Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Elizabeth A. Suter, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Roy Wood

Third Advisor

Mary Claire Morr-Serewicz


Applied communication, Correctional officers, Grounded theory, Learning how to teaching, Masculinity, Prison research


The purpose of this study was to discover the communicative messages within the Wild Horse Inmate Program. This dissertation developed the communicative theory of learning how to teach, a grounded theory based on the communicative messages of the Department of Corrections' officers and Bureau of Land Manager employees who work with inmates in a western state Wild Horse Inmate Program. I approached theorizing the communicative theory of learning how to teach from the applied communication perspective that communication is the enactment and application--symbolic and physical--of communication in daily life. The applied context was the Wild Horse Inmate Program where I interpreted the observed social processes revealed by the communicative messages. The conceptual categories and properties of the communicative theory of learning how to teach explained the process by which the Bureau of Land Management and Department of Corrections employees created the meaning of teaching as inmates learn. Utilizing Charmaz's (2006) grounded theory methods of data collection and analysis, interviews, ethnography and extant texts yielded patterns of behavior outside of the typical hypermasculine prison context. The communicative theory of learning how to teach consists of a running theoretical discussion merging six theoretical constructs: assessment (of self, others and situation); adaptation (to learning style of inmate/students); articulation (reframing the instructions and learning objective so the student understands and can act); reflexivity (establishing the work of trial and error); acknowledgement (providing feedback to student for what did and did and did not work) and the final construct which binds the others; duty (meeting the responsibilities of the job). The communicative theory of learning how to teach situates learning how to teach as a discreet and cohesive communicative act. The theory clarifies the complex communicative acts involved in learning how to teach and organizes, interprets and provides examples of how each construct supports those engaged in teaching. The communicative theory of learning how to teach suggests that the theory model and its' six constructs provide a universal pattern of the process of learning how to teach, a pattern that applies beyond the boundaries of a Wild Horse Inmate Project.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Kristine Larissa Reyes


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

191 p.