Monday, July 23, 2007

National Writing Project Report

In a recent article in the June/July issue of Reading Today, Matt Freeman provides a brief history of the National Writing Project (NWP) as well input from Richard Sterling, the current executive director.
Here are some points which emphasize some of the same principles I have applied in Teaching the Story:

  • College professors and employers continually ask that young people get better training in writing.
  • Nothing, according to Sterling, helps you organize your thinking as well as writing. Done well, it forces you to state things in a way that is coherent, cogent, and clear.
  • Three important principles underlie reform in teaching writing:
  1. Teachers of writing should write themselves.
  2. Use a broad range of techniques.
  3. Encourage students to write a lot.
  • The NWP approach emphasizes sharing one's work, keeping in mind its purpose and audience…This requires careful management—teens can be less than tactful about each other's work—but handled well they can create powerful critique groups.

Taken from: "National Writing Project's time-tested approach evolves and adapts to a new millennium," Reading Today, p. 41, International Reading Association, June/July 2007.

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