Monday, March 1, 2010

Beliefs about writing

The following hyperlinked text comes from the website of the National Council of Teachers of English; specifically the text is from one of NCTE's belief statements, this one about writing.

What do these statements suggest about teaching and writing? How might we best share such resources with our colleagues?

To say that writing is a process is decidedly not to say that it should -- or can -- be turned into a formulaic set of steps. Experienced writers shift between different operations according to tasks and circumstances. Second, writers do not accumulate process skills and strategies once and for all. They develop and refine writing skills throughout their writing lives.

This insight that writing is a tool for thinking helps us to understand the process of drafting and revision as one of exploration and discovery, and is nothing like transcribing from pre-recorded tape. The writing process is not one of simply fixing up the mistakes in an early draft, but of finding more and more wrinkles and implications in what one is talking about.

Often, in school, students write only to prove that they did something they were asked to do, in order to get credit for it. Or, students are taught a single type of writing and are led to believe this type will suffice in all situations.

How might the above statements (as well as the NCTE belief statement about writing) change your writing instruction? Do share your thoughts here.