National Writing Project

Teacher Demonstrations

Teacher demonstrations are a distinctive feature of each site's summer invitational institute. Teacher demonstrations honor teachers' expertise by putting their knowledge of practice on equal footing with research and professional literature. Demonstrations are designed to share the knowledge that comes from practice, inquire about the relationship between theory and practice, and stimulate a professional conversation about the teaching of writing.

Sites take special care in supporting teachers as they select an appropriate and challenging demonstration topic, coaching them as they craft their demonstration, and, after they give it, debriefing their success. Teacher demonstrations are central to the writing project model because they lay the groundwork for expertise in inservice and continuity programming.

See the resources below for a variety of ways that sites conceive of the teacher demonstration and for examples of how sites prepare teachers for demonstrations.

Enabling Communities and Collaborative Response to Teacher Demonstrations

Demonstrations are a mainstay of summer institutes, but Janet Swenson and Diana Mitchell noticed that responses to demonstrations lacked the energy and thoughtfulness that characterized other activities in the summer institute. More ›

Digging Deeper: Teacher Inquiry in the Summer Institute Demonstration

Art Peterson explores writing project summer institute teacher demonstrations as a form of teacher inquiry. The article focuses on the Northern California Writing Project's inquiry-based demonstrations and the Red Cedar Writing Project's group response strategies. More ›

Toward a Scholarship of Teaching Practice: Contributions from NWP Teacher Inquiry Workshops

Describing in detail a presentation on mock trials, Patricia Lambert Stock shows that teacher workshops not only have the customary elements of research published in professional journals but have four additional characteristics that make them a uniquely valuable genre of research in education. More ›

Coaching and the Summer Invitational Institute

The director of the Redwood Writing Project shares some tips and insights about the role of coaching in helping prepare teachers for their summer institute demonstrations. More ›

James Gray on Coaching: An Excerpt from Teachers at the Center

In this excerpt from Teachers at the Center, NWP founder James Gray shares some of the history and early insights behind developing the practice of coaching teachers before their demonstration at the invitational summer institute. More ›

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