National Writing Project

Exchanging Writing, Exchanging Cultures

By: Sarah Warshauer Freedman
Publication: The Quarterly, Vol. 11, No. 3
Date: Summer 1989

Summary: The author describes the results of a cross-cultural exchange of writing between students at urban schools in the San Francisco Bay Area and London.



While Freedman justifiably lauds British education for much of the book, in her critique of the national examination she warns educators and policy-makers back home about the impact on teaching and learning such examination-based reforms can have: 'The path to curriculum reform through a system of high-stakes national exams is tempting, but its benefits remain elusive.

'What the US teachers saw in the classrooms of their British counterparts convinced them that this kind of high-stakes national examination and its associated curriculum would ultimately inhibit their students' thinking and experimenting, confine their imaginations, and limit their writing development' (p.208).

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