National Writing Project

Helping English Teachers Thrive and Lead

By: Lorna Collier
Publication: The Council Chronicle
Date: March 2010

Summary: This profile of the practice of Bruce Penniman, former co-director of the Western Massachusetts Writing Project, focuses on Penniman's ideas regarding planning, assessment, flexibility, curricula, technology, "paper load," and professional development.


Excerpt from Article

Penniman says that teachers need to learn, as he did, to see the big picture before filling in the details, to go from "macro to micro," rather than attempt the reverse.

"I often liken planning to doing a jigsaw puzzle," says Penniman. "The first thing you do is spread all the pieces out on the table and figure out what goes with what, then you look for the borders and try to outline it, and then you start working on the details."

Copyright © 2010 by the National Council of Teachers of English. Posted with permission.
Collier, Lorna. 2010, March. "Helping English Teachers Thrive and Lead." The Council Chronicle 19 (3): 11-13.

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