In over twenty years of teaching elementary school I have heard a lot of discussions about teaching writing. When I was living in Texas the writing test was given to the students in the fourth grade and those teachers were expected to teach a curriculum which taught a formula style of writing. This made all the students’ writings very similar with little voice and creativity in their final product. Now the push is the Six Traits of Writing which is a very structured way of writing. There are six steps in the writing process that all the students are to follow and for some students it seems to be more of a challenge to follow each step without getting bored. As I look into the importance of education on society I cannot help but think that many theorist have influenced the development of our educational system. I reflect back to Maxine Greene’s contributions to education and her belief and theory that aesthetic education can have a profound effect on a child’s education. Maxine Greene’s philosophy was based in existentialism, which is the philosophical theory that individuals are able to determine their own development through acts of will, but she was influence greatly by John Dewey whose philosophy is based on pragmatism, which is the idea of change and your beliefs are affected by your environment. Their philosophical beliefs were different but she shared many of Dewey’s beliefs in education and she quotes him many times in her writings. Her book Releasing the
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In her article “I Stand Here Writing”, Nancy Sommers examines the writing process and formulating ideas for writing in a more empirical manner. She states that before she found her creative zeal/ niche her writing was often undisciplined, unmethodical, and sloppy. Sommers reveals that in college she was less known for her writing and more for her long hair and misapplication of phrases. She found her true inspiration while writing her Senior Thesis on Emerson’s “Eloquence.” Throughout the entire essay, Sommers provides the reader with advice about writing. A key point that she mentions is, “If I could teach my students about writing it would be to see themselves as sources, as places from which ideas originate, to see themselves as Emerson’s transparent eyeball, all that they have read and experienced-the-dictionaries of their lives circulating through them.”
It is essential to understand that classes taken in grade school do not give students a full understanding of each subject. With the topic of writing, there will always be a new lesson to learn, an aspect to improve, or a differing way to explain. Author Craig Vetter states in Bonehead Writing, “This is your enemy: a perfectly empty sheet of paper. Nothing will ever happen here except what you make happen.” Each story, essay, or response comes from a writer’s experiences. With each attempt at a new piece comes an underlying story of emotions the writer is facing. Each person’s writing is unique and the ideas people have are related to their past experiences and what they believe to be familiar with when deciding which writing style to use. As a high school student, I have learned many things about writing that helped me become the improved writer I am today, but the most essential advice I have received is practice makes perfect. Although there is no actual perfect way of writing, I have discovered that each essay I write, my writing improves. It is easier to spot mistakes, find areas to improve, and ponder elevated word choice to use.
Unteaching The Five- Paragraph essay by Marie Foley is a light hearted but argumentive piece focusing on the way most school aged children are taught to write. Foley's main point comes down to the very first words in the essay; “The five-paragraph formula confuses and alienates students and undermines our most basic goals as writing instructors." Foley believes that by teaching children to write in a formulated manner we are not letting them explore and learn through their own writing. We are instead giving them the freedom to discontinue the thought process once they feel that the essay they have produced meets the formula standards they have been kept to, and refuse to part with.
In the article “Best Practices in Teaching Writing”, Charles Whitaker outlines eight points on helping students succeed as writers. The first
From a young age, children in a first world country are expected to have the ability to read and write. But if you think about this, more than 100 million youths in the world are illiterate (UNESCO). Growing up in a place where pencils and papers are scarce, being able to read and write is a blessing, yet most kids in America just see it as something they’re forced to do in school. Although most children write just for educational purposes, I see writing as something much more. Writing truly allows for a greater emotional output than other types of communication and in my rhetorical self, it is an incredible way to express myself and my thoughts to others.
Cynthia Haven is the writer of an article called “The New Literacy: Stanford study finds richness and complexity in students' writing” that is a study based on the amount of writing college students do. She followed students at Stanford during their undergraduate years and the first year after that. She discovered that today’s students are writing more than any generation before it. Cynthia had the students she was studying submit all of the writing they did, academic or personal. She found that only 62 percent of the work submitted to her was for classes; the rest of the material was “Life writing”.
In the last three parts of this paper, I described how my own literacy history has affected my pedagogy as a future teacher. As I looked closer at the different theories of rhetoric, I believe that I fall between the expressivists/new romantics and the cognitivists, as I explained in part two. I believe that when writers are able to become comfortable forming their own opinions in their writing in a writer-centric environment, they will be more likely to succeed in doing so with writing that has an intended audience. I believe this line of thinking or pedagogical approach will work best for developing writers, as it focuses less on the technical side of writing and more on the content- or being able to realize their own
It is something that cannot be put aside. It needs to be taught so when that student goes off by themselves, they will have the capabilities to achieve something in their life. Suskind says, “their daily lesson” was “distinctiveness can be dangerous”(2). Their daily lesson should have been, “How to incorporate writing into your everyday life,” Or at least something that would help them get ahead in the real world. It should be taught so much, that will come as easy as talking (Suskind
In my English 1010 class, I have learned to do a number of things through writing essays. I have written a Literacy Narrative, a Discourse Community Analysis, and a Writing Research essay. Firstly, I have learned to identify how an author’s purpose, audience, genre, and context determine effective writing. The purpose of the literacy narrative was to help me understand myself better as a writer (Jones 1). My teacher was the intended audience of the narrative. The genre of the narrative was non-fiction because it was about my experience as a writer. The context of writing made my writing more interesting and more effective. All those things make effective writing because you have to know what you need to write about and who is receiving your writing. I displayed these skills by going into detail of my experiences with reading and writing through my life. In the narrative I shared how fun and exciting it was when my second grade class got the opportunity to write a book, A Book of Future Astronauts (Writing is Good).
Now looking back, Brittany feels that her past teachers never allowed her to read or write that really excites her or something that amazes her, only stuck to the old black and white planbook, causing her to slowly construct the idea to only put half the blood and sweat into the work and could care less about the grade. For example, when she was in the eighth grade or the eleventh grade, there was a mandatory Writing Assessment for every student in that was in either those grades. “I can remember getting prepared and prepped up for weeks, and was reminded every day to make at least a four or higher to pass the Writing Assessment. The teacher would give us instructions on how to construct a three idea essay and how to construct a “hook” sentence and how to construct a strong thesis statement” Brittany stated. But for Brittany the Writing Assessment consist more than just the main three ideas or the “hook” sentence or a strong thesis statement, to Brittany it had more to do with taking those three ideas and have the ability to argue those ideas and stating what she needed the readers to
The nature of writing has changed in the past century. While writing still remains a form of visual communication, much of this change has been a result of technological advancements such as, from pen to paper or from a typewriter to a networked computer. The changes and expansion in the ways we are able to write today have brought about changes in writing pedagogy as well. The teaching of writing has been part of formal schooling in the United States for over 200 years (Kean 7). One major pedagogic change in United States’ education has to do with the implementation of the Common Core State Standards. These standards have led to a change in the instruction of writing in schools. This paper, will focus on instructional changes of writing over time and current expectations for writing abilities as whole.
Sharing ideas and beliefs, free from consequences, is one of the most essential forms of freedom. Taking charge of individual beliefs and having the courage to share and support them is liberation at its best. From Common Sense by Thomas Paine to Silent Spring by Rachel Carson, words, and their resulting messages, have immense power to influence viewpoints and ideals, ultimately sparking change. However, words, and punctuation, come with risk; if the words and punctuation employed fail to clearly and concisely express the message, the message loses all meaning. Therefore, not only is the message behind the words important, but also the way in which the message is articulated.
The murder of this generation’s creativity has come as slowly and painfully as cancer will kill the human body. Perhaps at first, it will not be much noticed. Small side effects here and there. Creeping, crawling, until now, as it comes to climax. Students have lost their ability to properly express themselves: from dress codes, to art classes, to creative writing. Students can not express any creativity in themselves with stunted music and art programs and literary classes that focus not on the quality or expression of writing, but on structural writing every single day. When students use writing as a way to speak out of what pains they may face in the world and what tragedies they may have gone through, their thoughts are often ignored to look instead at comma splices, capitalization, and stanza types. They have been stripped of the ability to write their pain, and alternatives such as music or drawing have been taken as well despite heavy advice of education professionals. Education expert Thoqan Obeidat, when asked about his opinion of the schooling systems, “...noted that subjects like music and arts are not put into
Writing conversely, in the early 1900’s was apparent in exams, such as standardized testing, however much research wasn’t conveyed in this content up until the 1980’s, where “the decade” of writing emerged into the education realm (Sear, 2006). In addition, prior to the emerging of the decade of writing, writing was utilize through the Palmer and Zane Bloser Methods which taught children’s manuscript and cursive hand writing. Despite the fact that examination on composing is restricted, the discoveries demonstrate that youthful kids' written work, including name composing, spelling, decoding, and reading comprehension are identified with later reading and education skills (Gerde, Bingham, & Wasik, 2012). Gerde et al. (2012) investigates writing
In the 1900s, literacy learning involved a “whole language” (Goodman, 2005, para. 5) approach whereby students explored meaning and experienced language as a whole; through reading picture books, process writing, and immersion in texts of the dominant culture. Cambourne (as cited in Mills, 2005) associated the whole language approach with the natural development of oral language in infants (p. 69), however, critics refuted Cambourne’s theory arguing, “the lexico–grammatical structures of written language are different from those of speech” (Luke, as cited in Mills, 2005, p. 69). This top–down approach concentrated on reading and learning for meaning rather than the didactic method of learning abstract concepts in isolation (Goodman, 2005, para. 3). One vital factor for student success using the whole language approach was prior knowledge (Mills, 2005, p. 69). An authentic approach to literacy pedagogy that can be observed in today’s classrooms is process writing, which involves a multi–step process over several days beginning with students choosing a topic that interests them and planning their writing (Dwyer, 1985, para. 1). The next step requires students write a draft copy of their story, before an individual or whole class “conference” (Dwyer, 1985, para. 1) is held with the teacher or a peer to discuss the draft copies. The final step involves students publishing their polished edited work (Dwyer, 1985, para. 1). This writing process is visible in the Australian