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ERIC Number: EJ966764
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Nov
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 4
ISSN: ISSN-0013-8274
Creative and Critical Engagement: Constructing a Teen Vision of the World
DiMarzio, Erica; Dippre, Ryan
English Journal, v101 n2 p25-29 Nov 2011
Today's high-stakes testing world has changed the English classroom a great deal, and perhaps one of the most dramatically affected areas has been that of creative writing. As all English teachers well know, creative writing does not easily lend itself to a multiple-choice test or a five-paragraph essay. As the authors began the push to prepare students for state tests--in their case, the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment, or PSSA--they struggled to work creative writing smoothly into the curriculum. It not only fails to mesh with the testing focus but also fails in making clear connections to literature. English classrooms often treat--and, through high-stakes testing, are often forced to treat--a work of literature like an animal on a dissection table. Each story, poem, or book needs to be analyzed for tension, irony, metaphor, status symbols, etc., and this dissection is never linked in any way to creative writing, even though the works being analyzed are, in fact, often creative works. The authors decided to create an extended unit that attempts to tie the acts of creation and reception together and allows students to experience writing and literature by putting them to work for the students' purposes. They incorporated creative writing over an extended period of time (about five months) in a manner that allowed sophomore students to write creatively and to engage their work--and the work of others--critically on completion.
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; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania