The Re-invention of FYC Teacher Development: Listening to Teachers' Concerns Amidst an Increasingly Globalized University
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Only in recent years has there been acknowledgment of the anxiety experienced by First Year Composition TAs when their department-based pedagogical professional development does not address the needs of an increasingly diverse student population. This dissertation documents how a University First Year Writing Program (FYWP) responded to moments of professional and pedagogical uncertainty and frustration experienced by Teaching Assistants facing the sudden increase of multilingual students in their writing classes. To address these increasing anxieties the FYWP overhauled its teacher development program, providing resources that normalized the presence of multilingual students and, more specifically, developed and implemented a Statement on Supporting Multilingual Language Learners. This dissertation reports how these shifting student demographics created an incentive for the FYWP to revisit its approach to professional development and resulted in opportunities for cross-disciplinary collaboration within the department. Through narrative inquiry, this study analyzes two types of narratives that were collected over the course of two academic years: First, the narratives of Writing Program Administrators (WPAs) in order to provide an administrative perspective, second, the narratives of and novice Teaching Assistants (TAs) to investigate the range of perspectives expressed by these TAs on their updated orientation, the newly available departmental policies, and the range of new MLL-based resources.
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