Friday, March 11, 2005

NCTE Publishes Standards on Teaching Writing

The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) recently posted "NCTE Beliefs about the Teaching of Writing," an article about what it considers 11 key principles that should guide writing teachers.

The NCTE, founded in 1911, strives "to advance teaching, research, and student achievement in English language arts at all scholastic levels." The article explains the principles, describes their implications on writers and writing teachers, and establishes standards of excellence by which writing teachers can be measured.

The 11 principles that NCTE published are as follows:

1. Everyone has the capacity to write, writing can be taught, and teachers can help students become better writers.
2. People learn to write by writing.
3. Writing is a process.
4. Writing is a tool for thinking.
5. Writing grows out of many different purposes.
6. Readers expect writing to conform to language standards.
7. Writing and reading are related.
8. Writing and talking have a complex relationship.
9. Writing occurs in complicated social relationships.
10. Writing occurs through different technologies.
11. Assessment of writing involves complex, informed, human judgment

The article is helpful for aspiring writing teachers, who need to know what excellent writing assessment entails, as well as writing students, who should know what their teachers look for in their documents. The NCTE website is