Historically, the actions of classroom teachers have had a massive impact on the implementation of top-down reform efforts. However, a pedagogically-friendly construct for considering this impact has been lacking in studies of teacher practice. In this article, I draw on Deborah Brandt’s concept of sponsors of literacy to build a construct for thinking about teacher actions with, against, and through the social and historical forces that work their way into the classroom: sponsorshaping. Through a grounded theory analysis of six different types of documents used in an Advanced English 11 writing classroom, I show how sponsors of literacy were “shaped” with and against each other through the authorial decisions of the teacher. Drawing on these results, I suggest ways in which sponsorshaping can be used actively by teachers and teacher educators to more carefully orchestrate demands that various sponsors of literacy have toward their own ends.

Author Biography

Ryan Dippre is a 4th-year Ph.D. Candidate in Education at University of California, Santa Barbara. He has an emphasis in Literacy, Language, and Composition Studies with an interdisciplinary emphasis in Writing Studies.