National Writing Project

Writing Project Teachers Explore Connection Between Writing and "Making"

Publication: The Notebook
Date: January 18, 2011

Summary: The National Writing Project and MAKE Magazine are partnering to pilot a project through which teachers and students explore the connections between writing and "making," creating more invigorating assignments along the way.

 

Excerpt from Article

Imagine a learning space where teachers and students collaborate on making stuff, document their tinkering, and disseminate their knowledge to a community of other makers. Could this type of learning be a viable alternative to the dominant test preparation culture found in many schools? Would engaging students in Do It Yourself (DIY) culture provide better context to improve reading, writing, and critical thinking skills?

The National Writing Project (NWP) and MAKE Magazine are partnering to pilot a project through which teachers and students explore the connections between writing and "making." Teacher-consultants from Philadelphia Writing Project (PhilWP) along with teacher-consultant teams from the Central California Writing Project, Southern Colorado Writing Project, Hoosier Writing Project, and Ozarks Writing Project are creating authentic contexts for teachers and students to work together in making, remixing, building, and then documenting, writing, and sharing their "Make Projects" both in school and out of school.

MAKE Magazine founder and publisher Dale Dougherty is dedicated to the spirit of DIY and creating a hands-on maker culture. In his blog post "Teachers as Makers" he notes that teaching informative writing is a requirement in schools. However, he would like to see more invigorating assignments, not uninspiring ones, like the staple "how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich" how-to essay.

Copyright © 2011 The Notebook. Reprinted with permission.
Reed, Samuel. 2011. "DIY movement: Teachers and students as makers" The Notebook , January 18.

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