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Focused on the critical role that writing plays in both teaching and learning, the Institute for Writing and Thinking brings together secondary and college teachers for innovative, intellectually stimulating, and practically useful workshops and conferences at Bard College and at schools and colleges nationwide.


Founded by Bard College president Leon Botstein in 1982, IWT has been guiding teachers in developing and refining writing practices with the goal of enlivening and enriching classroom learning through writing. The philosophy and the practice of IWT are one: writing is both a record of completed thought and an exploratory process that supports teaching and deepens learning across disciplines.

Practical, hands-on instruction in a collaborative learning environment demonstrates for teachers how they can lead their students to discover and interpret meaning (rather than simply set out to find answers), engage in productive dialogue, and learn the critical thinking skills that support academic writing and learning in all subject areas.

Since IWT’s founding, an expert faculty representing the fields of composition, literature, philosophy, art, and science from diverse institutions across the country continue to develop and refine writing practices. These associates work with one another through ongoing conversations about teaching and writing, continuing to learn about what writing is and can be for their students and transmitting their knowledge and experience to teachers in IWT’s workshops.
“The prompts and practices employed were truly generative, and this is what brings me to Bard again and again. Losing myself in writing for a day sustains me in a way that nothing else does.”
Writer as Reader One-Day Workshops, November 2016
— College professor