Towards a rhetoric of teaching : an investigation of teaching as performance in a middle-level Holocaust unit / by Mary M. Juzwik.
In describing and analyzing a “rhetoric of teaching” about the Holocaust, this dissertation develops a rhetorical approach to understanding the everyday, often taken-for-granted verbal arts of teaching. This multi-layered study of the rhetoric of teaching in a middle-level language arts unit about the Holocaust shows how one teacher “performed” knowing about the Holocaust in her classroom. Adapting a performance perspective, I understand performance as the socially situated, yet rhetorically constructed, emergence of ethos in aesthetically set apart teaching discourse. I employ sociolinguistic narrative methods in analyzing real-time discourse data from a six-week unit. Through this lens, teaching as performance is considered from a triadic perspective on language that attends to the function, the structure, and the reference of narratives in teaching. First, focusing on the function of narratives illuminates how one teacher agentively positioned herself and her students, through various and shifting roles, in narrative performances. Second, focusing on the structure of narratives reveals the pervasive parallelism that typifies the performances in this teacher's unit about the Holocaust. This analysis foregrounds the poetic and moral dimensions of this rhetoric of teaching. In the final analysis, I examine the content of narrative performances through examination of narratives as voices of collective remembering about the Holocaust.
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