National Writing Project

Teaching Writing in an Assessment Era: Passion and Practice

Date: September 12, 2013

Summary: In this episode, we talk with directors and teacher-consultants from the San Jose Area Writing Project about their recently released book, Teaching Writing Grades 7-12 in an Era of Assessment: Passion and Practice. The authors discuss the book and their answers to two questions posed in the opening chapter: "Why might my students wish to engage in the performative activity of writing?" and "Why might they wish to engage in this practice with not just dogged persistence, but with genuine passion?"

 

Excerpt from Show

Brandy Jenson, English teacher at Crittenden Middle School in Mountain View, California and teacher-consultant for the San Jose Area Writing Project , on why the I-Search is so successful with her seventh graders:

The research that we do, because it's focused on the year that their parent was twelve or thirteen, really creates a meaningful connection between their lives and their parents' lives. They have a reason to research. When you have a reason to research, you have writers who are really willing to go above and beyond what they thought they could do, because they're just so darn interested in what they're researching."

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