“Just as the nature of and expectation for literacy has changed in the past century and a half, so has the nature of writing. Much of that change has been due to technological developments, from pen and paper, to typewriter, to word processor, to networked computer, to design software capable of composing words, images, and sounds. These developments not only expanded the types of texts that writers produce, they also expanded immediate access to a wider variety of readers. With full recognition that writing is an increasingly multifaceted activity, we offer several principles that should guide effective teaching practice.”
The above was written as the introduction to the NCTE Beliefs about the Teaching of Writing. These beliefs were written by the Writing Study Group of the NCTE Executive Committee and adopted in November 2004 at the NCTE Annual Convention. This position statement pinpoints 11 key issues in the effective teaching of writing:
- Everyone has the capacity to write, writing can be taught, and teachers can help students become better writers.
- People learn to write by writing.
- Writing is a process.
- Writing is a tool for thinking.
- Writing grows out of many different purposes.
- Conventions of finished and edited texts are important to readers and therefore to writers.
- Writing and reading are related.
- Writing has a complex relationship to talk.
- Literate practices are embedded in complicated social relationships.
- Composing occurs in different modalities and technologies.
- Assessment of writing involves complex, informed, human judgment.
Over the next few weeks, we will dig deeper to share concrete illustrations of effective classroom practices based on the NCTE Beliefs about the Teaching of Writing.