Project Description

Changing the role of writing

 in schools and colleges also means changing how teachers work together. IWT goes on site with teachers and administrators to develop intellectually engaging ways to re-think writing across the curriculum and catalyze engagement in change. IWT has led professional development workshops–from one day to weeklong-for teachers at over 400 urban, suburban, rural, public and independent middle and high schools, and over 230 colleges and universities across the U.S. and internationally.

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IWT

develops a relationship with an on-site institution over time, so that teachers may continue to develop how to put into practice what they learn from successive workshops.

One teacher, returning to her classroom from a good experience at an IWT workshop, may be able to change the way students write and think in her classroom. But alone she cannot bring change to the entire school or curriculum.

Teachers from the same school who attend in together can support each other once they return to the classroom and can become agents for change in the school as a whole, and this could be reinforced by an on-site workshop.

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“For the kinds of challenges necessary to transform American education, the work force of teachers must do three tough things more or less at once: Change how they view learning itself, develop new habits of mind to go with their new cognitive understanding, and simultaneously develop new habits of work—habits that are collegial and public in nature, not solo and private as has been the custom in teaching.”
Deborah Meier, founder, Central Park East Schools, NY
“An excellent workshop! I have taught composition or writing for almost a decade and have never felt satisfied with how I incorporated grammar into my courses. I thought this workshop would really speak to my concerns (and it did).”
participant, Borough of Manhattan Community College
“I have realized that, although I have collected many grammar activities over the years, I have a need to continue my search for effective, fun ones, not only for my own enjoyment, but for my students as well. I can use all that we have done here in my classes.”
participant, Borough of Manhattan Community College
“This was a much-needed reminder (for me) to “look and look again” to guide students with the right questions and prompts, to avoid traditional assignment giving, to take time to be thoughtful.”
participant, National Technical Institute for the Deaf, Rochester Institute of Technology
“I especially liked the less threatening/intimidating idea of “sneaking up on an essay”–of using process thinking and process writing in an eventual paper.”
participant, National Technical Institute for the Deaf, Rochester Institute of Technology
“I learned about ways to open up the text and help students engage with it; to think of the text in relation to the author and to themselves; and to move from personal tastes and responses to a larger understanding that grows out of the process of questioning, thinking, and writing.”
participant, School of Visual Arts, New York City
“It was illuminating to have the experience as a student would—as I answered questions, worked in pairs, reflected, reconfigured my responses from a different angle, listened to the others in the workshop giving their reflections, etc., I felt that real intellectual work was getting done, yet each of us was given the means to grapple with the texts (visual and literary) in a very individual way.”
participant, School of Visual Arts, New York City
“Wow! I’ve learned so much about writing and learning. I have a better understanding of how to weave writing throughout a lesson. I feel I have a deeper understanding of literacy and the implication for developing critical thinking through collaboration. Free Writing, Focused Free Writing, Process Writing, Dialectical notebooks, and Text rendering will be a good place to start.”
participant, Steve Garvey Junior HS, Lindsay Unified School District, CA
“This workshop gave me a paradigm shift in my approach to writing in mathematics. It was freeing to allow myself to write and grow in the confidence that I can bring this back to my students.”
participant, Steve Garvey Junior HS, Lindsay Unified School District, CA
“This was one of the most helpful teaching workshops I’ve attended. Thank you.”
participant, Asheville School, Asheville, NC
“I’ve learned many teaching practices…ways to discuss student writing and revising…will use these in my classroom with great excitement and enthusiasm.”
participant, Asheville School, Asheville, NC
“The readings, the writing, the sharing of writing, and the discussions were all especially helpful.”
participant, Finger Lakes Community College, NY
“I have learned new ways to get students to think about writing and to get them more engaged in what they want to say.”
participant, Finger Lakes Community College, NY
A

s many state standards and the Common Core Stan­dards Initiative claim, students who are college ready demonstrate independent thought, build strong content knowledge, and know how to respond to the varying de­mands of audience, task, purpose, and discipline. They comprehend as well as critique; value evidence, know how to use technology and digital media strategically and capably, and they value and understand other per­spectives and cultures.

IWT can help teachers explore and understand these ‘lit­eracies’ as defined by the Common Core, and then pre­view what Common Core implementation can look like in practice using IWT writing-based teaching strategies. Writing to learn practices emphasize close readings of challenging texts, critical analysis, independent thought, and the development of both writing and speaking skills.

Concrete lessons and strategies are grounded in liter­ary, cultural, and historical examples and meet Reading, Writing, and Speaking/Listening standards-a perfect in­troduction to Common Core English/Language Arts Stan­dards, Literacy in History/Social Studies. Our goal is to help teachers meet standards while also recognizing the individual needs of students and remaining grounded in their own creative authority.

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EMBEDDED PROGRAMMING

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professional development (PD) program for schools and entire school districts can be designed to meet their specific needs. PD plans that include hands-on modeling and coaching of new learning techniques show greater positive effects on student outcomes, and a tangible transfer of new teaching skills into the classroom. IWT can help teachers explore and understand the Common Core standards, then preview what Common Core implementation can look like in practice, using IWT writing-based teaching strategies. IWT’s writing-to-learn practices emphasize close readings of challenging texts, critical analysis, independent thought, and the development of both writing and speaking skills.

Wow! I’ve learned so much about writing and learning. I have a better understanding of how to weave writing throughout a lesson. I feel I have a deeper understanding of literacy and the implication for developing critical thinking through collaboration. Free Writing, Focused Free Writing, Process Writing, Dialectical notebooks, and Text rendering will be a good place to start.
participant, Steve Garvey Junior HS, Lindsay Unified School District, CA
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ENGAGED PEDAGOGIES: THE BARD LAS CERTIFICATE

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The Bard Institute for Writing and Thinking’s Certificate in Liberal Arts and Sciences Pedagogies provides educators with student-centered frameworks for the practical application of LAS educational theories in their discipline and in interdisciplinary classrooms. This intensive 160-hour program, comprised of a sequence of graduated workshops, introduces faculty to ‘pedagogies of engagement.’
Working with their peers, faculty are provided opportunities to reflect on what fosters students’ capacities for thinking critically, communicating proficiently, and retaining and transferring knowledge to new situations.
Certificates will be awarded after participants complete a series of experiential weeklong workshops—see reverse for details—and an Action-based Reflective Research Paper.

A liberal arts education is seen as a fundamental part of the process of democratization and as a means of promoting an active and engaged citizenry. In other parts of the world, educators are turning to liberal arts education because they recognize the limits of old teaching methods, particularly in light of competition from new technology, and because they understand that contemporary modes of thinking and the demands that the contemporary marketplace requires them to move beyond the constraints of rigid disciplinary structures.

—Jonathan Becker, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Bard College