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When Teachers Read: How the Writing Project Made Me a Lifelong Learner

By: Liz Harrington
Date: January 27, 2010

Summary: Liz Harrington, a fellow of the UC Irvine Writing Project, describes how she brought Nicenet into her classroom, providing students with a tool to engage in a "threaded discussion."

 

Excerpt

Threaded discussion bears a strong resemblance to Socratic seminar. In both cases, the teacher acts as facilitator by posing an opening question, and then stepping back to allow the discussion to flow from student to student. However, I have found that, even in the most engaging Socratic seminars, there are students who are too shy or insecure to speak up in front of their classmates. By contrast, everyone participated in this threaded discussion and each response was acknowledged by other participants. Many students, I surmise, benefited from the opportunity to consider their responses and to put them in writing, rather than being expected to speak 'off-the-cuff.'"

Copyright © 2009 California English. Reprinted with permission.
Harrington, Liz. 2009. "When Teachers Read: How the Writing Project Made Me a Lifelong Learner." California English 15 (2): 13–15.

Read more California English articles on the California Writing Project.

About the Author
Liz Harrington, a fellow of the Writing Project at the University of California, Irvine, teaches seventh and eight grade Language Arts at Jefferson Middle School in San Gabriel, California.

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