Friday, January 10, 2020

CURMUDGUCATION: The Foundation of Real Writing

CURMUDGUCATION: The Foundation of Real Writing

The Foundation of Real Writing

As I've mentioned before, we have the poor fortune to live in a golden age of bad writing instruction. There are a variety of reasons for this, ranging from the rise of high-stakes testing to some less-than-wonderful traditions to the widespread discomfort with writing instruction of many classroom teachers.

The last is probably the worst issue facing writing instruction. It's a curious thing; you don't find many band directors who don't play an instrument or many phys ed teachers who aren't involved in some sort of physical activity, but schools are loaded with folks who teach writing, but who never write themselves.

You can spot the different kinds of bad writing instruction by the foundations on which they are built, by the things that are treated as basic building blocks of writing. Here are the false foundations you're likely to find.

Text and a Question

Colemanism in action, this approach to writing starts with the idea that the only writing worth writing is in response to a text in order to answer a particular question that a teacher or test manufacturer has posed.

Look at the Big Standardized Tests of the past two decades and you find a remarkable phenomenon-- the writing test using multiple choice items. That's possible because one of the premises of this bad CONTINUE READING: 
CURMUDGUCATION: The Foundation of Real Writing