DrawBridge: My Dissertation

I earned a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2017.  You can find my dissertation here. For additional publication and presentation information, view my CV.

Visualization as a multi-modal process is widely explored in curriculum studies. I examined a facet of how people learn to participate in visualization practices that remains under-studied in preschool and post-secondary settings: moment-to-moment agency while in unfamiliar socio-cultural realms. I conducted a thirteen-month ethnography of a research university’s Image Lab (IL) and studied how people critically appropriated ways of seeing and making images so as to manipulate perceived subject positions and become agents in the IL’s visualization practices. My fieldwork focused on DrawBridge, a graduate course hosted by the IL and instructed by the lab’s director. For two semesters, graduate students split their time between the IL and a preschool classroom in one of three university early childhood centers to explore shared inquiry through pre-planned, improvised, and spontaneous drawing and storytelling activities.

I broadly examined the question: How do graduate students, preschoolers, the instructor and I become agents in DrawBridge’s visualization practices? My ethnographic methods featured comics making processes to generate, analyze, and represent data. Comics making is a way to navigate in-print constraints of sharing work with academic audiences.

Excerpts from my dissertation:

Figured Worlds Theoretical Framing

Findings 3- DrawBridge Student Profile