Using Mentor Texts to Develop Disciplinary Literacy of Scholarly Practitioners Through Dissertations in Practice




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.

Author Biographies

Amy Markos, Arizona State University

Amy Markos is a Clinical Assistant Professor who specializes in enacting pedagogies and crafting policies aimed at preparing educators with the skills, knowledge, and dispositions necessary for educating linguistically and culturally diverse learners. She has taught in university settings for 18 years. In addition to teaching and mentoring university faculty members, she designs and leads professional development with educators and administrators internationally. As a practitioner-researcher, her scholarship and teaching aim to advance programs, courses, and learning experiences that support diverse learners in a variety of educational contexts. Her research interests include understanding educators' dispositions and beliefs about diverse learners; the use of critical reflection in educator learning; and program evaluation and assessment. She also directs a Leader Scholar Community of EdD students who are working on their DiPs. She has numerous refereed articles and her work also extends to policy briefs, white papers, and educator resources.

Ray R. Buss, Arizona State University

Ray Buss is professor of Educational Psychology and Educational Research in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University. He teaches research and methodology courses and supervises doctoral students in the college's highly recognized EdD program in the Division of Educational Leadership and Innovation. Professor Buss conducts research that focuses on doctoral students' development of identities as educational leaders and educational researchers; examines instructional issues and outcomes in the doctoral program including graduates' use of inquiry skills; and explores infusion of technology into the college's teacher preparation courses and its effects on technology integration by teacher candidates as they work toward conducting instruction in their classrooms. 


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How to Cite

Markos, A., & Buss, R. R. (2022). Using Mentor Texts to Develop Disciplinary Literacy of Scholarly Practitioners Through Dissertations in Practice. Impacting Education: Journal on Transforming Professional Practice, 7(1), 9–15.