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    WAC, WID and WHY writing can contribute to professional development for teachers

    Lillis, Carmel and Farrell, Alison (2017) WAC, WID and WHY writing can contribute to professional development for teachers. Literacy News, Spring.

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    At all levels of education, reading and writing matter. In Reading News, unsurprisingly, many articles are published about reading, not least because of the essential nature of reading in all our formal education systems. Occasionally, colleagues contribute to this publication on the topic of writing. Valerie, Kurkjian and Turner in Reading News Autumn 2014 begin with the bold statement ‘Writing helps’ (12). They continue, ‘We need our students to develop as readers, writers, and thinkers … Writing helps our students to accomplish [the] Herculean tasks’ of becoming problem solvers, good citizens, and individuals who can positively engage with content (12). Valerie et al. also comment on process: ‘To become effective writers, students need myriad opportunities to develop their craft’ (12). We agree with them and commend their National Writing Project work. We assert that writing is a key component of students’ lives and also of their education particularly when it comes to assessment within formal education setting. This is certainly the situation in higher education, where much assessment in text orientated disciplines, for example, English, History, Sociology, Anthropology, Classics, etc., can be almost entirely through either a written exam or written assignments of one type or another. Outside of education settings and in the world of work, writing continues to matter. Deborah Brandt in her 2015 book The Rise of Writing. Redefining Mass Literacy, notes that ‘While until recently it would have been difficult to fathom how people could be writing more than reading, it is indeed happening for many’ (3-4). She notes that ‘For perhaps the first time in the history of mass literacy, writing seems to be eclipsing reading as the literate experience of consequence’ (3). The piece of research that we report on here exists against this landscape of mass authorship. In this research, the students are also teachers in the formal sense of their professional lives. Our work is based on our experience of integrating more inclass and out of class writing into a Level 9 programme for teachers; we wanted to assess the various impacts of additional, low-risk writing for participants, not least in terms of their understanding of the course material.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: WAC; WID; WHY; writing; professional development; teachers;
    Academic Unit: Centre for Teaching and Learning
    Item ID: 8269
    Depositing User: Alison Farrell
    Date Deposited: 06 Jun 2017 10:52
    Journal or Publication Title: Literacy News
    Publisher: The Literacy Association of Ireland
    Refereed: No
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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