National Writing Project

Reading and Research

Current research in the teaching of writing plays an important part in the life of a writing project site as it circulates through listserv discussions, study groups, continuity programs, and professional development sessions. A strong reading and research component in the summer institute provides summer fellows both an opportunity to pursue questions in their own practice and a theoretical foundation for their professional development work.

Participants explore current issues and developments in the fields of literacy, composition and rhetoric, and school reform in order to participate actively in those academic communities. Additionally, the knowledge they gain from this exploration supports their growth as reflective practitioners and advances the development of teacher leadership.

These resources provide information about the purposes of reading in the invitational institute and include reading lists from selected sites.

Reading in the Summer Institute

Featured Resources
Changing the Face of Leadership: Redesigning the Summer Institute to Invite Diversity

The Greater Kansas City Writing Project realized that its leadership and activities didn't reflect its service area, so it made difficult but valuable changes to its summer institute with the support of Project Outreach 3. More ›

Project Outreach at the Connecticut Writing Project-Fairfield: Change the Readings, Change the Site

Connecticut Writing Project-Fairfield asked itself whether its philosophy and methods made clear, practical sense to teachers of urban students in its service area. In response to the question, the site changed its summer institute readings to explicitly introduce topics of race, culture, and language. More ›

Resources for Selecting Readings and Research for the Summer Institute

This resource outlines some of the criteria for selecting summer institute readings and describes bibliographies that include readings that address the social issues affecting a local site's communities. More ›

Reading in the Summer Institute: How, Why, and What

Nick Coles and Richard Louth, seasoned writing project directors, not only share what was read in their sites' institutes, but also discuss why and how they read in the summer institute. More ›

More Thoughts on Reading in the Summer Institute

Lucy Ware reflects on how summer institute organizers at the Western Pennsylvania Writing Project learned to better integrate reading into their institute model by letting participants choose their reading topics and providing a clear purpose for the reading. More ›

Sample Reading Lists

Northern California Writing Project: Summer Institute Sample Readings

The readings in the Northern California Writing Project's Summer Institute reflect the connections between writing instruction and culture and class issues in the site's service area. The readings are used to support teachers' inquiry into their practice, raise issues for the institute to discuss, and provide models for the teachers' own writing. More ›

Oklahoma State University Writing Project: Bibliography of Pre-Institute Articles

Each year summer institute codirectors at the Oklahoma State University Writing Project assemble a selected reading list of articles they find useful in their own learning. The list is passed out during a pre-institute meeting for summer institute participants. More ›

South Coast Writing Project: Summer Institute Readings

A reading list of 44 articles collected by the South Coast Writing Project for its invitational summer institute participants. Articles are classified under topics such as "Introduction to Composition," "Composing Process," "Evaluation and Assessment," "Teachers as Researchers," and more. More ›


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