From the Director 2017-02-02T20:17:59+00:00
Dear Colleagues,

I am excited to introduce this year’s Institute for Writing and Thinking (IWT) programming. Sustaining its rich experiential tradition, IWT continues to offer hands-on, practical workshops to help secondary and college teachers of all subjects use writing as a central classroom activity. This year, in addition to our regular core offerings, IWT will offer two newly developed workshops: “Writing to Learn in the STEM Disciplines” and “Poetry: Lyric Investigation Across the Disciplines,” which explores the use of poetry and the imagination in all subject areas.

“Writing to Learn In the STEM Disciplines” will address ways that IWT practices can be used in science and math classrooms to stimulate engagement and understanding of discipline-specific texts and problems—lab reports, word problems, geometrical proofs, scientific cases, and more. It will also consider how writing can help students be more conscious of the decisions they make when working through an equation or solving a problem and how writing-to-read practices can help students develop a familiarity and comfort with theoretical discourses.

The new workshop on poetry and the imagination, “Poetry: Lyric Investigation Across Disciplines,” encourages teachers from all disciplines to investigate the many ways that poetry can be used in classrooms. Participants will consider how the practice of poetry helps students engage with biology, grammar, and history; helps them excel at the higher order thinking the Common Core State Standards emphasize; and helps them imagine themselves into new disciplinary understandings.

We are excited to add these two new workshops to our core series, since IWT now offers schools and districts on-site embedded professional development programs designed specifically for their faculty. For years IWT has considered ways to make our programming more available to teachers—to work with teachers in schools, to learn about students, and to offer modeling and coaching in classrooms beyond the workshops. Grounded in the latest research in professional development for educators, IWT’s new Embedded Professional Development Program is an exciting new way to support teachers in their own contexts. Learn more about IWT’s Embedded Professional Development Program in this brochure.

Along with the Embedded Professional Development Program, IWT has been offering more workshops internationally, and hosting more international teachers and faculty in our July workshops. This has been an exciting opportunity for participants to engage with other teachers and learn more about challenges in education, not only nationwide but internationally. Regardless of where we come from, we all want our students to be engaged, articulate, and reflective learners. Sharing ideas across borders—linguistic, cultural, and educational—teaches us more about who we are as teachers and what we can learn from colleagues around the globe.

Unlike so many lecture-format professional development programs for teachers, IWT workshops are intellectually rigorous, engaging, and effective programs that allow participants to experience the practices they’ll bring to their students. Time and again, IWT participants report that these workshops have fundamentally changed how they use writing in the classroom. I invite each of you to review our 2015–2016 workshops—from the November “Writer as Reader” workshops and our March Curriculum Conversation, “Shakespeare’s Othello: Masks of Deception,” to our April Conference, “The Difficulty with Poetry: Opacity and Implication In the New and Old.” If you currently don’t receive occasional e-mails from us but would like to, please contact us at Please note that we do not sell or share our e-mail lists.

Looking forward to seeing you,
Peg Peoples

P.S.—Are you among the educators who tweet? Join the conversation about writing and learning by following us on Twitter @Bard_IWT.