Using Mentor Texts to Develop Disciplinary Literacy of Scholarly Practitioners Through Dissertations in Practice
Keywords:scholarly practitioners, mentor texts, dissertation in practice, disciplinary literacy, scaffolding
In this essay, we described how we use mentor texts (MTs) to foster students’ disciplinary literacy—reading, writing, thinking, and performing abilities in an area related to their problem of practice. We did this by carefully creating scaffolded learning experiences affording them with multiple, situated learning opportunities over time that allow students to move to central roles as scholarly practitioners where they now contribute in meaningful ways to disciplinary-based literacy. In this process, students were transformed from being readers of MTs where they were consuming the MTs for content to being producers, writers, of MTs that influenced others. This transformation was couched in Wenger’s Community of Practice framework. We provided a detailed presentation of how we implement the MT process throughout the EdD program. We discussed challenges and next steps and concluded with questions readers might consider as they contemplate whether using MTs might be beneficial to students in their programs.
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