Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction (PhD)

Degree Level



Curriculum and Instruction


Vicki S. Collet

Committee Member

Jason L. Endacott

Second Committee Member

David Jolliffe

Third Committee Member

Christian Z. Goering


secondary education, sociocultural theory, writing instruction, writing pedagogy


The purpose of this dissertation was to investigate the lived experiences and essences of secondary high school students and participating teachers in a three-week summer journalism camp sponsored by the National Writing Project and funded by the MacArthur T. Foundation. This study employs Moustakas' (1994) modification of the van Kaam method for phenomenological data analysis in order to reveal the intersection of writing process pedagogy and prolepsis, a writing framework I developed. Data sources included pre-and-post writing samples, semi-structured interviews, field notes and student writing artifacts which were collected between May 27, 2019 and June 14, 2019. Data were analyzed in order to examine how students’ attitudes and beliefs about writing and their own writer identity shifted and changed throughout the camp as they experienced the learning activities crafted for them.

Analysis resulted in the identification of three essential themes: (1) curating a supportive learning environment through purposeful pedagogy is crucial for helping to shape students’ beliefs about writing; this happens through co-construction of knowledge and experiencing a sociocultural space; (2) reflection is vital for learning; and (3) prolepsis can be an effective mediational tool for developing student writers because it fosters a writing process pedagogy that gives student agency and choice. These results provide supporting evidence for the argument that writing instruction is inherently sociocultural, in that a co-construction of knowledge between teachers and students, a focus on fostering and sustaining a community of practice and a curation of learning activities to develop students’ writing skills are the necessary mediative tools for instruction.