T&T student Landon Berry successfully defended his dissertation on March 30, 2018.

Landon’s dissertation title is Learning Spaces are WAC: Investigating How Classroom Space Design Influences Student Disciplinary Identities

This dissertation used classroom observations, movement mapping, instructor interviews, and student focus groups to examine the ways in which both instructors and students navigated the classroom spaces they were assigned in upper-level, discipline-specific courses. By focusing on three diverse disciplines (Writing and Rhetoric, Education, and Chemistry), this dissertation makes arguments about how the design of classroom spaces (as well as the tools that are housed therein) support, facilitate, and detract from a student’s ability to develop a disciplinary identity, which is defined here as the social and linguistic construction of a practitioner of a discipline that is shaped by the language, positions, and peer acknowledgement negotiated by that discipline. Moreover, this dissertation also makes arguments about how tools that are common across many disciplines (desktops, chairs, etc.) support or detract from student engagement. Ultimately, this dissertation argues that teachers across disciplines can be mindful of the spaces they are assigned (even if those spaces were perhaps not designed with disciplinary goals in mind) in an effort to help students begin to think of those spaces as extensions of their discipline so they can better imagine themselves as future professionals in those spaces.

Outline of Studies:

Major: Texts & Technology

Educational Career:

B.A., 2010, Centre College

M.A., 2012, Eastern Kentucky University

Committee in Charge:

Dr. Pavel Zemliansky

Dr. Melody Bowdon

Dr. Stacey Pigg

Dr. Stephanie Vie

Congratulations, Landon!