Friday, March 22, 2013

Serious Writing Requires Serious Thinking

Anyone looking for an extensive and serious position statement on writing and the teaching of writing need not look further than the National Council of Teachers of English Beliefs about the Teaching of Writing.


This thesis by the organization I consider to be the guardians of the English language in America offers as much  insight to developing writers as it does to teachers. In nearly 6,000 words, it covers 13 premises on which writing teachers can build a philosophy that they can live and work by, the key ones for learners being: 

  1. Everyone has the capacity to write.
  2. Writing can be learned.
  3. We learn to write by writing.
  4. Writing is a process.
  5. Writing is a thinking tool.
  6. Writing grows from many purposes.
  7. Writing and reading are related.
  8. Writing and talking are related.

The statement follows these premises with in-depth discussions on implications for learners and teachers. If you're a writing theorist, you should read this statement; if you just want to know what informed writing teachers believe, then you must read it.