I want them to see writing as fun, not just techniques

By Lucy Oliver, Research Fellow, University of Exeter

Where’s the enjoyment in new writing policy? Almost invisible it seems. Writing for pleasure does get a mention in National Curriculum guidance, but barely – and it’s easily lost amidst ‘essential’ skills and grammar. Whilst reading for pleasure is high on the educational agenda, with prominent campaigns to promote engagement, when it comes to driving up standards in writing, pleasure doesn’t get much of a look in. And yet the link between writing enjoyment and writing attainment is well-established. What’s more, evidence suggests that fewer children enjoy writing than reading, and fewer still enjoy school writing. Since much of the writing that children do engage in by choice – via text and social media – isn’t considered ‘real’ writing anyway, motivating them to write for school purposes presents a pretty fundamental challenge. Continue reading “I want them to see writing as fun, not just techniques”

Are teachers writers?

By Professor Teresa Cremin, Professor of Education (Literacy), The Open University

Of course they are. In the time it has taken me to compose this blog many will have: commented on students’ work, written lesson objectives and plans, prepared PowerPoint resources, drafted reports, written personal and professional emails, text messages and Facebook entries, notes, lists, and Tweets, to mention but a few! Some may also have composed diary entries, blogs, lyrics, poetry, narrative or non-fiction, both alongside students in classrooms, or at home alone / in collaboration with others. As 21st century adults, teachers, like the young people with whom they work, write for numerous purposes and in multiple modes, using different materials and technologies. Continue reading “Are teachers writers?”