National Writing Project

"Irreproachable Suggestions" in Framework for Success in Postsecondary Writing

Date: March 3, 2011

Summary: Washington Examiner columnist and seasoned teacher Erica Jacobs examines how Framework for Success in Postsecondary Writing will make a difference in the way students write in this series of articles.

 

Developed collaboratively with representatives from the Council of Writing Program Administrators, the National Council of Teachers of English, and the National Writing Project, Framework for Success in Postsecondary Writing describes the rhetorical and twenty-first-century skills that are critical for college success.

Excerpt from Part One

Just in time, the Council of Writing Program Administrators, the National Council of Teachers of English, and the National Writing Project have published a 'Framework for Success in Postsecondary Writing.' I will spend the next two columns looking at their recommendations, and the likelihood they will make a difference in the way our children write.

Their suggestions are irreproachable: students need to develop the habits of mind that lead to good writing: curiosity, openness, engagement, creativity, persistence, responsibility and flexibility. Their writing also needs to be reflective and analytical."

Read the Full Article

Read Why Can't College Students Write Well? Part I in Washington Examiner.

 

Excerpt from Part Two

Recognizing that most students don't write well is like recognizing that most of our nation is overweight: You can tackle the problem with corrective guidelines or a strict diet, respectively, but in both cases the "cure" will be temporary. Just as permanent weight loss is a matter of incorporating better eating habits into everyday life, making permanent changes in someone's ability to write and think requires changing habits of mind."

Read the Full Article

Read Why Can't College Students Write Well? Part II in Washington Examiner.

 

Excerpt from Part Three

When I participated in a Summer Institute sponsored by the National Writing Project, I was sure that all English teachers would change the way they ran their classrooms within a few years. I had visions of students who would understand that writing is a process and that grammar taught in isolation has almost no effect on the quality of a student's writing.

Decades later, there have been some changes in some schools, but most of the entering students in my Oakton High School and George Mason University classes still had memories of grammar lessons and parts-of-speech worksheets.

Why is it so hard for teachers to change the way they teach? The National Writing Project did everything right: Teachers recruited other teachers for short-term or long-term professional development, and they allowed the power of the writing process to convince recruits that what was fun and engaging in the workshops would work just as well in their own classrooms.

Some English teachers adopted change, yet even in Fairfax—one of the most active NWP counties—schools rarely had more than a few writing consultants (graduates of the Northern Virginia Writing Project) in their English departments. The word has been getting out, but change has been slow.

Read the Full Article

Read Why Can't College Students Write Well? Part III in Washington Examiner.

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