Sharing – the pain and the gain

By Professor Debra Myhill, Director of the Centre for Research in Writing, Pro-Vice Chancellor and Executive Dean, The University of Exeter

Whenever I prepare something for sharing in a public forum, I am modestly pleased with my efforts at the start, but as soon as somebody else shares their work, I instantly re-evaluate my work and wish it were better! I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this!

Yet sharing is at the heart of the Arvon experience. Continue reading “Sharing – the pain and the gain”

Some thoughts on impact

By Lucy Oliver, Research Fellow, University of Exeter

As we write up our findings from the Teachers as Writers (TaW) project, it’s hard to avoid a creeping sense of déjà vu. After all, the idea that students gain when teachers of writing write themselves is hardly new. Nor are the strategies that TaW project teachers and writers have found most helpful in the classroom. Wasn’t freewriting advocated by Peter Elbow in the 70s? And the emphasis on drafting-revising a defining feature of the so-called ‘process movement’ of the 80s? Continue reading “Some thoughts on impact”

Developing young writers

By Teresa Cremin, Professor of Literacy in Education, The Open University

Writing can be exposing. Always an intriguing act of identification and production, we are positioned by our writing, judged by our writing and can be ‘known’ through our writing. No wonder then that the sixteen teachers who attended the Arvon residential a year ago were worried about sharing their writing with each other and with the tutors. Some expressed deep concern about their ‘terrible spelling’, ‘basic ideas’, ‘lack of creativity’ and initially held back from sharing their drafts. Continue reading “Developing young writers”

Think like a researcher

By Becky Swain, Head of Learning and Participation at Arvon

Easter break has already begun for some, and an appetite for seeking time and space to write seems to be in the air. On route to a residential this week at the Lumb Bank Arvon Centre in West Yorkshire, teacher and writer Ben Bransfield, sent a tweet that read: ‘12 yrs ago @arvonfoundation I wrote about my granddad’s greenhouse. Wished I’d showed him. It’s now being published as I take my own students up to write.’  Continue reading “Think like a researcher”