Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Ashley J. Holmes

Second Advisor

Dr. Mary Hocks

Third Advisor

Dr. George Pullman


Critical pedagogy is a philosophy of education developed to challenge forms of social oppression through the acquisition of agency, what advocates argue traditional teaching methods fail to accomplish. It is because of this and because writing is considered by many to be a gateway to learning that critical pedagogy as a teaching methodology in composition studies is a logical alternative to traditional theories guiding composition pedagogy today. Critical pedagogy is meant to help students gain the tools needed to become active participants, influencers, and decision-makers in society. This paper argues for the need for critical composition pedagogy in present times as well as attempts to mold critical pedagogical theory into reliable praxis for first-year composition (FYC) instructors, while also meeting the goals of FYC as established by the Council of Writing Program Administrators (the WPA). The ultimate goal in providing a model for critical composition pedagogy is not to provide a different vision than that of other critical composition pedagogues, but an alternative.