Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2011

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Karen Tracy

Second Advisor

Robert T. Craig

Third Advisor

Stanley Deetz


This doctoral dissertation presents discourse analysis of a semester-length program of faculty development at a large western university, seeing this particular educational setting as especially fertile for the identification and analysis of defining elements, processes, and characteristics as regards the study's focal interest: dialogue in teaching and learning. The study brings, to pedagogical understandings of the much idealized term dialogue, the sensitivities particular to communication-theory understandings of dialogue, largely those of engaging not just student voices, but difference therein, such that understandings and practices of educational dialogue become energized to not simply feature an interactive quality, but to further serve the ideals of bringing together disparate worldviews and ideas in an expressly productive dialogue, one rooted in ideals of social construction, wherein knowledge and identity, both, are constructed in communication, not conveyed through communication. The study, owing to the perspective of communication as practice, identifies and explores prevailing and "pervasive" dilemmas in the practice of dialogue in faculty training, as it also presents and tests the existing, if exploratory, three-stage model of the "pragmatics of dialogue" by Craig and Zizzi (2007). Key findings include, at the situational level, the utility of orienting faculty training in terms of technological training and, at the interactional level, the utility of conceiving educational dialogue not as a rare moment, but as a continuous process featuring identifiable highs and lows that may be nurtured into conceptual, relational, and practical productivity.

Included in

Communication Commons