"Brewer’s book refreshingly explores writing pedagogy—and the voices of those teaching it—in meaningful and personal ways that will engage readers from start to finish"
—Community Literacy Journal
"The strength of her book lies in weaving New Literacy Studies and WPE scholarship together to better understand all teachers in writing programs and how the decisions we make are grounded in assumptions about writing and learning."
Addressing the often fraught and truncated nature of educating new writing instructors, Conceptions of Literacy proposes a theoretical framework for examining new graduate student instructors’ preexisting attitudes and beliefs about literacy. Based on an empirical study author Meaghan Brewer conducted with graduate students teaching first-year composition for the first time, Conceptions of Literacy draws on narratives, interviews, and classroom observations to describe the conceptions of literacy they have already unknowingly established and how these conceptions impact the way they teach in their own classrooms.
Brewer argues that conceptions of literacy undergird the work of writing instructors and that many of the anxieties around composition studies’ disciplinary status are related to the differences perceived between the field’s conceptions of literacy and those of the graduate instructors and adjuncts who teach the majority of composition courses. Conceptions of Literacy makes practical recommendations for how new graduate instructors can begin to perceive and interrogate their conceptions of literacy, which, while influential, are often too personal to recognize.
This book will be of interest to writing program administrators and graduate students enrolled in teaching methods courses, as well as scholars interested in graduate teacher education, literacy, and disciplinarity.