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Many teachers work alone, relying primarily on their own resources, without the support of a vital learning community, and with little opportunity to explore with other teachers new teaching practices.  Institute workshops bring together teachers of diverse disciplines and institutions to exchange ideas and raise questions about how writing rich teaching practices change thinking and promote understanding. Workshop participants also benefit from the sense of community and cooperative effort that develops as they work together—collaboration that often continues over time and distance. Institute workshops encourage and support teachers as they find ways to transfer the experimental practices into their classrooms. Teachers from diverse schools and colleges, as well as from different countries, benefit from the supportive dialogue they find in IWT workshops. This sense of community sets IWT apart from university writing programs, creative writing workshops, and many professional development programs for secondary teachers.