Super Teacher's Job is Never Done!

Super Teacher's Job is Never Done!
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Teaching is the profession that teaches all the other professions. ~ Author Unknown

My goal is to reveal one teacher's humble journey of self-reflection, critical analysis, and endless questioning about my craft of teaching and learning alongside my middle school students.

"The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called 'truth'." ~ Dan Rather

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Who killed writing instruction?

In a recent Education Week  commentary, teacher Paula Stacey argues that, thanks to increased attention from the education establishment, writing instruction in schools has become overly prescriptive and process-oriented. She cites the now habitual and unquestioned use of graphic organizers, brainstorming worksheets, idea-structuring exercises, fixed essay formats, and required "genres"--none of which seem to help students once they get to college and are asked to develop complex ideas in writing. "In our desire to help students engage in the process of writing," Stacey contends, "we have defined a process that really isn't writing." Her advice: "Let's get rid of the narrow models" and allow for "the messy process that is thinking."
What's your view? 

Has writing instruction become too prescriptive? Can less structured approaches be effective? What supports do students need? 

What works (or doesn't work) for you? I would love to hear your thoughts!!

1 comment:

  1. But how can college instructors even expect complex ideas in writing when they can't even get simple, straightforward, and complete sentences? Forget higher learning complex critical thinking...I have a hard enough time getting appropriate summaries of reading assignments. The students have a difficult time (1) finding information in the assigned reading (2) summarizing it and describing it correctly in written sentences. I would love to help them develop more complex ideas in writing, but so many college students can hardly do the bare minimum. It's frustrating, and I'm not sure how to deal with it.