Myspedagogy: Applications of Mystherory in Secondary English and Language Arts Education and Teacher Education

Open Access
Fallon, Lochran Christopher
Graduate Program:
Curriculum and Instruction
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
January 08, 2018
Committee Members:
  • Angiline Louisa Whitney, Dissertation Advisor
  • Rose Mary Zbiek, Committee Chair
  • Gail Louise Boldt, Committee Member
  • Jamie Myers, Committee Member
  • Charles Richard Garoian, Outside Member
  • Mari Haneda, Committee Member
  • Teacher Education
  • Secondary Education
  • English Language Arts
  • Mystheory
  • Coherence
  • Inversion
  • Mys-
  • Semi-Actuality
  • Poststructuralism
  • Secondary English Education
  • Language Arts
  • English
  • Language Arts Education
  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • Education Philosophy
  • Education Theory
  • Myspedagogy
Within the past two decades, federal and state governments have increased the frequency, number, and importance of standardized tests in elementary and secondary American schools. These tests are characterized by recognition-based frameworks that privilege “best” or “correct” answers, processes, and understandings which remain beyond questioning and challenge to the exclusion of all others. The Common Core standards, such as those which value a single, specific narrative writing structure, or an analysis that exclusively values and privileges authorial intent (Pennsylvania Department of Education, 2014, CC.1.4.11-12.P, CC.1.3.11-12.D) also appear to endorse these frameworks. The same may be said for pedagogical approaches that value only a single writing process, analysis or interpretation of a text, or one standard form of grammar and composition, as well as schools that force their teachers to teach in a single “best” way, with inflexible mandates on which concepts are to be covered and when. Given the apparent dominance of recognition-based frameworks throughout our schools, I offer myspedagogy as an alternative approach to teaching, learning, and thinking in our classrooms. Myspedagogy is the application of an original theoretical framework I call “mystheory” to educational and pedagogical practices and contexts. Inspired and informed by scholarly perspectives and work from post-identity theories, poststructuralism, posthumanism, quantum mechanics, chaos theory, performance theory, among others, mystheory infuses our recognitions and beings with mys-, an onto-epistemological concept that embodies mystery and uncertainty. By informing and infusing our pedagogy with mys- and three other mystheoretical concepts—semi-actuality, coherence, and inversion—we may promote questioning, vulnerability, conversation, consideration, and freedom in our classrooms. This dissertation explores these mystheoretical concepts and their myspedagogical applications in their classroom through a postmodern, ethnographically-informed, qualitative inquiry across three sites: a secondary English classroom, a professional development schools program, and an undergraduate classroom. Chapter 1 introduces mystheory and its concepts. Chapter 2 focuses on my research methodology, sites, data, and participants. Chapters 3 and 4 explore myspedagogical approaches in the classroom. Chapter 5 critically addresses standardized testing from a mystheoretical perspective. Chapter 6 offers further possibilities for mystheoretically-informed approaches and research in education.