertation include ways to strengthen writing pedagogy in teacher preparation programs by 1) offering multiple courses with an emphasis on writing and its intersections with influential reading; 2) developing curriculum to deepen preservice elementary teachers’ knowledge in best pedagogical practices for teaching multimodal composition; and 3) integrating multimodal literacy instruction fully throughout teaching methods coursework.