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ERIC Number: EJ868260
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Dec
Pages: 25
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 35
ISSN: ISSN-0010-096X
Teaching Writing Teachers Writing: Difficulty, Exploration, and Critical Reflection
Reid, E. Shelley
College Composition and Communication, v61 n2 pW197-W221 Dec 2009
While writing pedagogy instructors assign their students a range of writing tasks, often as central or repeated features of the course, a crucial question has not yet been addressed: does it matter what new teachers write? If pedagogy students are being assigned writing in part to further develop their attitudes and practices related to teaching writing, is a researched report as productive as, say, a teaching journal or some other assignment? Should writing assignments all be tailored to the needs of individual pedagogy-education programs? Alternately, might some kinds of writing assignments be especially congruent with the broad goals of writing pedagogy education? In this article, the author explains why the answer to that last question should be "yes." Writing assignments that are overtly, deliberately "difficult," "exploratory," and "critically reflective" should form the core of what instructors assign to teachers. Writing pedagogy classes need to provide writing experiences that allow students to experience productive, guided difficulty in writing--and thus to become true learners in the field. Working through these difficulties within a supportive environment will increase teachers' empathy with students; their felt sense that process-based, student-centered teaching is effective; and their understanding of how to connect composition theories with pedagogical practices. In addition, writing assignments need to emphasize exploration rather than conclusiveness at all stages of the writing process. And finally, metacognitive writing about these difficult, exploratory assignments should be critically reflective, addressing the difficulty and the exploratory nature of the writing, and linking writing to teaching practices. (Contains 9 notes.)
National Council of Teachers of English. 1111 West Kenyon Road, Urbana, IL 61801-1096. Tel: 877-369-6283; Tel: 217-328-3870; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A