National Writing Project

Creativity Is Not the Enemy of Good Writing

Publication: The Atlantic
Date: October 3, 2012

Summary: Bob Fecho and Stephanie Jones, co-directors of the Red Clay Writing Project, offer their inquiry- and research-focused analysis of New Dorp High School's recent successes in this response to Peg Tyre's "The Writing Revolution" article.


Excerpt from Article

Learning about both the strengths and struggles of students can help teachers rethink their instruction. By viewing their students as capable learners, it seems New Dorp teachers innovated methods that — with concerted, consistent, and compassionate support — led the students to conceive of themselves as writers, particularly of academic prose. The fact that this initiative was taken on as a school-wide effort impressed upon the students and the teachers that what they were doing was important for learning. . . .

If anything should be replicated from the experience of teachers, administrators, and students at New Dorp High School, it's the process they used for inquiring into the needs of their students and the cohesive and comprehensive plan they developed for addressing those needs. It is in that complexity, not the misguided adoption of programs from school-to-school, that new and insightful revelations are born.

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"Creativity Is Not the Enemy of Good Writing" in The Atlantic

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